This guide is designed to look at the benefits of the different types of hybrids to help you decide whether a hybrid is the right choice for the next addition to your fleet and if it is, which kind of hybrid will be best. If you want to help your drivers see the benefits of driving a hybrid then get them to take a look here.
Types of Hybrid
There are currently three types of hybrids, and these are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), full hybrids (HEVs) which are sometimes known as self-charging hybrids, and mild hybrids (MHEVs).
PHEVs are, as the name suggests, hybrids that need to be plugged in to recharge the battery that powers their electric motor. HEVs don’t require charging instead they capture energy through regenerative braking as well as being charged by the combustion engine.
PHEVs and HEVs offer drivers a fully electric range, though the mileage they offer varies between models. Some HEVs also only use the electric motor up to a certain speed and then switch to the combustion engine to try an optimise the electric range and maintain the vehicle’s power.
MHEVs do not have a fully electric range. Instead, they use hybrid technology to support the combustion engine through features like providing additional power when accelerating, managing the stop-start function and regenerative braking to recapture energy.
For more information on the types of hybrid vehicles and the differences between these take a look at our guide to hybrids.
As there are three different types of hybrids they each offer different benefits, which is why this guide has been broken down into four sections; the general benefits of hybrids, the benefits of PHEVs, the benefits of HEVs, and the benefits of MHEVs.
Benefits of Hybrid Vehicles
There are some general benefits that hybrids offer no matter the type you opt for, so instead of repeating these we’ve collected them below.
Hybrids use less fuel than a petrol or diesel engine so the cost of filling up is lower. If you offer your drivers a fuel card then this can be a benefit for you as well as them.
They emit fewer emissions than a traditional vehicle, helping to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce air and noise pollution in your local area.
They also do not have the same need to be charged and so you don’t have as many charging concerns, even with a PHEV, as you would with an EV. This can help reduce the financial burden on the business of installing, running and maintaining electric charging points. It also increases the likelihood of drivers opting for them, as there is no range concern as there would be with an EV.
Lower emissions mean lower road tax. If the business is leasing the vehicle then this is not as big of a concern as the road tax is covered by the funder (at the initial taxation price), however if it is a purchased vehicle then this is a good financial benefit.
Depending on the type of hybrid you opt for and that particular vehicle’s specifications then hybrids can offer much lower BIK rates for you and the driver. This is determined by how far the vehicle can drive on just electric power as well as the emissions it produces.
Benefits of PHEVs
There are a number of reasons that a PHEV might be the best type of hybrid for your business and drivers.
As PHEVs have a rechargeable battery the battery capacity is larger, which means they have the longest electric range of hybrids available. Most offer between 20 and 30 miles before they need to switch over to the combustion engine.
A longer electric range means not only are they better for the environment, but they will have lower BIK rates than other types of hybrids.
It also means that depending on the daily mileage needed from the vehicle and how often it’s able to be charged then you might be able to do the majority of the miles as electric ones, so the fuel bill will be much lower.
Benefits of HEVs
The main difference between HEVs and PHEVs is that you do not need to plug in a HEV to charge the battery. This means your employees don’t need to worry about charging the vehicle at all, which is one of the biggest adjustments that drivers make when switching from a traditional combustion engine to an electric one.
This does mean that they have a smaller battery and so smaller fully electric range, or just an electric boost when the combustion engine needs support, so though it will be less of an adjustment for your drivers it will be a bigger jump when they do move to an EV.
The majority of HEVs have a fully electric range so still qualify for reduced BIK rates and reduced road tax.
Benefits of MHEVs
Vehicles with mild hybrid technology are the most similar to those with traditional combustion engines and so are far less of an adjustment for your drivers.
The technology for MHEVs is cheaper and easy to install to traditional vehicle chassis designs which means that the price difference between these and the equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle is much less than with other hybrids.
Benefits of Hybrids for Business Fleets
We’ve mentioned some of the benefits for businesses as well as the drivers but wanted to highlight a few of the benefits specifically for businesses.
BIK rates can be lower for hybrid vehicles which not only reduces the amount of company car tax your employee pays but also your 1A National Insurance contribution.
Hybrid vehicles have lower emissions so will help reduce your business’ carbon footprint and improve the quality of air around your business premises.
Hybrid Business FAQs
Disadvantages of Hybrid Cars and Vans
As well as all these benefits we've explored it's important that you consider the drawbacks that could have an impact on your fleet. These include:
Less Power: If a hybrid has a purely electric mode then it might be less powerful during this time. However, there are some models that will use the electric motor for a boost at times when the vehicle needs more power. such as during acceleration.
Higher Maintenance Costs: As hybrids have both a combustion engine and electric battery and motor they have more parts than either a petrol / diesel or a pure EV and so the maintenance, servicing and repairs costs can be higher.
Pricey Battery Replacement: If the battery needs replacing in a hybrid this will be more expensive than the battery in a diesel or petrol vehicle as it is a more high-tech and rechargeable battery.
For more information on hybrid and electric vehicles head back to our electric guide homepage or if you'd like to learn more about the benefits of pure EVs click here.
If you’d like to speak to someone about your fleet’s needs then give us a call on 01722 322 888 or you can request a call back at a convenient time via the button below.