Explaining: Which Hybrid car is best for you?

What is a hybrid car?

Hybrids are becoming an increasingly more popular choice for many new car owners, with a range of brands adopting hybrid technology to bridge the gap between traditional petrol or diesel engines and fully electric vehicles. A hybrid car, in simple terms, is a vehicle that uses 2 different energy sources to maximise efficiency which usually means combining electrical energy stored in batteries, with the combustion energy of petrol or diesel.

What are the different types of hybrid vehicles?

There’s a variety of jargon which surrounds hybrid vehicles, sometimes making it confusing to determine which type is best suited for you.

Mild Hybrids

Mild hybrids are very similar to your typical petrol or diesel car. Most use a small battery which will collect energy that otherwise would have been lost as you slow down your car, helping to save fuel and increase efficiency. This energy is then fed into an electric motor to help the engine accelerate more efficiently. Most importantly, it’s crucial to remember that mild hybrids cannot travel exclusively using electric power – the motor is not capable of powering the entire car by itself. Mild hybrid technology can be found in cars in the Mazda range such as the CX-30 and the Mazda 3.

Full Hybrids - also known as "self-charging" Hybrid

Full hybrids use both the combustion engine and electric motors to drive the car, either simultaneously or independently. These cars typically hold a small amount electric charge which can then be used to provide extra power in conjunction with a combustion engine, therefore improving fuel economy. Full hybrids can also switch over and run on electric only, although usually this is best suited for low speeds when driving around town and for limited distances as the batteries are relatively small. However, even if the batteries are completely flat, you can always rely on the petrol or diesel – unlike in fully electric vehicles. Mazda have recently had their first self-charging hybrid join the lineup, the Mazda 2 Hybrid, which is based on the successful Toyota Yaris. To find out more, please watch our review of the new model.

Plug In Hybrids (PHEVs)

As the name suggests, PHEVs are plugged in, making it more similar to a fully electric vehicle, by adding bigger onboard batteries that can be charged from an external power source. Therefore, PHEVs can provide a much better electric only range than any other type of hybrid. Most PHEVs can be plugged into a dedicated home charger, a standard three-pin socket or public chargers – similar to how you would charge a fully electric vehicle. On electric power alone, many can travel 20 to 30 miles and some newer models may even be able to go further. This means that if you only cover short distances and can regularly charge, all your journeys may be able to be ran on electric power – meaning zero emissions driving. Once out of charge, PHEVs will revert to running on their petrol or diesel engines like a normal car, while still using that extra battery capacity to recycle energy like mild and full hybrids. Discover the Mazda brand's first PHEV, all-new CX-60, available to order now.

What are the benefits of owning a hybrid vehicle?

- Higher MPG due to utilising both electric energy and the traditional petrol and diesel engine
- No lifestyle changes – charging PHEVs is fast and self-charging hybrids require no alterations to your driving style.
- Tax benefits – most hybrid cars are cheaper to tax than conventional cars with petrol or diesel engines
- More environmentally friendly – lower fuel consumption means fewer CO2 emissions
- Cheaper to run
thanks to higher MPG. The annual Which? car survey also revealed that hybrid owners had fewer faults and breakdowns, and those faults were less severe than faults on petrol and diesel cars, so you’ll be spending less on fuel and less at the garage too hopefully.

Mazda have had 2 exciting new hybrid vehicles join their line up recently, the self-charging Mazda 2 Hybrid and the brand’s first Plug-In Hybrid, the CX-60 which is expected to revolutionise the Mazda brand when it arrives in our showrooms in early Autumn. To find out more about the brand’s range of hybrid vehicles, please feel free to get in contact with one of our dealerships and our knowledgeable sales team would be happy to provide you with more information.