Electric, PHEV and Hybrids

The advantage of an Electric or an Electric assisted car is low running costs:

  • Electric Cars

The cars ‘drive’ comes from an electric motor powered by Lithium-ion batteries that are stored under the car, the batteries are charged by plugging the car in to a power supply, super fast charging points can charge 80% of the battery in 30 minutes while home charging from an specially installed point can take as little as 6 hours. A fully charged car can have a claimed range of range of 124 – 155 miles but this starts to decrease in colder weather and when you turn on the lights, the radio, the heating etc. There is no gearbox, just a single speed as the full power is available straight away making Electric cars sprightly away from the lights. There are no electric Cars on the Scheme presently

  • Hybrid Cars

A hybrid car has a traditional engine and an electric motor working in tandem, the car will usually start off in electric power and then be joined by the fuelled engine, the batteries are charged by the running of the engine and when you brake or coast. Hybrid cars are always fitted with an automatic gearbox as its the only way to combine the two power sources, these are mostly CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) although the Hyundai IONIQ has a dual cutch 6 speed Gearbox. Hybrids are perfect as town cars and this is where the greatest savings over a tradition car are felt, the aforementioned IONIQ has a claimed economy for Urban driving of 83mpg, compared to 34 mpg for a petrol powered comparable car.

  • PHEV Cars

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) have larger batteries than a Hybrid that can be charged as in an electric car, ie plugged in to the mains. They can run on pure electric power for around 30 miles but you do not suffer the fear of the batteries running out as the traditional engine can keep you going. If the batteries are kept charged there are huge savings to be made and you really do have the best of both worlds.

  • Mild Hybrid

Suzuki have developed SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) for the Ignis and new Swift and Renault have fitted ‘Hybrid Assist’ to the Grand Scenic manual gearbox car. It’s a system that stores surplus energy in an extra battery and uses it to assist the engine during moderate acceleration. It’s a very simple system to produce, so it doesn’t bump up the price too much and only adds marginal weight gains, 6.8 kg in Suzuki’s case but the engine needs to run at all times and it doesn’t provide a significant power boost – in fact it is a very ‘mild’ hybrid system indeed.


Hybrid cars on the Scheme.

Renault Grand Scenic – Mild Hybrid, Manual Gearbox

Renault Grand Scenic (7 Seat)

The new Hybrid Assist Grand Scenic uses the same 108bhp diesel engine but is fitted with a 10kW electric motor and a 48v 150kWh battery to power it. That provides an extra 15Nm of torque at the most, and is charged up using the powertrain, so there’s no need to plug in. This is a mild Hybrid system where the battery power provides a little shove along from the power generated from the deceleration process, the fuel economy is increased to an excellent 80.7 miles per gallon but the extra weigh makes the car slower to reach 62mph (12.9 as apposed to 12.4 seconds for the non assisted car) As the hybrid system offer only assistance and not a separate powertrain Renault are able to make the Scenic a manual gearbox car.

 Winter Best Buy –Renault Grand Scenic ‘Hybrid Assist’ Dynamic S Nav Manual   –  £2995 Advance Payment (£1938 wpms)


Mondeo Hybrid. Better on paper than the road.

Ford Mondeo Hybrid

Combining a non turbo 2.0 litre petrol engine and two electric motors (one used for recharging the batteries)  The Mondeo has a power output of 184 bhp, which can see it reach 62 miles per hour in 9.2 seconds and return a claimed economy of 70.6 miles per gallon. The problem arises when you want to do anything other that accelerate slowly, the poor mid range torque paired to the CVT gearbox makes the Mondeo very noisy and thirsty reaching cruising speed.

 Winter Best Buy – Ford TiVCT Hybrid ‘Titanium’ Automatic   –  £2745 Advance Payment (£1688 wpms)



Toyoya Yaris Hybrid - from Nil Advance Payment

Toyoya Yaris Hybrid – from Nil Advance Payment

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

The 1.5 litre petrol engine is helped along by a small electric motor operating in tandem for normal driving but when traveling under 18 miles per hour the Yaris can run on battery power alone, using no petrol or producing any exhaust fumes. The Yaris offers a claimed 80.7 miles per gallon on a combined cycle but around town this car can reach over 90 miles per gallon.

 Winter Best Buy – Toyota Yaris Hybrid ‘Icon’ Automatic   –  Nil Advance Payment (£59.48 wpms)



Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid - from £999 Advance Payment

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid – from £199 Advance Payment

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid

Powered by a 1.6 litre 103bhp petrol engine in tandem with a 43bhp electric motor, paired to a dual clutch 6 speed Automatic Gearbox, the IONIQ can return a claimed 83.1 miles per gallon for Urban driving. The 5 door IONIQ offers a sizeable boot (443 litres) and comfort is excellent. The entry level ‘Active’ makes the best financial sense as it is equipped with 15-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control and a 5 inch touchscreen. autonomous braking, adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist are also standard.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Winter Best Buy – Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid ‘SE’ Automatic  –  £199 Advance Payment (£60.80 wpms)


Kia Niro – almost an SUV but £1700 more than an Ionic?

