Whether you're interested in a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or a self-charging hybrid there has never been a better time to 'go green'.
Frequently asked questions regarding Hybrid vehicle leasing
The main difference between an electric and hybrid is the way the vehicle is powered.
As the name suggests, an electric vehicle (EV) uses electricity to power the vehicle. For an electric car to function, you must plug it into a charge point to take electricity from the grid.
A hybrid is a partially electrified vehicle which uses an electric motor and a conventional petrol or diesel engine to drive the wheels. Depending on the type of hybrid, some hybrid vehicles (known as plug-in hybrids or PHEVs) need to be plugged into an electrical power source for the electric motor to work, while others (known as mild hybrids, full hybrids or self-charging hybrids) automatically charge the vehicle’s battery whilst ‘on the move’.
You can find out more about the difference between electric and hybrids in our handy Electric vs Hybrid guide.
Hybrid cars are powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE), an electric motor and a small battery pack which drive the car, either simultaneously or independently. Unlike an electric car which uses electric alone for power, a hybrid vehicle uses both engines – the electric motor and gasoline engine – to power the vehicle. This means that if you run out of electric power, you can still run the vehicle using the gasoline (petrol or diesel) engine.
There are three different types of hybrids available in the UK: mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
A mild hybrid car combines a traditional petrol or diesel engine with a small electric motor but cannot drive under electric power alone, the electric motor is purely there to improve the engine’s efficiency.
A full hybrid car can drive under its own electric, powering the vehicle independently at low speeds (usually up to 15mph) for short distances. It does not need to be plugged into a power source like an EV or PHEV vehicle as they automatically recharge their battery whilst ‘on the move’.
A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) uses the same technology as a full hybrid but as the name suggests, it must be plugged into a power source to charge the battery. A PHEV can travel further using only electric power, with most PHEVs offering an electric-only range of around 30 miles.
Whether you need to charge your hybrid or not depends on the type of hybrid vehicle you have. Mild hybrid and full hybrids are charged automatically without any intervention by the driver by regenerative braking.
Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) however need to be plugged into an electric charge point to top up the battery. This can be done at an EV charging point or via a domestic three-point plug.
To seamlessly combine the electric motor with the internal combustion engine, almost all hybrid vehicles have an automatic gearbox. Mostly these tend to be CVT – continuously variable transmissions – which is a type of single-speed automatic gearbox.
Under the current guidelines, selected hybrid cars are exempt from London’s Congestion Charge, which is known as the Cleaner Vehicle Discount. To qualify for exemption, vehicles must be:
From 2021, plug-in hybrid vehicles will no longer be exempt from the London congestion charge as part of a new package of measures aimed at tackling congestion and improving air quality.