Electric, PHEV and Hybrids

The advantage of an Electric or an Electric assisted car is low running costs and there are three types of car:

  • 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 two pure electric cars on the Scheme, the Nissan Leaf and Mercedes B class E250.

  • 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 34mpg 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. PHEV’s are expensive to purchase and the only PHV on the scheme is the Toyota Prius starting at £2295

  • Mild Hybrid

Suzuki have developed SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) for the Ignis and new Swift, a system that stores surplus energy in an extra battery and uses an integrated electric starter motor to assist the engine during moderate acceleration. The set-up also provides power for the on-board systems thanks to regenerative braking. It’s a very simple system to produce, so it doesn’t bump up the price and only ads 6.8 kg in weight 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.

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.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Autumn Best Buy – Toyota Yaris Hybrid ‘Icon’ Automatic   –  Nil Advance Payment (£59.41 wpms)



Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid - from £999 Advance Payment

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid – from £349 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 Autumn Best Buy – Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid ‘SE’ Automatic  –  £349 Advance Payment (£61.73 wpms)


Kia Niro – almost an SUV but £1350 more than a base 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. In top trim ‘3’ the Niro at £2399 is only £600 more that the to trim ‘Premium SE’ Ionic.

 Autumn Best Buy – Kia Niro Hybrid ‘1’ Automatic  –   £1699  Advance Payment (£646 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.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Autumn Best Buy – Toyota C-HR ‘Icon’ 1.8 Hybrid Automatic   –  £995 Advance Payment (£64.80 + £186 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.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Autumn Best Buy – Toyota Auris Hybrid ‘icon’ Automatic  –  £395 Advance Payment (£62.04 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 only available in Business Edition Plus which offers sat-nav, LED headlights, an electric tailgate and keyless entry and start. 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.

 Autumn Best Buy – Toyota Rav4 2.5 petrol FWD Hybrid Automatic ‘Business Edition’  –   £1995  Advance Payment (£942 wpms)


PHEV cars on the Scheme.

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. 

  Autumn Best Buy – Toyota Prius 1.8 Plugin Hybrid PHEV ‘Business Edition Plus’  –   £2295  Advance Payment (£1242 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 Q1 2018.