What is a hybrid car?
Hybrid vehicles use more than one power source. A hybrid petrol car runs on an electric motor and a petrol engine, while a hybrid diesel car is powered by an electric motor and a diesel engine. There are two different types of hybrids on the road – conventional hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs):
- Conventional hybrids run electrically, providing the car is travelling at a low speed. When the driver accelerates further, the engine runs off both electricity and either petrol or diesel.
- Plug-in hybrids can be connected to an electricity outlet to recharge, but PHEVs can be charged on the move through an external power source. They have the same engine as conventional hybrids, although they can also travel longer distances solely powered by electricity.
In terms of key differences from fully-electric cars, hybrids are generally available at lower price points and don’t bring the same range anxiety issues. And as you’d expect, hybrid vehicles have lower C02 emissions than conventional cars, but still give off more than an all-electric vehicle.
That means for some people, EVs represent a chance to use a cleaner, greener method of transportation. But are they really that eco-friendly?