Electric, PHEV and Hybrids

The advantage of an Electric or an Electric assisted car is low running costs. The Scheme is underrepresented presently and the news that the Grants have been lowered or removed completely does not bode well. On October 12th 2018 the Government announced an end to the £2500 Grant for Plug in Hybrids (PHEV) that can travel less than 70 miles on electric power alone. The Grant for Electric cars is also reduced from £4500 to £3500. Following the Budget on 11th March the Electric Grant is reduced to £3000, which wile a reduction we were expecting it to be removed completely.

  • 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.

Electric Cars on the Scheme

Peugeot E-208 (Electric Car)

The New 208 comes as a petrol, a diesel and a full electric, E-208. Sharing many of the components of the Vauxhall Corsa (chassis, engines, gearbox, electrical architecture, dimensions) the 208 has the edge on design, inside and out the little Peugeot is incredibly pleasing on the eye. The 134bhp (100kW motor and a 50kWh battery 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds) BEV version offers a WLTP range of 211 miles with no loss of space as the electric motor sits under the bonnet and the batteries under the rear seats. Charging times from empty to full are 20 hours using a conventional three-pin household socket, eight hours when using a dedicated home charging point, while a 100kW fast charger will provide an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes. Trim Lines are Active, Allure, GT-Line and GT. Prices for the E-208 start at £1499 Advance Payment for either the Active or Allure, rising to £1699 for the GT line and topping out at £1999 for the GT trim only available as an E-208.

 

All Electric E-Corsa added 20th November

Vauxhall E-Corsa (Electric Car)

The all electric E-Corsa has a 50kWh battery paired to a 100kW motor equating to 134bhp in old skool numbers. 0-62 mph can be achieved in 8.1 seconds but more impressive is 0-30mph in 2.1 seconds, top speed is limited to 93 mph. Range from a fully charged battery is 205 miles according to WLTP, Rapid charging from 15-80% can be achieved in 30 minutes from a 100kW rapid charging station, charging from an 11kw AC outlet takes five hours fifteen minutes from empty to full. Two trim lines, SE Nav and Elite Nav, SE cars have a 7 inch colour touchscreen with sat nav, rear parking sensors and an 11kw 3-Phase charger, Elite cars add a black roof, tinted rear windows and a 10 inch touchscreen. Prices are £1799 for the SE and £1999 Advance Payment for the Elite trim

 

DS3 Crossback Electric added 20th November

DS3 Crossback E-Tense (Electric)

The DS3 Crossback was designed with electrification in mind and as such the batteries are littered around the underside of the car meaning that the 350 litre boot is the same regardless of powertrain. The 50kWh battery paired to a 100kw electric motor offer a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds, a top speed of 93 mph and a WLTP driving range of 199 miles. The fast charging DC mode will charge from empty to 80% in 30 minutes, if you have access to a public 100kW charger, standard AC 7kW charging will take nearly 8 hours to go from empty to full. Prices start at £1999 Advance payment for the well appointed Prestige trim, for an extra £500 you can move up to the Ultra Prestige or for Price reduced from previous quarter price£2599 Advance Payment you can have the sumptuous La Premiere trim.

 

BMW I3 Electric car

The all electric BMW I3 has been added to the Scheme in both standard and ‘S’ trim. The WLTP range is quoted as 193 miles and real life users are suggesting around a 145 mile, the I3 can move quickly from the single speed Automatic gearbox, o-62 as fast as 6.9 seconds. The battery offers 37.9 kWh and is able to fast charge from 20 -80% battery power in as little as 40 minutes. Prices for the standard 125kW car are from Price reduced from previous quarter price£1749 – £2499 Advance Payment depending on the internal ‘world’ and from Price reduced from previous quarter price£2749 – £3499 for the 135kW ‘S’ car. Full review here.

 

Hyundai Ioniq full electric

The new 2019 Hyundai Ioniq electric has an increased battery size of 38kWh (134 bhp) offering a range of 165 miles. Charging is via a Type 2 connector, maximum 7.2 kW, this charges a fully depleted battery back to full in around 6 hours 15 minutes or 19 hours 45 minutes using a three pin domestic plug. Rapid charging is possible through a CCS connection, maximum rapid charge power is 47 kW, this charges the battery from 10% to 80% in around 50 minutes. The new IONIQ features Bluelink that can remotely control the temperature of the car, lock or unlock and charging can be remotely controlled and scheduled. The Ioniq Electric has a useable 350 litre boot and comes well equipped with adaptive cruise control, heated seats, climate control, auto LED lights, rear view camera, wireless phone charging, 10.25 inch touchscreen with sat nav and Apple Carplay/Android Auto. For £500 extra the Premium SE adds leather seats, electric (drivers only) and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and privacy glass.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Winter Best Buy – Hyundai Ioniq Electric 38kWh Premium’ Automatic  –  £749 Advance Payment (£67.75 + £46 wpms)

 

Smart ForFour EQ, All Electric

Smart EQ

October 1st 2018 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 adds a front armrest, rear view camera, auto wipers and lights and headlamps with LED light guide and LED tail lights. There is the option to upgrade the standard 7kw charger to 22kw which will reduce the 2.5 hour wallbox charging time to 40 minutes. The 2 door Smart EQ starts at Price reduced from previous quarter priceNil AP

Price reduced from previous quarter price Winter Best Buy – Smart ForFour EQ (Full electric Car) ‘Prime Premium’ Automatic  –  £499 Advance Payment (£66.41 wpms)

 

 

  • 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 it is 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.