Kia Niro Hybrid

The Kia Niro is the sister car to the Hynudai Ioniq hybrid. As apposed to the saloon shape of the Ioniq, the Niro is a compact crossover, shorter and lower than the Kia Sportage but with a 30mm longer wheelbase to allow for more room in the rear. A large tailgate opening and low loading lip mean it’s easy to make the most of the Niro’s 427-litre boot space. The Niro hybrid comes with a 6-speed dual clutch transmission, a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine, and an electric motor capable of producing 43 hp. Combined, it makes 139 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.

Winter Best Buy – Kia Niro Hybrid ‘1’ Automatic  –   £1899  Advance Payment (£842 wpms)


The bold Toyota C-HR with a 1.8 petrol hybrid from £995 AP

Toyota C-HR 1.8 Hybrid

Toyota Coupe High Rider (C-HR) with its angular design and hidden rear door handles is causing quite a stir. Bigger than the Nissan Juke with a 370 litre boot moving it towards the Qashqai for size. Powered by a 1.8 petrol / electric motor taken from the platform sharing Prius offering 74.3 miles per gallon and a 0-62 sprint time of 11 seconds.

Winter Best Buy – Toyota C-HR ‘Icon’ 1.8 Hybrid Automatic   –  £995 Advance Payment (£64.80 + £193 wpms)




Toyota Auris Hybrid – From £395 Advance Payment

Toyota Auris Hybrid

The Auris Hybrid uses Toyota’s familiar Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) set-up featuring a 1.8-litre petrol engine, 650v electric motor with nickel metal-hydride batteries paired to a CVT Automatic gearbox. The Auris offers good value and driving credentials and room for a family with a practical 360 litre boot. The new Toyota Prius has a claimed Urban economy of 97.4 miles per gallon but with an Advance Payment starting at £1695 we would settle for the 83.1 mpg of the Auris.

Winter Best Buy – Toyota Auris Hybrid ‘icon’ Automatic  –  £445 Advance Payment (£62.43 wpms)



Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid £1995 AP

Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid

Sister firm Lexus donates the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, electric motor, continuously variable automatic transmission and a relatively old-fashioned nickel metal hydride battery pack. Don’t be fooled by a sprightly sounding 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds, it feels slower. The 2WD RAV4 Hybrid is available in Icon trim which offers 17 inch Alloy Wheels, reversing camera, 7 inch” touchscreen with DAB & Bluetooth, smart entry & push-button start, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, auto headlights & auto wipers and power tailgate with height memory setting, the Icon Tech adds Sat nav and £300 to the Advance Payment. Towing capacity is greatly reduced as the front-wheel drive car can only muster a 800kg braked capacity. Economy is a claimed 57.6 miles per gallon from the CVT automatic gearbox.

 Winter Best Buy – Toyota Rav4 2.5 petrol FWD Hybrid Automatic ‘Icon’  –   £1695  Advance Payment (£638 wpms)


PHEV cars on the Scheme.


Mini Countryman PHEV – £1749 Advance Payment

The Mini Countryman Plug in Hybrid has a 1.5 litre 3 cylinder petrol engine powering the front wheels and an 88hp electric motor powering the rear wheels, the total power avaialble combining the two engines is 224 brake horse power and a 0-62 miles per hour can be achieved in 6.8 seconds. More importantly you can drive up to 25 miles on electric power alone from a fully charged car. Charging can be as fast as two hours fifteen minutes and it is also possible to charge from a household 3 pin plug, though does take longer.

 Winter Best Buy – Mini Countryman PHEV Cooper S ‘E’  –   £1749  Advance Payment (£692 wpms)


Toyota Prius Plugin (PHEV)

The larger (rear mounted) battery in the PHEV over the Hybrid car gives the plugin an Electric only range of 30 miles but it also requires an extended rear bumper to protect the batteries from rear impacts, which does nothing for the cars ascetic appeal of the PHEV Prius, that in turn calls for a new hatchback door, made in carbon fibre, saving 3kg in weight. This is a car best suited to town driving. On longer journeys, the flat-bottomed seats (only 2 rear seats) offer little support, while the shortage of power can be frustrating on the motorway. The ‘solar’ Prius adds up to 3 miles a day to the Electric range for an extra £300 on the AP, a £1500 upgrade at retail. Non Plugin Prius prices start at £1395 AP.

  Winter Best Buy – Toyota Prius 1.8 Plugin Hybrid PHEV ‘Business Edition Plus’  –   £2295  Advance Payment (£1238 wpms)




There is no full electric car on the Scheme.

Nissan Leaf 2018

While the previous Leaf could officially manage up to 155 miles on a single charge, the new Leaf has an official (claimed) range of 235 miles, and its batteries can take on 80% charge in as little as 40 minutes when connected to a rapid charger. The new car is released shortly with a starting retail price of £26,490 (after the Government grant as been removed) we hope to see it on the Scheme for Q2 2018.