Hybrid and Electric Cars: Everything You Need to Know

In our eco-friendly driving FAQ hub, we provide answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions around eco-friendly motoring.

Question 1

How do hybrid cars work?

Hybrid cars run off a conventional petrol or diesel engine, as well as an electric motor and battery. The combination of these power sources achieves improved fuel efficiency, which in turn saves money and reduces pollution.

Question 2

How do electric cars work?

Electric cars are powered by electric motors, which use rechargable batteries. These batteries also power the ancillary systems on the cars, including the wipers and lights. An electric car can be charged with a charging cable or at a charging station. It takes any time between 30 minutes to 12 hours to charge an electric car.

Question 3

What is a hybrid car?

While traditional vehicles use petrol or diesel to power their internal combustion engine, a hybrid car incorporates an electric motor and battery alongside more conventional parts in its combustion engine. It can therefore power the car partially or wholely by electric energy.

Question 4

Are
electric
cars
green?

Electric cars produce less CO2 than even some of the most efficient fossil-fueled cars, making them a more environmentally friendly option than their diesel or petrol powered counterparts. With electric cars, air pollution from tailpipe emissions is reduced, therefore air quality is improved. Electric cars get the green light.

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Question 5

Do electric cars save money?

Yes. Fuel costs for electric cars are significantly smaller than for petrol and diesel engines. As electric cars produce low levels of CO2 emissions, they are road tax exempt . The cost of an annual service is also significantly lower than a petrol or diesel car.

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Question 6

The most expensive electric cars

According to dgit and Lux Authority

  • Rimac Concept One - Average price: £711,000
  • Mercedes Benz SLS Electric Drive - Average price: £391,000
  • Rolls-Royce 102 EX - Average price: £355,000
  • Mercedes Benz EQA - Average price: £249,000
  • Genovation GXE - Average price: £235,000
  • Lightning GT - Average price: £213,000
  • eRuf Model A - Average price: £135,000

Question 7

Why are electric cars expensive?

Expensive electric car batteries are the primary reason why electric cars cost more to build than petrol or diesel cars. Economies of scale also play a part - limited amounts of electric cars being produced means that prices stay relatively high. However, the costs of running an electric car are much reduced compared to traditional models.

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Question 8

The benefits of hybrid cars

Advantanges of hybrid cars

  • Environmentally friendly - produce fewer gases.
  • Cheaper to run - no road tax and cheaper fuel.
  • Uses less energy - has a lighter and smaller engine.

Disadvantages of hybrid cars

  • Suited for city driving - twin powered engine offers less power.
  • Higher maintenence costs - due to the dual engine.
  • Higher purchasing costs.

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Question 9

Will electric cars get cheaper?

Yes. According to research carried out by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, electric cars are set to get cheaper in the U.S. and Europe by 2025. Electric car battery prices will fall by about 77% between 2016 and 2030, therefore these vehicles should be cheaper to buy in the future.

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Question 10

How to reduce carbon emissions

  • Alter your driving style - less speeding and accelerating.
  • Improve your mileage - drive with correctly inflated tyres.
  • Reduce fuel consumption - remove excess weight from your car.
  • Drive an economical car - opt for electric and low emission vehicles.
  • Avoid unnecessary driving - combine trips or travel by foot or bike.

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Question 11

How much is a hybrid car?

New hybrid cars can be as cheap as £15,000. However, they will typically cost around 20% more to buy than petrol and diesel powered cars due to the drivetrains, which transmit power to the driving wheels. Drivetrains require larger, more powerful batteries, which add to the cost of a hybrid car.

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Question 12

How much
is an
electric
car?

At £13,995, the Renault Zoe is currently the UK's cheapest electric car. While electric cars are expensive to purchase, they're cheaper to run without petrol or diesel costs, plus car tax is exempt. Maintenance tasks, such as a full service, are also cheaper than conventional cars.

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