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