Home / News / What Are Hybrid Electric Vehicles

What are hybrid electric vehicles?

26th April 2021

With the UK government setting the ambitious target of being carbon neutral (also known as net zero), by 2050, one of the biggest changes we’re going to see is in our cars and vehicles. By 2030, the sale of all new sole-powered petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the UK. This means that in just under a decade, all new vehicles will have to be hybrid or electric. That means a lot of car showrooms will be overhauling their stock, and drivers will have to start making the switch to either hybrid or electric sooner than you might think.

There’s plenty of adverts that talk about hybrids, plug in hybrids, self-charging hybrids and more, but understanding what the different types are and which is right for you requires a little more insight. Switching to a hybrid vehicle is easier than you think, but many people are hesitant and not everyone knows the full range of benefits you can get from choosing a hybrid electric vehicle.

So, what exactly are hybrid electric vehicles?

A hybrid electric vehicle uses both a traditional combustion engine powered by petrol or diesel and an electric battery powered motor. Depending on the type of hybrid vehicle, some rely more on the electric motor, and some use intelligent technology to switch between the two, whether you’re making a short trip or a longer drive. All hybrid electric vehicles produce less CO2emissions than petrol or diesel powered cars, so whatever option you choose, you’re helping reduce carbon output and getting close to the net carbon zero goal of 2050.

Choosing a hybrid vehicle can be an easier step for people who are unsure about pure electric vehicles, as they still use the traditional combustion engine we’re all familiar with, but are leaning towards greener powered solutions. Both types of vehicle are better for the environment thanks to lower CO2 though, so either way, you’ll be doing your bit to fight climate change.

Parallel or Full Hybrid Electric Cars

These are the most common types of hybrid vehicle available, and uses a combination of both the typical fuel engine and the battery pack to produce the power to the vehicle’s wheels. Popular examples of parallel or full hybrid vehicles include:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota RAV-4
  • Honda CR-V Hybrid
  • Lexus ES

These cars can operate on battery power alone at low speeds, are great for town driving or stop-start traffic, but have the option to switch to petrol or diesel for longer distance drives. The braking regenerative system also means that you’ll be charging your electric motor as you drive, avoiding the need for plugging in. Parallel hybrids are ideal for drivers who clock up plenty of miles and don’t want to worry about range.

Plug in Hybrid

As the name suggests, plug in hybrids are cars that you, well, plug in! You can opt for charging at home or using the electric charging points that are becoming more commonplace in car parks and town centres.

Plug in hybrids rely more on the electric side of things to power the vehicle, and only switch to petrol or diesel power when the batteries run out of charge. Ideal for people who mostly make short trips with the occasional long excursion, plug in hybrids can be run efficiently on electricity  and rarely use their traditional fuel methods. 

Some popular plug in hybrids include:

  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • BMW 330e
  • Ford Kuga
  • Audi Q5 TFSI e

Why choose hybrid electric vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream  and technology has improved leaps and bounds in recent years. They are now as reliable as any petrol or diesel car in terms of performance, and with the added bonus of producing less emissions, costing less in fuel and lower road tax, and are often quieter and easier to drive thanks to automatic gearboxes. Some grants are also available to reduce the cost of buying hybrid vehicles, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for a new motor but want to avoid high price tags.

As hybrid electric cars and vehicles have become more popular, so has the infrastructure around them. Merityre are proud to have leading experts in servicing, repairing and maintaining all kinds of hybrid electric vehicles at our branches. Whether you own a plug in hybrid, parallel hybrid or even a full electric car, our highly trained staff know their way around a battery powertrain as much as they do a petrol engine. We’re here to make sure you’re getting the most from your vehicle and we do it all with safety, quality and expertise.

Contact your local Merityre team using our location finder. We’ll be glad to help get you and your hybrid electric vehicle in top working order, ready to enjoy the open road in 2021.