What is a Hybrid Vehicle?
A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that still has a traditional internal combustion engine but uses this alongside electric motors to power the vehicle.
Some hybrids have a fully electric range where they only use the electric motor and then switch to the petrol or diesel engine once the battery is depleted while others use hybrid technology to reduce the dependency on the combustion engine.
The government have put in place a ban on the new sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles from 2030. With this in mind, we are currently seeing a number of businesses opting for hybrid vehicles as they are often seen as a step towards a fully electric model as they offer some of the benefits without the same range concerns. This can be a major benefit for businesses as it means you don’t need to worry about how your drivers will charge the vehicles or being stranded because they’ve not been able to charge.
The Types of Hybrid Vehicles
PHEVs are hybrid vehicles that you need to plug in to charge the electric motor.
These are the hybrids that offer your drivers the longest fully electric range as the rechargeable battery has a larger capacity than others.
Most PHEVs have a fully electric mode and then switch to the combustion engine once they reach the end of the mileage range, which is usually between 20 and 30 miles.
In order to get the most from your PHEV and the electric range it offers we recommend making sure it is regularly charged.
Charging a PHEV
As a PHEV needs to be plugged in to charge it you will need to consider how you will fit charging the vehicle into your life, or your drivers’, when deciding if a PHEV is the right choice.
There are a number of different connectors and chargers available on the market and when you are looking at PHEV models you should also know what type of charger it uses.
The majority of vehicles will be supplied with a Type 1 or Type 2 connector for slow and fast charging and either a CHAdeMO or CCS for DC rapid charging if they are compatible with rapid charging.
The time it takes for a vehicle to be fully charged will depend on the speed of the charger, the receiving speed capacity the vehicle has and the size of the battery.
Some drivers choose to have a home charging unit installed, as charging at home is a very convenient way to charge the vehicle. We are an official partner of Ohme and can help any of your drivers with arranging a home charging unit. For more information just give us a call on 01722 322 888.
The battery in a HEV is charged whilst the vehicle is used, taking power from the combustion engine and through clever systems like regenerative braking to recapture energy that is usually lost.
The benefit of a HEV over a PHEV is that it does not require plugging in to recharge the electric motor, so will not need to factor in charger location or charging time for your drivers.
Not all HEVs offer a fully electric range and if they do it will be a lot lower than a similar PHEV. Some models simply keep the fully electric range to lower speeds and once you hit a certain speed will switch over to the combustion engine.
A MHEV is another type of hybrid that does not require charging.
Unlike either a PHEV or HEV, MHEVs do not have a fully electric mode, instead they use mild hybrid technology to give the combustion engine a boost when accelerating heavily or starting from a standing start.
The technology used in a MHEV is much easier and cheaper to integrate into a conventional vehicle’s chassis design and so is an option many manufacturers are opting for. The cheaper cost is usually reflected in the cheaper purchase or lease price for your company as well.
A downside to MHEVs is that because they do not have a fully electric mode they don’t qualify for a lot of incentives that have been put in place for hybrid vehicles, like lower BIK rates or NI contributions for the business.
Why Pick a Hybrid?
There are a number of reasons that you might decide a hybrid is the right choice for your business fleet, and these include:
- They’re a greener alternative to a traditional vehicle without the big lifestyle and driving commitment for your employees.
- Some of the greener benefits include reduced air pollution, lower emissions and when in electric mode reduced noise pollution.
- If you opt for a HEV or MHEV you don’t need to worry about arranging for the vehicles to be charged.
- There is no range anxiety as the combustion engine kicks in once the electric range is depleted, and there will be no need to break up business journeys with longer charging stops.
- There are some tax incentives due to their lower CO2 emissions that the business can benefit from, including the lower NI contributions for the use of the asset.
For a full breakdown of the benefits of hybrid vehicles take a look at this guide.
Hybrids for Your Business
If you are looking at electrifying your fleet then it will depend on a number of factors as to whether you want to include hybrid options as part of this process and if you do what type of hybrid.
As part of our fleet management, we can help you put in place a plan for making the switch from combustion engines to fully electric options so that it does not feel like a sudden jump to your drivers when traditional options are no longer available.
To discuss fleet management and putting in place a strategy for electric vehicles then please give us a call on 01722 322 888.
If you are looking at PHEVs or EVs for your company vehicles then you might want to consider putting charging points into business car parks. As we are an official partner of Pod Point we can also help with this. Please give us a call on the number above or request a call back via the button at the bottom of the page.
For more information on electric or hybrid vehicles click here to see a helpful selection of guides or give us a call on 01722 322 888 with any questions you have.