Ugh. Where are the flying cars the 80s promised us?!
These days, car manufacturers are focused more on developing more efficient and larger electric car batteries than figuring out how to undertake futuristic voyages.
It seems the dream of passing your driving test and immediately flying through the air in a hovering Corsa straight to a McDonalds drive-thru will have to wait another century. Shame.
While not quite as exciting, electric cars do have some incredible features. With great fuel economy and a low environmental impact, they seem like the future of motoring.
It's still early days though, and a lot of us aren't prepared to go full electric...
Enter, the hybrid:
Hybrid technology is where a car uses a conventional combustion engine (usually a petrol) alongside an electric motor and electric range extender for maximum fuel economy. This is a great way to start benefiting from the efficiency of electric power using a hybrid powertrain, while still having your trusty old petrol engine.
Long gone are the days where the only hybrid vehicles on the road are boring cars used by taxi drivers and company cars for long-distance commuters. There have been some truly incredible hybrid cars released in 2019.
We'll first get you clued up on what kind of hybrid is right for you, before giving you the scoop on our top 12 hybrid models of 2019!
Why get a hybrid?
Here's just a few reasons you should consider a hybrid car:
- Amazing fuel economy: The price of petrol and diesel in the UK is depressing these days. Having an electric motor greatly reduces the amount of cash you'll have to spend on fueling your car. Hybrids are particularly good in urban settings.
- Better for the planet: Hybrids have significantly lower co2 emissions and have a far lower impact on the environment than petrols or diesels.
- Great performance: Throwing some electric power onto a traditional petrol engine car gives it much more power. This power surge is instant and thus you can accelerate super fast, as well as helping you with braking.
What kind of hybrids are there?
There’s two main categories of hybrids - Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) and Self-Charging Hybrids.
These use petrol/diesel engines in tandem with a battery pack and electric motor. To charge up, you plug it into mains electricity. This gives you a good range of electric only power when compared to a self-charging car.
This makes the PHEV great for commuting or regular short journeys, as when you stay in electric mode, you produce zero CO2 emissions!
Unfortunately, they’re more expensive up front than self-charging hybrids and the fuel economy isn't as good on motorways. Also, they are pretty complex to repair, so there's some longevity concerns about the battery pack life.
A self-charging hybrid also rocks a traditional combustion engine paired with an electric motor, but unlike with the PHEV, the self-charger can't be plugged into the mains.
Instead, the car uses a portion of the engine’s power to charge the battery pack, which helps the car move at low speeds or when accelerating, which all increase efficiency and fuel economy.
You can also have something called a mild hybrid, which is a self-charging hybrid that functions a little bit differently. These cars have a starter generator instead of a start motor, and enable the car to last longer in stop and start traffic.
While you have less fuel economy with a self-charging hybrid, you don't need to worry about charging the car, which can be a nice gateway into electric driving for us petrolheads!
Best Hybrid Cars
Even just a few years ago, you’d struggle to make a top 10 hybrid last due to a lack of options.
This thankfully isn’t the case anymore, with pretty much every car manufacturer offering a hybrid powertrain option, so the options can be confusing.
To help you decide, here’s our top 10 best hybrid cars.