A hybrid car has two power sources - a conventional petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor. Both power the car either independently or at the same time, increasing the car's efficiency. Combining the two also allows for the same speed and performance you get from a regular petrol or diesel car, but with much lower CO2 emissions and running costs.
Hybrids produce lower carbon emissions than other cars. This is good for the environment but using less fuel also saves you money, and not just at the pumps. Since hybrids emit less CO2 than conventional cars, company car drivers pay less tax too.
Since hybrids have electric motors they are smooth and silent in traffic, but if you like the sound of a roaring engine some of the popular hybrids like the Lexus have built in speakers which mimic the sound of a conventional engine. They are also automatic so ideal for gliding effortlessly and quietly in our congested streets.
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.
Are you concerned about finding somewhere to recharge the battery? Don't worry. Self-charging hybrids such as the Toyota Corolla use their petrol engine to re-charge the battery as you're driving so you don't need to. To help demonstrate how efficient driving a hybrid can be, Toyota recently carried out a challenge. They invited people to see how far they could travel in electric mode on a test drive, the results we're very impressive, based on a total of 54,943 test drives carried out nationally between 1st April 2017 and 28th February 2019 in a variety of weather and driving conditions totalling over 700,000 miles found that on average at least 50% of the test drive journeys we're completed in electric mode meaning no fuel was being used; And, you never needed to plug the car in to re-charge because it re-charges itself! Have a look at the results here.
Leasing is a great way to drive a new hybrid with fixed monthly rental payments that suit your budget. For a little extra, you can add a maintenance plan that also conveniently spreads the cost of your servicing, maintenance and tyres too..
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 M Sport Saloon would be paying approx. £270 per month in Benefit in Kind at 2019/20 rates. 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.