Hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) represent the most fuel-efficient cars on the market today, and it’s expected that their popularity will only continue to grow. As the impact of CO2 emissions becomes more apparent, and fuel prices continue to creep up, many motorists are making the switch to hybrid and EVs to receive the benefits.
In short, electric vehicles are powered solely by battery power, whereas hybrid vehicles combine multiple power sources including fuel, hydrogen, solar or electric. Plug-in hybrids utilise battery power as their main source, and therefore require a longer charge duration compared to other hybrids.
The primary advantage of choosing a hybrid or EV is the significantly reduced emissions. EVs are virtually emission free and are therefore the most environmentally-friendly option, although hybrids still signify vast improvements over traditional combustion engines. When you choose a vehicle that emits less than 100g/km of CO2, you’ll be exempt from paying road tax, and can enjoy significantly lower fuel costs as a result of fewer trips to the pumps.
Since their emergence, hybrid and EV technology has undergone continuous refinements to make vehicles more accessible and easier to run. Price tags for these models have come down to the level of those powered by traditional means, and electric engines now run longer and with better performance.
More of the biggest carmakers are recognising the need to produce efficient vehicles that utilise alternative power sources, with a wide variety now available. Toyota is regarded as a leader in the market, and they offer the broadest selection with five models to choose from. As a result of this shift in focus, local authorities and car parks are installing charging points and allocating dedicated electric vehicle spaces to satisfy demand. This helps alleviate ‘range anxiety’ - when a motorist fears they don’t have enough power to reach a charging point - and encourages others to make the change to green vehicles. There are currently 43 charging points across Northern Ireland, and this number is sure to increase. As a further incentive, the government is also offering grants to cover the cost of installing a charge point at a motorist’s property.
To explore the choice of hybrid and EVs available, or for more information on the technology, contact your local Charles Hurst dealership today.