Hybrid Car Leasing
Drivers looking for some of the benefits of an AFV without any of the perceived complication and expense may be tempted by a mild hybrid. Offered by manufacturers as diverse as Suzuki and Mercedes, a mild hybrid comprises a beefed-up starter motor, known as a belt alternator starter (BAS). The BAS recoups energy that would otherwise be lost during braking, feeding it into the battery. This, in turn, helps power the wheels in conjunction with the engine –although the battery rarely drives the wheels on its own.
Pros: Improved economy, emissions and performance
Cons: Modest efficiency and performance gains
The best-established class of AFV, full hybrids comprise an electric motor, a battery pack and (typically) a petrol engine. On hybrids like these, the wheels can be powered by the engine and motor working together, or solely by the engine, or solely by the motor.Electric range is usually only one or two miles, and ensuring the car stays in EV mode can require a deft right foot. The motor’s batteries are charged up by a combination of the petrol engine and regenerative braking.
Pros: Decent economy and emissions
Cons: Increased purchase price; emissions are not low enough to escape some charging zones
A plug-in hybrid has the same philosophy as a full hybrid, but adds a much bigger battery that can be charged via a plug. As with conventional hybrids, the batteries and engine can drive the wheels together or independently, but a PHEV’s electric-only range is typically 30 miles or so.
As a result, many commuters can get to and from work without using any petrol, while emissions are far lower than a conventional hybrid’s. Fail to charge a PHEV regularly, however, and you get nowhere near its on-paper efficiency.
Pros: Rock-bottom emissions; excellent economy possible
Cons: Price; ideally requires home or work charging point