As the motor industry stands on the edge of a green revolution, car manufacturers are now focusing on more sustainable driving solutions.
Enhanced performance, range, state-of-the-art features, and environmentally conscious engineering define this new driving age.
From 2030, the UK government plans to ban sales of all new petrol and diesel vehicles. Now, ahead of these changes, is a great time for motorists to begin transitioning towards greener alternatives.
The self-charging hybrid car is often considered the ideal stepping stone for drivers seeking to lower their carbon footprint without going fully electric.
In this article, we will explain what self-charging hybrids are, how they work, and the pros and cons of driving one. We hope this will equip you with the knowledge required to determine if a hybrid car is the right next step for you.
What are self-charging hybrid cars
A self-charging hybrid is another term for your standard hybrid car.
Self-charging hybrids are good halfway houses for people interested in going electric but not yet ready to commit to a fully electric vehicle. They are an eco-friendly choice and are very fuel-efficient, but they don't require any reliance on external electrical charging stations.
If you're not yet familiar with how hybrid cars work, don't worry; we're here to explain. Hybrid cars get their name from how they are powered. They use two power sources, a combination of an electric battery and a conventional fuel-powered engine. Hybrids are engineered to be fuel-efficient. They can run solely on electric power for short stretches, but when the electric power runs out, their petrol or diesel-powered engine kicks in.
They are a great choice for people who predominantly drive short distances and are ideal for city driving and stop-and-go traffic.
How do self-charging hybrid cars work?
Self-charging hybrids offer a hassle-free approach to greener driving, allowing users to benefit from electric power without worrying about finding a plug-in point.
So, where does it get its electric power from if you can't plug in a hybrid car? Unlike electric cars and plug-in hybrids, self-charging hybrids don't rely on external electrical charging stations. Instead, they are designed to recharge their batteries whilst on the go. How do they do this? They use a regenerative braking system. When a self-charging car brakes or coasts, instead of wasting the kinetic energy as heat, the system captures it and converts it back into electrical energy. This electricity is then stored in the vehicle's battery for future use.
How far can self-charging hybrid cars travel?
When discussing how far self-charging hybrids can travel, it's important to differentiate between the electric-only mode and when the conventional fuel-powered engine is engaged.
Self-charging hybrids have considerably smaller batteries than fully electric vehicles. This means that their electric-only driving range is more limited. Hybrids can usually only travel about 20-30 miles using electric power. Therefore, using electric power only, a hybrid car can usually run most short commutes or errands around town.
However, once the electric battery is depleted, a hybrid's fuel-powered engine kicks in, providing a substantially extended range.
The exact range that a self-charging hybrid can cover will depend on several factors, including the car's make, model, fuel efficiency, and the size of its fuel tank. Most self-charging hybrids can cover hundreds of miles before they need to refuel.
Self-charging hybrids provide a well-balanced range that combines the best of both electric and fuel-powered driving.
What is a mild hybrid car
A mild hybrid car works similarly to a self-charging hybrid. Mild hybrid cars use the same regenerative braking system to produce and store electric power. However, unlike a traditional self-charging hybrid, they do not store enough electric energy to allow the car to drive on electric power alone. Instead, the electric energy they harvest assists the engine so that it doesn't have to work as hard. This can then help to improve the car's performance and fuel economy by up to 15%.
What are the benefits of self-charing hybrid cars?
According to SMMT data on the UK's motor industry, 187,948 hybrid electric vehicles were sold in the UK in 2022. That's a 27.6% increase from 2021.
With the impending ban on new petrol and diesel cars in 2030, more people than ever are switching from fuel-powered vehicles to electric and hybrid vehicles.
With the 'Green Industrial Revolution' (hopefully) on the horizon, now is a great time to begin exploring more eco-friendly car options, like the self-charging hybrid. Switching to a hybrid car has plenty of benefits for both the environment and you. Let's discover more about what these benefits are.
Switching from a fuel-powered vehicle to a self-charging hybrid can help to reduce your household's carbon footprint, especially if you predominantly drive short distances. When operating on electric power, self-charging hybrids produce zero emissions. This makes them an ideal choice for those looking to reduce their environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions without the stress of locating charging stations.
Fuel efficiency cost savings
It's not just the environment that benefits when you switch from a fuel-powered vehicle to a self-charging hybrid. Self-charging hybrids primarily use their electric power at lower speeds and have impressive fuel efficiency, meaning you'll need to visit the petrol station and fill up the tank far less frequently.
Gateway to electric vehicles
Self-charging hybrids offer a good middle ground for those curious about switching to an electric vehicle but not quite ready to take the plunge and go fully electric. Those who have never driven an electric vehicle can feel anxious about the vehicle's range and finding charging points during long journeys. Self-charging hybrids offer a taste of what it's like to drive using electric power without worrying about charging up.
