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Why you should avoid plug-in hybrid cars

With sales of new petrol and diesel cars set to be banned in 2030, there is no doubt that the government intends the future of motoring to be electric.

But the internal combustion engine will not be completely outlawed for passenger cars by the end of the decade; Some hybrid models will remain on sale until 2035 as part of Boris Johnson’s proposed green revolution.

Should you consider buying one instead of a 100 percent electric model?

Electric car expert Fiona Howarth says hybrids are already obsolete and drivers should avoid them for the sake of themselves and the environment…

Only hybrid vehicles that “can travel a significant distance without emitting carbon” will remain on showrooms until the middle of the next decade, the government said.

However, since the declaration was made in 2020 as part of their ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, ministers have yet to outline the exact parameters by which hybrid models will qualify to remain in sale.

It’s widely expected that only plug-in hybrid models will be allowed, though subject to how far they can go in pure electric mode before the petrol engine has to kick in.

This means that some hybrids will remain relevant for at least 13 years. Although there has been some debate as to whether motorists should buy one, studies have questioned the economic benefits and lower running costs claimed by their manufacturers.

Fiona – Chief Executive at Octopus Electric Vehicles – has given her verdict on whether a hybrid car is the right choice for drivers in 2022 and beyond…

Fiona Howarth is an electric car expert and CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles - the EV leasing division of the green energy provider

Fiona Howarth is an electric car expert and CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles – the EV leasing division of the green energy provider

It’s now been a quarter of a century since Toyota put the green car movement on the road by launching the world’s first mass-produced hybrid.

The Toyota Prius quickly became known as the car of choice for the environmentally conscious.

Celebrities like Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Leo DiCaprio have polished their green credentials by zipping around in their compact hybrids.

Traditional hybrids like the early Prius were soon joined by other variants, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). These have become increasingly popular in recent years and are touted by manufacturers as the more sustainable hybrid option.

But these vehicles – which typically combine electric motors with traditional diesel or petrol engines – are no longer the poster child of the green auto revolution.

With over 65 fully electric vehicles from over 25 different brands, drivers now have a huge and fast-growing range of affordable electric vehicles to choose from and an infrastructure that makes them even more convenient for everyday use.

It’s time for hybrids to stop. Until they do, they can actually make things worse.

Plug-in hybrids have become the most popular type of hybrid car - although studies suggest they're not very green

Plug-in hybrids have become the most popular type of hybrid car – although studies suggest they’re not very green

A stepping stone to pure electric vehicles or time to phase out?

Hybrids have long been a stepping stone for motorists on their journey to using all-electric vehicles, and with good reason.

They’ve been around long enough for people to feel familiar with them, and their resemblance to traditional vehicle technology helps make it feel like a small step rather than a leap into the unknown.

But a rock isn’t a stepping stone until you get off it — which many drivers are doing now, as EVs and their charging network mature and drivers fully embrace everything EVs have to offer.

Hybrids represent, in large part, the worst of both worlds, hampered by many of the disadvantages of old-school cars and offering few of the advantages of electric vehicles.

No wonder Greenpeace called them “the wolf in sheep’s clothing of the auto industry‘.

More obstacle than help

While many drivers have switched to hybrids for environmental reasons, the case for them as a green choice is a bit flimsy.

Research shows, for example, that their actual environmental impact is up to four times greater than their test results suggest.

Another study found they can produce up to 70 percent of the emissions of a regular diesel or gasoline car, and emit 15 percent more emissions during manufacture than battery electric vehicles.

By acting as a stepping stone, they’re also slowing the transition to greater EV use by soaking up research and development spending from manufacturers that could have been focused on the cleaner option instead.

Fortunately, the rapid growth and development of pure electric vehicles not only means that hybrids are no longer needed, but slowing demand means that hybrid technology development has effectively stalled.

Manufacturers act accordingly. Mercedes Benz, for example, announced last June that “investments in internal combustion engines and plug-in hybrid technologies will fall by 80 percent between 2019 and 2026”.

And with the government intending to ban the sale of hybrid vehicles entirely by 2035, five years after doing the same for new petrol and diesel vehicles, we will soon be going all-electric.

Mercedes has confirmed that it will cut investment in internal combustion engines and plug-in hybrid technologies by 80% between 2019 and 2026

Mercedes has confirmed that it will cut investment in internal combustion engines and plug-in hybrid technologies by 80% between 2019 and 2026

Rapid acceleration

Electric vehicles accounted for more vehicle registrations in the UK in 2021 than in the previous five years combined.

There are currently around 400,000 electric vehicles on UK roads, almost half of which were purchased in 2021.

The trend will continue to accelerate in 2022, with more electric vehicle purchases in March alone than all of 2019.

There are good reasons for it.

The barriers to more people swapping their gas guzzlers for electric vehicles are gradually being broken down. Ongoing improvements in technology and infrastructure mean it’s getting easier and easier to keep your electric vehicle charged.

Drivers can now choose from a huge selection of EVs that can travel an average of 215 miles on a single charge, much more than the 20 miles a day the average motorist undertakes.

While there is still work to be done, charging infrastructure is growing rapidly, with the number of public charging points in the UK doubling in the last two years.

From high-speed chargers on highways for convenience on longer journeys, to free charging at your local supermarket, it’s becoming easier and easier to charge on the go – fueling the fear of “range anxiety”.

As fuel prices continue to reach new highs, the low cost of charging an electric vehicle at home is becoming more attractive.

Special EV tariffs also allow customers to benefit from particularly cheap overnight charging when the electricity grid is less loaded.

Because most EV drivers charge their car the same way they charge their phone — just plug it in when they’re not using it — smart tariffs can save drivers up to 90% compared to their old gasoline or diesel fuel bill.

The best EV tariffs and how much they can save you

Rightcharge estimates that the average household could save around £500 a year in energy and fuel costs by switching to an EV-specific tariff

Rightcharge estimates that the average household could save around £500 a year in energy and fuel costs by switching to an EV-specific tariff

The cheapest way to run an electric car is to find the best EV tariff for your home and take advantage of improved electricity tariffs for charging.

It’s a factor that has become even more important as energy prices have risen and after it was revealed that another leg has been removed for electric car buyers as the £1,500 plug-in car subsidy has been scrapped immediately.

We take a look at what electric car owners and those considering switching to an electric vehicle need to know.

> Read the guide here

turning point?

Of course, some issues still need to be addressed. While reduced fuel and maintenance costs mean the lifetime cost of owning an electric vehicle is much lower than other vehicles, the initial cost remains a significant barrier for some drivers.

However, they are getting cheaper and cheaper BloombergNEF estimates that price parity will be reached in Europe in 2027.

Low leasing costs, little maintenance and cheap fuel make it cheaper throughout the life of the car.

But a big draw comes from job-related incentives such as very low company car tax rates for electric vehicles and the opportunity to receive a benefit via a pay waiver program – like Cycle-to-Work but for clean cars that can save you up to 40 percent on your car costs .

Sales figures show how fast the demand for electric vehicles is increasing and many more people are considering switching, with rising fuel prices and increased environmental awareness having a major impact.

In the past, they may have viewed hybrids as a stepping stone to electric vehicles. But why settle for less?

If 2021 is finally showing electric vehicles on Britain’s roads, 2022 could well be the year they hit top gear, as more Britons decide it’s time to ditch hybrids and traditional cars for good.

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Why you should avoid plug-in hybrid cars

Source link Why you should avoid plug-in hybrid cars

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