A full hybrid car (also known as a hybrid electric vehicle, a parallel hybrid or a self-charging hybrid) is the most common hybrid vehicle in the UK. A full hybrid combines a 30 to 70-kilowatt electric motor, alongside a gasoline engine (typically petrol) to drive the car, either simultaneously or independently.
Full hybrid cars work by harvesting power during regenerative braking to power the electric motor, as well as using start-stop technology to improve overall efficiency. Unlike a mild hybrid, a full hybrid car can drive under its own electric, powering the vehicle independently at low speeds (usually up to 15mph) for short distances. This not only helps to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, but also offers a quieter, smoother drive when running in electric mode.
Along with mild hybrids, a full hybrid vehicle is generally considered the best hybrid option for drivers who travel lots of miles. This is because full hybrid vehicles automatically recharge their battery whilst ‘on the move’ and do not need to be plugged into a power source like a PHEV or a pure electric vehicle.
Pros of a full hybrid include:
- Battery automatically recharges whilst ‘on the move’
- Congestion charges can be avoided in many cities and urban areas
- Wider range of model choice options
Cons of full hybrid include:
- Presence of dual engine can result in higher maintenance costs
- Small capacity battery offers limited zero-emissions electric range
- Can be more expensive to buy or lease than mild hybrid cars
As expected, Toyota and Honda continue to lead the way with full hybrids with a range of cars including the Prius, Corolla, Yaris and RAV4 all offering full hybrid technology. For those looking for a more luxurious option, every model in Lexus’ line-up is also available with a hybrid engine option.