Hybrid car: a green choice. Is a hybrid car worth it?
The automotive industry is constantly evolving, and the hybrid car is an important component of the future of motoring. So much so that Hybrids are becoming increasingly popular throughout Europe.
Governments and regional authorities are also encouraging the transition to hybrid technology. People who opt for a hybrid car can benefit from several discounts, often very big ones, such as on third party motor liability insurance or exemption from car ownership tax.
The convenience of owning a hybrid car is also measured in terms of government incentives such as free access to Limited Traffic Areas and bypassing traffic blocks, depending on where you live.
These incentives exist to encourage the use of hybrids, due to hybrid cars using a combination of an electric motor with a traditional petrol or diesel engine, allowing for significant fuel savings.
In fact , a hybrid vehicle is first and foremost a car that protects the environment and reduces fuel consumption and C02 emissions compared to traditional cars.
A clean and ecological technology
A hybrid car is the perfect choice for people who want to respect the environment, reduce their fuel consumption and emission of polluting gases. This is because its combustion engine is supported by an electric one, which performs multiple functions, such as transforming the chemical energy of the fuel into kinetic energy, charging the battery of the electric motor, and recovering energy during regenerative braking. Driving a hybrid car doesn’t just make a powerful contribution to cutting CO₂ emissions, it yields economic and other benefits such as:
1. The reduction of noise pollution, because a hybrid engine emits much less noise than a traditional one.
2. Urban driving, because the hybrid car's motor is best for short trips in chaotic city traffic.
3. A hybrid car is also as easy to service and maintain as a regular vehicle. No special interventions are needed on the electrical part of the car.
Less pollution, more benefits.
If you choose a hybrid car, you choose to consume less fuel and reduce pollution. A hybrid car helps to significantly reduce fuel consumption and related expenditure.
Indeed, one of the main advantages of a hybrid car is tax exemption. The hybrid car offers drivers considerable advantages, although they differ from region to region. Usually, hybrid cars are exempted from car property tax for up to five years after they are first registered.
They are also very comfortable to drive: with lower noise emissions, and the internal combustion engine provides good performance over great distances.
The advantages of a hybrid can be summed up in these points:
- • Savings - Car property tax is lower for a hybrid car because it is only calculated on the horsepower of the thermal engine.
- • Mobility - Depending on local council regulations, hybrid vehicles can travel free of charge or at a reduced fee in a Limited Traffic Area.
- • Ecology - Hybrid cars are environmentally friendly because they release less CO₂ into the environment. The integrated electric motor limits fuel consumption.
It has also been shown that drivers of hybrid cars are much more relaxed than drivers of conventional ones.
Hybrid and hybrid plug-in: similarities and differences.
The hybrid car and the plug-in hybrid car both offer very low CO₂ emissions and low fuel consumption, but differ in how they operate.
The plug-in hybrid car represents a further evolution of the hybrid and is a combination of a hybrid and electric car. A plug-in hybrid car can also use a petrol engine efficiently like a hybrid car. This way, the driver does not have to worry about running out of electricity when travelling long distances.
The introduction of a plug-in socket makes hybrids much more versatile. The extra charging option means you do not have to rely on the engine, so you can recharge the battery at home and use the charge the next day, increasing the car's range and lowering consumption.
The real difference between hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars is that the latter do not need an internal combustion engine to recharge but can use an external power source.
An ally of the environment
The hybrid car is the best choice for those looking for a functional and environmentally friendly car. Indeed, we can say that hybrid engines are true allies of nature, moreso than traditional cars. Hybrid cars minimise harmful emissions because their engines run on electricity and are completely environmentally friendly.
The reduction in CO₂ exhaust emissions is proportional to the reduction in fuel consumption provided by the hybrid system. This perfect combination of an electric motor and a petrol engine yields emissions of about 90g less of CO₂ per km, an incredibly low figure for a family car.
If all cars were hybrids, 247 million tonnes less CO₂ would be emitted into the atmosphere every year. The presence of the integrated electric motor limits fuel consumption for the thermal one.
Hybrid technology makes a significant difference, especially in city driving, where a second silent, zero-emission motor becomes a valuable ally for the environment.
In 2020, Fiat launched two hybrid models: the Panda Hybrid and the 500 Hybrid. Both featuring an innovative 12-volt Belt Starter Generator (BSG) to give their petrol engines an electric boost, they paved the way for Fiat’s journey into the world of electric mobility.
The BSG delivers tangible benefits for everyone who gets behind the wheel. The micro-electric motor assists the traditional internal combustion engine for a smoother and quieter ride. It adds a jolt of power when restarting and micro-boost when accelerating, and gives a smoother Stop & Go when at traffic lights or sitting in heavy traffic. Plus, it’s an easy and efficient way to reduce fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions.
In 2022, Fiat is building on this strong foundation by adding two more hybrid vehicles to its electric range: the Tipo and 500x. They will meet daily drivers’ need for spacious, versatile vehicles. They feature the same 12-volt BSG as well as a 48-volt e-machine, which delivers up to 15kW of power. This means up to 10% less fuel consumption*, which isn’t just good for the environment and your wallet – it also means you can access to the LTZ (limited traffic zones) in major cities.
*Compared to the 1.0 120hp gasoline engine
The placement of the electric motor – between the engine and the transmission – is vital for driver comfort. It delivers an electric energy boost without compromising on the driving experience of a traditional car. The 15kW of power generated by the electric motor is on hand to provide a silent start and smooth out transitions between Stop&Go and gear changes for a noticeably quieter ride. It even allows the vehicle to move solely on electric power for limited periods of time at lower speeds.
Unlike plug-in hybrid models, the new hybrid does not require access to the power grid. Instead, the vehicle’s battery is charged while the car is is use, regaining power through e-coasting and regenerative breaking. The electric motor also helps to optimise the combustion engine, and therefore improve the driving dynamics. While accelerating, the 15kW of power boosts torque to the wheels for instant acceleration and during braking for a smoother, more efficient stop.
Fiat’s hybrid technology features unique electric vehicle capabilities*:
*Functions depend on driving conditions and battery charge.
eCreeping: the vehicle can move slowly just using the eMotor, releasing the brake while ICE is off.
eLaunch: the vehicle can launch with eMotor while ICE is off, releasing the brake and managing the gas pedal.
eQueuing: Perfect for high traffic areas, the vehicle can use a Stop & Go in combination with e-creeping.
eParking: All parking maneuvers in first gear and reverse are powered by only the electric motor.
These hybrid models are the first step for both Fiat and drivers as we move towards a greener and brighter future that puts electric mobility front and centre.