Hybrid cars on the Scheme.

Kia Niro

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 382 litre boot space. The Niro hybrid comes with a 6-speed dual clutch transmission, a 1.6-litre petrol 4-cylinder engine, and a small 1.56 kWh battery that is charged by the engine and regenetitive means, a self charging hybrid. Combined, it makes 139bhp and 195 lb-ft of torque and can return a claimed 55.5 miles per gallon.

 Winter Best Buy – Kia Niro Hybrid ‘2’ Automatic  –   Nil  Advance Payment (£63.10 wpms)

 

New Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The new Corolla is powered by a 114bhp 1.2 litre petrol or one of two (self charging) hybrid options, a 1.8 litre petrol (120bhp) and a 2.0 litre petrol (175bhp). The rear legroom and boot (598 litres) can be increased by opting for the super looking estate version.  Apple Carplay/Android Auto are not avaialble and Toyota are frantically trying to add this following scathing feedback.  Four trim lines, Icon, Icon tech, Design and Excel. even the entry level cars have heated front and rear seats.  The 1.8 hybrid starts at £695. The 2.0 litre hybrid prices start at £1095.

 

 

Toyoya Yaris Hybrid - from Nil Advance Payment

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

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 Tech’ Automatic   –  £195 Advance Payment  (£64.39 wpms)

 

 

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid - from £999 Advance Payment

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid

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 Premium trim add such luxuries as a 10.25 inch touchscreen with sat nav, wireless phone charging and heated front seats, autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist are also standard.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Winter Best Buy – Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid ‘Premium’ Automatic  –  Nil Advance Payment (£63.10 wpms)

 

The bold Toyota C-HR with a 1.8 petrol hybrid

Toyota C-HR Hybrid

The Toyota Coupe High Rider (C-HR) has been updated for 2020 with new trim lines and new engines. In the UK the C-HR is now only available as a self charging hybrid, the engine choices are 1.8  or 2.0 litre petrol paired to the electric power the power output is 120bhp and 182 bhp respectively, all cars are front wheel drive CVT automatic and the larger engine has a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds and returns a claimed 49.50mpg. The 2.0 litre has a larger battery back offering 32 additional bhp compared to 23 in the 1.8. Prices start at £495 Advance Payment and prices quickly rise through the trims to £3545 for the 2.0 litre Dynamic with leather and an upgraded JBL Sound system. 2.0 litre cars start at £2095 AP in Design trim

 

 

Prius + (7 Seater)

Toyota Prius Plus

The Prius + has re-emerged onto the Scheme. The Prius+ is the seven seat MPV version of the popular hybrid. It’s been around since 2012 and is based on the old 3rd Generation Prius not the new version so it does look a little dated. With three separate seats in the middle row and two more (children’s) in the third row and even with these in place there’s still around 200 litres of space for luggage.  The Prius Plus is a super option for those that need space and want a hybrid car.

Winter Best Buy – Toyota Prius Plus 7 seat ‘Excel’ Automatic  – £295 Advance Payment (£65.06 wpms)

 

Ford Mondeo Hybrid

Ford have added the Mondeo hybrid in saloon and estate, the problem is the technology is carried over from the old car and it was not great then. The batteries eat into the luggage space so the Toyota Corolla estate has more room and offers a better hybrid system. Whereas the standard Mondeo has a decent 500-litre boot, the Hybrid has just 386 litres of space and it is also a booted saloon and not a hatchback. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is boosted by a small electric motor fed from a 1.4kWh lithium-ion battery. Prices are £1895 for the saloon and £2095 for the Estate.

 

 

  • 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 cars on the Scheme.

 

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 two hours fifteen minutes and offers an electric only range of 30 miles according to Kia and 22 miles in reality. But even when the batteries are depleted, the car operates as a mild hybrid and claims up to 55.4 mpg. The gearbox is a six speed twin clutch and the 0-62 time is a respectable 10.4 seconds. Based on the ‘3’ trim (but 16 inch wheels in place of 18 inch) the Niro is well appointed, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the 10.25 inch touchscreen and adaptive cruise control. The Extra battery does take a chunk out of the boot capacity reducing it from 382 litres to 324 for the PHEV. The price is excellent and over £3000 cheaper than the last time the Niro PHEV was on the Scheme in Quarter 1 2019.

 Winter Best Buy – Kia Niro 1.6 litre petrol Plugin Hybrid  Automatic  –  £999 Advance Payment (£68.35 + £205 wpms)

 

 

Mini Countryman PHEV 

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, much longer.

 Winter Best Buy – Mini Countryman PHEV Cooper S ‘E’ Classic –   £1749  Advance Payment (£635 wpms)

 

 Outlander PHEV

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 new trims, the Design is the trim to go for as it adds equipment over the Verve and the now defunct Juro.

Price reduced from previous quarter price Winter Best Buy – Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.4 Plugin Hybrid 4wd PHEV ‘Design’  –  £1699 Advance Payment (£585 wpms)

 

 

Toyota Prius PHEV from £2695

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. This also 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. 

Winter Best Buy – Toyota Prius 1.8 Plugin Hybrid PHEV ‘Business Edition Plus’ – £2695 Advance Payment (£1581 wpms)

 

 

  • 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 and now Hyundai have added the 48v mild hybrid assist. 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. Mild Hybrid will soon become visible on every manufacturers list, be careful.