Everything To Know About Hybrid Cars

Added: 14 December 2017

Hybrid cars, or hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) are designed to utilise multiple means of power – currently the main hybrid cars you see on the market have combinations of petrol or diesel engines with an electric motor.

The main advantages towards owning a hybrid vehicle are that they don’t use as much fuel and they emit less CO2 than most conventional non-hybrid vehicles.

As of a result of this, hybrid vehicle owners get rewarded in the form of lower tax rates and free congestion charge passes.

How do they work then?

Plug-in hybrids, as you’d expect, need to be plugged in to an electric charge point to recharge their batteries but are also able to charge on the move. Essentially they are the middle ground between conventional hybrids and full electric vehicles. Despite having a conventional hybrid engine, they have larger batteries than normal which means they can go for longer distances on just electric power.

With conventional hybrid engines then, both power sources can propel the car individually or they can work in conjunction with one another. When the car’s travelling at lower speeds the engine only uses the electric motor but when more acceleration is required both will work together. In the middle of these stages the excess power produced by the engine is sent directly to the batteries in the electric motor for recharging.

Conventional hybrids have proven to be the most popular out of the hybrid engines due to the fact you don’t have to find a charge point or have one installed at your home or office.

Due to the success of hybrid technology more and more manufacturers are rolling out hybrid vehicles. Kia are one of the top providers of hybrid vehicles with cars such as the Optima PHEV and also their conventional HEV, the Kia Niro hybrid SUV. The Niro hybrid has proven to be a very successful car in the UK due it’s crossover build and efficient hybrid vehicle advantages.

The Kia Niro hybrid SUV

Introduced as a direct challenger to industry established hybrids, the Kia Niro SUV has had success due to its more traditional looks over its alien-looking competitors. Sizing up to be slightly bigger than the Kia Cee’d but smaller than the Kia Sportage it falls in to the popular ‘crossover’ category.

Kia have marketed the Niro at families interested in having a low carbon foot-print so it comes as no surprise that it has heavy-duty black plastic cladding and roof rails. Other notable design features include a familiar front end and headlights similar to those found on its big brother, the Kia Sportage.

Power comes from a 1.6 litre GDi petrol engine which is joined up to a 32kW electric motor - storing energy in a lithium-ion polymer battery along the way. As with all hybrids, the economy figures produced by the Niro impress as the 1.6 engine racks up around 75mpg and 88g/km CO2 emissions. While these aren’t industry topping figures the Kia Niro makes up for this in other departments such as looks and practicality, which ultimately, is why buyers are picking the Niro over well-established HEVs.

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If you’d like to find out more about the hybrid vehicles we have on offer at Dicksons then please click here.

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