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 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.

  • 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.


Electric Cars on the Scheme

Smart ForFour EQ, All Electric

October 1st gave us the news that Smart have added the ‘All Electric’ EQ to the Scheme, available as a ForTwo, and our choice the ForFour, with its two rear seats (and two rear doors) and a 185 litre boot.  Power comes from a 17.6 kWh battery paired to a 60kW electric motor producing 81bhp at the rear wheels. The Electric Smart can reach 62mph in 12.7 seconds from the single speed gearbox, electric cars have all the power avaialble straight away making the little Smart very nippy around town and away from the lights, 37 mph can be reached in just 5.5 seconds. The range is a claimed 96 miles (65 miles in reality, less in winter when using the heated seats and heating the car remotely prior to driving) and charging is not super fast from the standard 7kw charger, recharging from 10-80% takes 2.5 hours at a wallbox and six hours at a domestic wall socket. Equipment in the ‘Prime Premium’ is excellent, 7 inch touchscreen with sat nav and mirrorlink for Android phone users (no Apple Carplay), 15 inch Alloy wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors and a panoramic roof. The Plus pack (£100 on the Advance Payment) adds a front armrest, rear view camera, auto wipers and lights and headlamps with LED light guide and LED tail lights. There the option to upgrade the standard 7kw charger to 22kw which will reduce the 2.5 hour wallbox charging time to 40 minutes.

Autumn Best Buy – Smart ForFour EQ (Full electric Car) ‘Prime Premium’ Automatic  –  £199 Advance Payment (£62.39 wpms)



Hybrid cars on the Scheme.

Toyoya Yaris Hybrid - from Nil Advance Payment

Toyoya Yaris Hybrid – From £56 per week

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.

Autumn Best Buy – Toyota Yaris Hybrid ‘Icon’ Automatic   –  £56.00 per week  (you keep £3.75 per week of DLA/PIP award)



Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid - from £999 Advance Payment

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid – from Nil 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 ‘SE’ 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  –  Nil Advance Payment (£61.06 wpms) or Price reduced from previous quarter price£199 (£62.39 wpms) in Premium trim



Kia Niro – reduced by £50 this quarter

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.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Autumn Best Buy – Kia Niro Hybrid ‘2’ Automatic  –   £349  Advance Payment (£63.38 wpms)



The bold Toyota C-HR with a 1.8 petrol hybrid from £245 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   –  £245 Advance Payment (£62.69 wpms)




Toyota Auris Hybrid – From £295 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 (from Price reduced from previous quarter price£745 AP) has a claimed Urban economy of 97.4 miles per gallon compared to 83.1 mpg of the Auris

 Autumn Best Buy – Toyota Auris Hybrid ‘icon’ Automatic  –  £295 Advance Payment (£63.02 wpms)




Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid from £1345 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. 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 ‘Icon Tech’  –   £1345  Advance Payment (£260 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.

 Autumn Best Buy – Ford TiVCT Hybrid ‘Titanium’ Automatic   –  £2745 Advance Payment (£1660 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. Demand has been high and we are told the wait for a build can be over 6 months, but reducing as production is being accelerated.

 Autumn Best Buy – Mini Countryman PHEV Cooper S ‘E’  –   £1749  Advance Payment (£664 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 £350 on the AP, a £1500 upgrade at retail. Non Plugin Prius prices start at Price reduced from previous quarter price£495 AP.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Autumn Best Buy – Toyota Prius 1.8 Plugin Hybrid PHEV ‘Business Edition Plus’  –   £1645  Advance Payment (£560 wpms)



 Outlander PHEV – Down £250

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 

The 2019 Outlander PHEV is all wheel drive plug-in hybrid is powered by a new 2.4 litre petrol engine that produces more torque and improving fuel economy. The motor attached to the rear wheels is now 10% more powerful and the battery pack capacity has increased to 13.8 kWh, (the mini countryman phev has a 7.6kWh battery and the Toyota prius phev 8.8 kWh) The electric only range is quoted at 33 miles, WLTP quote it at 28 but the reality is closer to 15-20 miles. The petrol engine is improved but remains very thirsty and the moment it kicks in you are draining the tiny 45 litre tank faster than you would believe. If you do long journeys or can’t keep your batteries topped up then the Outlander is not for you. If you drive 15 miles to work and can charge the car at home and work then it’s perfect. Charging time from a 13amp domestic plug is 5 hours, from a fast AC charger it’s 3.5 hours and from a DC fast charger 80% of battery power can be gained in 25 minutes.  The Outlander PHEV is on the scheme in Juro (entry level) trim – heated front seats, smartphone link and the ability to pre heat the car are all standard, Mitsubishi also fit rear parking sensors to all their Motability cars.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Autumn Best Buy – Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.4 Plugin Hybrid 4wd PHEV ‘Juro’  –   £1999  Advance Payment (£914 wpms)



Kia Optima Plugin Hybrid

Kia Optima PHEV

Powered by a (non turbo) 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 154bhp and a 67bhp electric motor that can run on its own or with the combustion unit to deliver a total of 202bhp and 375Nm of torque resulting in a 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds. The Electric only range is a claimed 33 miles and you have the advantage of a dual clutch six-speed automatic gearbox not a CVT as in the Outlander and Prius. The batteries eat into the Optima’s otherwise practical package. They reduce the boot capacity to a mere 307 litres, about the same as a Ford fiesta. Sitting at the top-of-range, equipment levels are high, so you get an around-view camera display, front and rear parking sensors, faux leather interior, LED lights all around, heated front seats and steering wheel, climate control, eight-inch touchscreen, sat-nav,  Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

Autumn Best Buy – Kia Optima 2.0 litre petrol Plugin Hybrid  Automatic  –  £3749 Advance Payment (£2664 wpms)



Kia Niro PHEV

Kia Niro PHEV

The Niro PHEV has an 8.9kWh lithium-polymer battery teamed with a 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine. It’ll charge from empty in just over two hours, and should do up to 36 miles on electric power alone (claimed). But even when the batteries are depleted, the car operates as a mild hybrid and claims up to 67.3mpg. The gearbox is a six speed twin clutch and while the 0-62 time is a respectable 10.8 seconds it lacks the punch of the Optima. Based on the ‘3’ trim the Niro is not laden with luxuries but it does have an 8 inch touchscreen with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and adaptive cruise control. The price does seem a little high, we could not justify the extra Advance Payment over the non plugin car.

Autumn Best Buy – Kia Niro 1.6 litre petrol Plugin Hybrid  Automatic  –  £3699 Advance Payment (£2614 wpms)