With the Government recently confirming its intention to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, many people are now looking to buy their first hybrid vehicle.
Plug-in hybrid cars – which are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor – are becoming an increasingly popular option for consumers who are keen to make the switch but not yet ready to commit to a fully electric car.
Nathan Cresdee, from Snows Southampton on Second Avenue, said: “Investing in anything unfamiliar can be a daunting experience, especially something as integral and important to everyday life as a car. Contrary to popular belief, the fundamentals of hybrid vehicles have been around for more than a century – although there have obviously been some huge advances in technology during that time. There are a number of misconceptions flying around, so here are my top five myths about hybrid electric cars, debunked."
Myth 1: Hybrid electric vehicles are a new technology
“Although hybrid cars may seem a product of the 21st century, the technology behind them dates back to 1900, when Ferdinand Porsche produced the first known hybrid gas-electric prototype vehicle.
Five years later, the first patent for a gas-electric hybrid vehicle was filed by American engineer, H. Piper. Unlike today, little concern was given to the impact of petrol vehicles on the environment in the 20th century, so they became the dominating technology simply by default."
Myth 2: Driving a hybrid electric vehicle is different to driving a petrol or diesel car and requires you to change the way you drive
“A common misconception is that hybrid cars have to be driven differently to regular petrol or diesel cars, which is not true at all. Most of our customers don’t even notice they’re driving a plug-in hybrid.
Given that the technology in the car automatically identifies whether it is most efficient to use the electric motor, the petrol engine or both combined, there is no behavioural change required by the driver – they can enjoy their journey in the exact same way they always have done. Control remains firmly in the driver’s seat!"
Myth 3: Hybrid electric vehicles are more expensive than petrol cars
“Plug-in hybrid cars are highly efficient and are therefore a good choice when it comes to saving money long-term.
Depending on the model, Volvo plug-in hybrids have an all-electric range of up to 37 miles, which is more than the average UK daily commute. That means it’s possible not to spend a penny on petrol during the week, but still have the option to use petrol power for a longer drive on the weekend.
Simple and speedy charging means fewer trips to the petrol station, too, saving time as well as money. For most people, the electricity to charge the car costs significantly less than the fuel to drive the equivalent electric-only mileage."
Myth 4: Hybrid electric vehicles take too long to charge
“People often say that one of the biggest barriers to purchasing a hybrid car is that they’ve heard it takes days to charge – which really isn’t the case.
To completely recharge the hybrid system’s battery takes as little as three hours using a fast charger, or from four hours via a domestic three-pin plug socket. Most users get into the habit of plugging in the car when they get home, so it’s fully recharged and ready to go in time for their next trip."
Myth 5: Hybrid electric vehicles won’t save you money
“With councils across the UK, including Southampton, looking for ways to reduce air pollution, charges for petrol or diesel vehicles entering city centres are becoming a staple of urban life.
Due to their low emissions, plug-in hybrid cars may avoid such charges. Owners also benefit from an exemption on their first 12 months of road tax, while further incentives may be available through employers and manufacturers – for example, Volvo offers a complimentary home charge point worth £899 with any new plug-in hybrid purchase*.”
To find out if a hybrid car would save you money based on your existing vehicle, try the Plug-in Hybrid Calculator. For more information on hybrid electric vehicles in Southampton, call 02380 788788 or email email@example.com.