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A Guide to Hybrid Cars

Environmental concerns, increasing fuel costs and growing low emission zones, have seen hybrids quickly become  a norm in today's car market, but where do you start? 

In this guide to hybrid car types, we explore what’s available to help you  understand if a hybrid is right for you. 

What is a hybrid car? 

A hybrid car is a vehicle that combines two forms of propulsion. In a hybrid, this involves an electric motor energised by batteries working alongside an internal combustion engine (ICE) to power the car. This combination helps negate some of the weaknesses of the two propulsion systems while effectively utilising their strengths.

The different types of hybrid cars 

The hybrid electric vehicle (HEV)

What is a HEV? 

Also known as a range extender hybrid, a standard hybrid electric vehicle or HEV, is a car composed of an electric motor, a combustion engine and a battery. The battery of a HEV is only charged while driving where energy is supplied by the engine and regenerative braking.

These work together to increase the efficiency of the hybrid vehicle and can make journeys much more affordable and environmentally friendly. 

Where is it best suited? 

To make the most of the efficiency savings of a HEV, it is best used in an urban setting where you are likely to be stopping and starting regularly. This will bring to action the regenerative braking and electric motor when accelerating from a standstill. By only functioning on electric power at lower speeds and while idling, it can lower carbon emissions being distributed from the vehicle.


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).

The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

What is a PHEV? 

PHEV stands for "plug-in hybrid electric vehicle" and it functions how its name suggests. Like a HEV, a plug-in hybrid is built with an electric motor and a combustion engine. However, it carries a larger capacity battery which can be charged at home or at a roadside charging point.

The rechargeable battery of a plug-in hybrid makes it much more versatile. For starters, a PHEV has a much greater electric driving range than a HEV and can cover most daily journeys. The combination of this with the internal combustion engine enables driving for much longer journeys.

Where is it best suited? 

A plug-in hybrid is an ideal car for many uses. It's dual electric motor and ICE engine allow efficient travel around urban areas and for longer journeys. 

What are the benefits of switching to a hybrid car?

A hybrid vehicle is a smart choice for those wanting to cut down on using petrol or diesel but have concerns about the battery longevity of an electric car. With a hybrid you will not have to worry about battery range, as the combustion engine is always ready to take over when needed. 

While there are not as many tax benefits for owning a hybrid as there used to be, if you purchase a hybrid that emits less than 75g/km then it may be exempt from clean air zone and low emission charges.

A hybrid car will suit you best if you do most of your mileage in urban areas but occasionally make longer journeys. In these situations, a hybrid can provide better fuel economy and range reassurance on high-mileage drives.

Helping you find your dream hybrid car

The Stellantis brands boast a range of affordable HEV and PHEV vehicles. If you're thinking about saving money and lowering your carbon footprint, see what electric and hybrid cars on finance we offer today and upgrade your car with Stellantis Financial Services. Visit our brands to view their available electric options.