If you care about the environment and also want to save money on fuel, then an electric or hybrid vehicle is a great option. The motor industry has put huge resource into electric vehicle technology in recent years and electric vehicles are now more affordable and offer greater flexibility than ever before.
Hybrid Cars simply combine a traditional petrol or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor powered by a battery, and the benefit is usually a reduction of CO2 emissions and an improvement in fuel economy and running costs.
How do Hybrid Cars Work?
There are confusingly a few different types of hybrid systems such as Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, referred to as PHEVs and also Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles. These are all collectively known as Hybrid Vehicles.
Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (BAHVs)
Mild hybrids, also known as Power-assist Hybrids or Battery-assisted Hybrid Vehicles (BAHVs) are where the ICE can be turned off whenever the vehicle is coasting, braking or stopped, then quickly re-started when power is required. Mild hybrids provide some level of power assist to the internal combustion engine to help reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy but do not have an electric-only mode.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles also have both an ICE and an electric motor powered by a battery and these alternative power sources can be used in-harness together or used separately. Once the battery power has been used the hybrid technology switches to the conventional ICE. The battery pack in a PHEV is often bigger than those in Mild Hybrids because the vehicle is designed to be used in electric only mode producing zero emissions. The battery pack on a PHEV can be charged directly from an electric power source at home or at a public charging point, while some can recharge themselves by employing a regenerative braking system. Furthermore, the electric only mode is great for urban driving and can often avoid inner city congestion charges!
Fully Electric Cars - 100% Electric (BEVs)
100% Fully Electric Cars are the purest form of eco-friendly cars as they produce zero C02 emissions and are often referred to as Electric Vehicles (EVs) or Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) - Fully Electric Cars take hybrid technology a step further by replacing the petrol or diesel engine altogether with an electric motor powered by a battery pack. Full electric cars are recharged (or re-fuelled!) by plugging in at home or at a dedicated charging station and you will find different power sources take different amounts of time to fully recharge the cars battery.
100% electric vehicles are smooth and virtually silent on the road, and as they deliver full power immediately they offer a great driving experience with instant acceleration. What’s more with advances in electric vehicle technology, fully electric cars now have a longer range than they used to and often cost only pennies per mile to drive.
A storage unit containing electric battery cells (usually Lithium Ion) where the electrical energy is converted into chemical energy during charging and then back into electrical energy during discharging (usage).
An electrochemical unit that contains the electrodes, separator and electrolyte. Several cells linked together are collectively known as a battery pack.
The time it takes to charge an electric car battery from fully discharged (empty) back to fully recharged. The logic is that the higher the battery capacity and the slower rate of the charging point, the longer it takes to charge from empty to full. However most electric car owners do tend to regularly top-up the charge rather than waiting to recharge from fully discharged.
Chemistry refers to the lithium compound of the cell’s electrodes. The chemistry of a Li-ion battery affects its performance. For example, the Li-ion battery of the sixth-generation Vauxhall Corsa-e and the Vauxhall Grandland X PHEV uses nickel-manganese-cobalt for optimum energy density, durability and safety.
Electric Car Driving Range
The maximum distance that an electric vehicle can cover on a single full charge of the battery in a speed cycle as per regulations defined by the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) or the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
The measurement of the power output of an internal combustion engine or electric motor. The output can also be given in kilowatts (kW).
A measurement of electrical power, roughly equivalent to 1.36 horsepower.
Kilowatt Hour or kWh
A kilowatt, also abbreviated kW, is the globally recognised standard for measuring electricity (One kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts). Your electricity provider charges by how much electricity you use per kilowatt hour (kWh). To put it simply, this means it measures the number of kilowatts you use over a given time. An EV’s battery capacity is expressed in terms of kWh, and typically the higher the cars battery capacity in kWh the more power it can produce over a period of time, which will determine the vehicles maximum potential driving Range.
A Lithium-ion Battery is basically a rechargeable battery - During discharge when providing power, the lithium ions carry the electrical current in the battery from the negative to the positive electrode through the electrolyte and separator. When recharging this process is reversed as the lithium ions migrate from the positive to the negative electrode, ready once again to provide power when required.
Internal Combustion Engine – Petrol or Diesel
Regenerative braking helps save fuel - When the electric vehicle slows down the regenerative braking system acts as a mini generator and converts kinetic energy from the vehicles deceleration into additional battery power. Regenerative braking can actually increase a vehicle’s potential range by 10 or more miles, or boost power when required - If this process sounds rather familiar, it’s probably because the technology was first developed in Formula One Motor Racing! The kinetic Energy Recovery System, known as KERS, captured energy when the F1 car was braking and stored it for the driver to harness later on during the lap to increase the car's acceleration or top speed!
Discover the Vauxhall Electric Car Range
The choice of Vauxhall electric and hybrid vehicles that are available to buy right now are:
100% electric – Zero CO2. Emissions - 100% fun! The new all-electric Corsa-e is today's perfect car for every journey. Reserve yours now and get a Free Home Wallbox Battery Charger.
- Up to 205 miles driving range (WLTP)
- Rapid charge to 80% in 30 mins
The new Grandland X Hybrid4 is Vauxhall’s first-ever plug-in hybrid and features state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid technology. The car’s powertrain comprises a 200hp, 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric drive system with two electric motors (combined output 109hp), all-wheel drive and a 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery. Together, the petrol engine and electric motors produce up to 300hp, and offer a combined fuel consumption (preliminary WLTP/NEDC) of 128 mpg, emitting just 49g/km CO2.
Take a Test Drive in an Electric Car
The New Vauxhall Corsa-e & the New Grandland X Hybrid4 electric cars are both available at Drive Vauxhall showrooms across England, contact your Nearest Drive Vauxhall Dealer and arrange a test drive today.