SUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT BUILDING
to them can open ZapMap, a map of charging points in the UK, to see.
Pros and cons of hybrid cars After hearing just how easy it is to charge plug-in hybrids, are you ready to make the switch to a hybrid vehicle? Here are some of the other pros and cons associated with hybrid vehicles.
Green credentials. If the majority of the nation drove hybrid vehicles, it would significantly reduce CO2 emissions. In general, hybrid cars produce 25 to 35% less in CO2 emissions than regular cars, meaning they are much more energy efficient. Whilst they still use some fuel, it is far less than a normal vehicle. Energy efficiency. Hybrids utilise the battery powered engine when driving at lower speeds meaning that very little or no fuel is needed in these scenarios. Hybrids are therefore a popular choice for city drivers. Financial benefits. The government is keen to increase the uptake of plug-in vehicle therefore there are grants available to reduce the price
paid for some brand-new hybrid vehicles. Hybrid drivers will also be exempt from congestion and low-emission zone charges and will save money in the amount of money spent on fuel. Quiet. When drivers first start the engine, they might not even realise it. Even when the car is in motion, the unique power supply causes it to fall silent.
Initial expense. Although drivers save money on the upkeep of the vehicle, the initial expense is generally larger than that of a normal car. If drivers plan to use the vehicle for the short distances invariably, they probably won’t see as good a return on investment than someone that uses it more regularly. Different driving experience. It’s something that drivers will get used to, but on the first few uses, drivers will notice a difference. Hybrids are made with light materials to make them as fuel efficient as possible but this can make handling something to get used to. Less power. The combined
power of the electric and petrol engines is often less than most petrol-powered engines. Maintenance. When something goes wrong with a hybrid, they can be costly to repair. Because of the continuous technology improvements, mechanics can find it difficult to diagnose and repair hybrids. As uptake increases though, it will be easier to find mechanics with expertise in more areas.
Testing a plug-in vehicle For those yet to drive a hybrid or for people who are unsure whether it would fit with their lifestyle, it can be beneficial to have a practice run and test the vehicle in everyday life before committing to a purchase.
About the author Will Wynter works with the franchise owners of each branch of Green Motion, to help spread the word about how valuable and popular green travel is. Green Motion is a low-emission car and van hire company. The company offers the industry’s widest range of low emission vehicles, both electric and hybrid, alongside traditional petrol and diesel vehicles from their 17 branches in the UK. www.greenmotion.co.uk
PSS MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017