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How are hybrid cars designed to be more efficient?

Modern hybrid cars are the culmination of years of technological development, and are designed to be much more efficient than conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. These designs come together to create a vehicle that could save you money and help reduce carbon emissions.

What makes a hybrid vehicle different from a normal car? 

A hybrid vehicle differs from conventional vehicles by combining two forms of propulsion. In a hybrid, an electric motor powered by batteries will work alongside the ICE to provide greater flexibility and fuel efficiency, than a standard petrol engine.

How are hybrid cars improving fuel efficiency? 

Through numerous innovations and processes, hybrid vehicles have radically improved driving efficiency. 

Regenerative braking

Every time you put your foot on the brake the car generates kinetic energy. This energy is wasted in an ICE, where the kinetic energy is lost to its surrounding as heat energy. In a hybrid, some of this kinetic energy is harnessed and transferred back into the battery, helping you get more miles out of your trip.

Efficient engine

In most hybrids the two engines will work in tandem with one another to create maximum efficiency. For example, when the car is running slowly or accelerating from a standstill, the electric motor will propel the car, as ICEs are inefficient at low speeds. Once the car reaches a certain speed or the accelerator pedal reaches a certain angle, the vehicle will switch over to the ICE where it works much more efficiently. 

Low weight

Because the vehicle's propulsion is spread across the ICE and the electric motor, the ICE can be much smaller in size. The much lighter and smaller electric motor in a hybrid assists the ICE during less common acceleration events. In the case of a PHEV, the ICE can be much smaller in size because the battery and electric motor can do much more of the overall work. This comes together to help the car achieve a much lower overall weight, meaning less energy is needed to power it. 

Engine shut-off

When the vehicle isn't moving, the internal combustion engine is turned off instead of idling and wasting fuel. Instead, the vehicle switches to its electric motor to allow it to quickly accelerate away from standstill. This makes it much more efficient by reducing fuel consumption and reducing polluting emissions. This is called stop start and is not limited to hybrids, in fact many of Stellantis cars include this money saving feature.

Flex & Free now available

Flex & Free gives customers the flexibility to change their car more frequently. Based on a standard Contract Hire agreement but with the flexibility to change vehicle from the 6th month, without penalty (subject to condition and mileage).

How to drive a hybrid car efficiently

  • Be aware of your fuel economy - take note of how much fuel you are using. Some hybrids include a fuel economy display so pay close attention to this.
  • Put on the brakes - because of the regenerative braking power of hybrid cars, using your brakes correctly is a powerful tool in improving your car's efficiency. Remember, apply the brake gently with even pressure and not suddenly. 
  • Low speeds - fuel efficiency in a hybrid will start to drop when your speed reaches 55 miles per hour.

Should I lease a hybrid car? 

If you’re thinking about saving money and lowering your carbon footprint, see what electric and hybrid vehicles we offer and upgrade your car with the range of brands we offer. To discuss the right vehicle for you in more details, please visit one of our retailers