A fully electric vehicle has no standard combustion engine and runs purely off an electric motor, therefor producing zero emissions. It is the most environmentally friendly modern vehicle type. This also means electric vehicles are incredibly cost-effective as they require no external fuel costs. Popular electric vehicles include the NISSAN Leaf, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S. Battery technology is a constantly improving thing with both power and range seeing the main benefits. As an example the Nissan Leaf has a maximum electric range of 240 miles on average before it requires a charge. Of course these figures can vary but for those concerned about their carbon footprint and who want to travel shorter distances without ever having to pay refuel costs the electric car makes perfect sense.
Hybrid vehicles offer incredibly low emissions and combine a standard engine with at least one electric motor. They generate their electricity whilst you drive using two main techniques - regenerative braking, and an electrical generator. Regenerative braking harvests heat and kinetic energy usually wasted during braking and converts it into electrical energy to be stored in the battery whereas an electrical generator runs directly off the combustion engine.
When cruising, particularly at low speeds, a hybrid will draw its power from the vehicle's fitted electric motor. When this speed starts to increase, the hybrid will seamlessly integrate the standard combustion engine in order to accommodate the greater demand. In particular testing conditions such as driving over rough terrain or up a hill the vehicle will use both systems alongside each other to gain extra power and torque. One of the biggest benefits of a hybrid vehicle is that while its main fuel source is still gasoline it requires a lot less of this than a standard combustion engine vehicle and therefore running costs are often minimal. See our Hybrid offers
There are a number of key differences between a standard hybrid vehicle and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). In the simplest of terms, a Plug-In Hybrid is a hybrid vehicle that needs to be plugged into a power outlet in order to charge its electric motor, as opposed to a regular (HEV) where the electricity is generated as you drive. Unlike a conventional hybrid, a PHEV is powered by electricity from the grid and will generally have a greater range on purely electric power.
Another notable difference is that instead of using the electric motor only at lower speeds, the plug-in hybrid will use the electric motor at most points until it reaches its limit or pre-determined battery state of charge (SOC). It is at this point that the vehicle's combustion engine is designed to kick-in and supply added power to the electric motor. See our Hybrid Offers.