Hybrid cars rely on two different power sources to make their engine work - a diesel or petrol engine, and an electric motor. Combining the two allows for the same speed performance you get from a regular car, but with much lower CO2 emissions and running costs.
There are three possible ways the power sources interact with each other: Full Hybrid systems are the most common and popular, and can use the combustion and electric engines either in combination or they can each power the car alone. Parallel Hybrid systems have primary power coming from the combustion engine with the electric motor offering assistance and Series Hybrid systems have the vehicle powered by the electric motor alone, with the combustion engine only present to generate power to the electric motor.
The original Hybrid was the Toyota Prius, which dominated the Japanese market in the late 90s, and held the number one selling car spot for 18 months. Since then, the industry has evolved and forced manufacturers to introduce a healthier range of styles ranging from small city cars, such as the Toyota Yaris, through to more lavish executive vehicles, such as the Lexus LS.
First off, because there'll more money left in your pocket: Hybrid cars have outstanding fuel economy, using up to 30% less fuel per mile than a regular car. Most hybrids emit less than 100g/km of CO2, meaning they pay no road tax at all. Furthermore - if the car produces less than 75g/km of CO2, it's exempt from the £11.50-a-day London Congestion Charge (which means if you already travel to/in London every day and switch to leasing a hybrid, you're basically getting a free car!).
More than 75% of the total environmental impact of your car comes from driving it. In choosing a fuel-efficient hybrid, you'll be making your daily commute greener. Manufacturers are working on the 25% left over too, looking into how they can make the building process as green as possible.
Leading the way, Toyota have sold 7 million hybrids and counting. They calculate this has saved 34 million tonnes of CO2 and 12 billion litres of fuel compared to petrol cars of a similar size.
Our hybrid car lease deals are perfect for a business car driver looking to cut expenditure and save money. For example, an executive in the 40% tax bracket driving a BMW 5 Series 530e SE Saloon would be paying approx. £150 per month in Benefit in Kind. For a more in-depth look at Benefit In Kind, including how to work it out, please head over to our Guide to Company Car Tax.