The best of both worlds
Self-charging hybrids offer the best of both worlds. They don't require you to invest in a home charging point or plan long journeys around charging stations, but you will still enjoy the cost-saving benefits and reduced emissions associated with driving an electric vehicle.
No charging hassle
Because hybrids are self-charging, there is no need to charge the car manually. This is a useful feature for people who may not have access to a home or nearby charging station, making them a practical solution for nearly anyone.
Self-charging hybrids are an economical and environmentally responsible choice for anyone new to electric vehicles or wanting to shift towards greener driving options.
What are the drawbacks of self-charging hybrid cars?
When deciding whether a self-charging hybrid car is the right option for you, your household, and your lifestyle, weighing the benefits and drawbacks is important.
Limited electric-only rang
Because self-charging hybrids do not rely fully on electric power, they only have a limited electric-only driving range. Usually, they can only drive short distances of about 20 – 30 miles using electric power before the fuel engine kicks in. This means a self-charging hybrid may be an efficient choice for someone who does a lot of city driving and short journeys, but if you predominantly drive long distances, it might not be the most efficient option for you.
Expensive to buy
If you have never driven an electric vehicle before, there's no getting away from the fact that both electric and hybrid cars are generally more expensive to buy outright than their traditional fuel-powered counterparts. Hybrid cars should be viewed as a long-term investment, as you may save on fuel and running costs in the long term. Leasing a self-charging hybrid rather than buying one offers a convenient and affordable way of enjoying the benefits of driving a new one without the steep upfront cost.
Whilst manufacturers are constantly improving self-charging hybrids' performance, they are sometimes less powerful than fully electric and fuel-powered alternatives. This is because they house both a petrol or diesel engine alongside their electric battery. This makes hybrids relatively heavy cars, negatively impacting handling and performance.
They still produce emissions
Whilst it is better to reduce carbon emissions than not, self-charging hybrids still produce emissions after electric energy has been depleted and the engine kicks in. Whilst they are better for the environment than traditional fuel-powered vehicles, they are not as environmentally friendly as a fully electric car.
Self-charging hybrids are a good transitional vehicle for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. However, it's important to understand their limitations to help make an informed decision on whether one would suit your lifestyle.
What self-charging hybrid cars are there available?
As the popularity of self-charging hybrid cars continues to grow, car manufacturers are investing in producing bigger, better, and more powerful models. If you're in the market for a new self-charging hybrid car, you'll be spoilt for choice. Top self-charging hybrid manufacturers include Ford, Mazda, Kia, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Lexus, and Hyundai.
Let's look at some of the most popular self-charging hybrid models available on the market today.
Honda Civic Hatchback
The Honda Civic self-charging hybrid is a 5-door automatic that tops Car magazine's list of the best self-charging hybrids. Car magazine's review claims the Honda Civic is 'outstanding in almost every area'.
Acceleration – 0-62 mph in 7.9 to 8.1 seconds
Fuel economy – 56.6-60.1 mpg
CO2 emissions – 108-114g/km
- Honda CONNECT 9" touchscreen infotainment system
- Honda SENSING – reads road signs and driving conditions
- Keyless entry and start
- Heated front seats
- Wireless charger
Available to lease from LetsTalk Leasing from £421.27 (exc. VAT) per month.
Toyota Yaris Cross
Named Car magazine's top self-charging compact SUV, the Toyota Yaris Cross is a nippy little hybrid that features all the mod-cons.
Acceleration – 0-62 mph in 11.2 to 11.8 seconds
Fuel economy – 56.5-64.2 mpg
CO2 emissions – 100-115g/km
- Advanced pre-collision system
- Emergency steering assist
- Road sign assist and intelligent adaptive cruise control
- Night-time pedestrian detection
- 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
Available to lease from LetsTalk Leasing from £245.68 (exc. VAT) per month.
The Mazda 2 self-charging hybrid is stylish, sporty, and loaded with cutting-edge technologies that make it an enjoyable drive for both driver and passenger.
Acceleration – 0-62 mph in 9.7 seconds
Fuel economy – 58.9-60.1 mpg
CO2 emissions – 107-198g/km
- 7-inch colour touchscreen display
- Heated front seats
- Cruise control
- Road sign assist
- Hill-start assist control
Available to lease from LetsTalk Leasing from £207.62 (exc. VAT) per month.
The Kia Sorento self-charging hybrid SUV is a turbocharged, all-wheel drive, 7-seater that makes a powerful and comfortable family car.
Acceleration – 0-62 mph in 8.4-9 seconds
Fuel economy – 38.2 mpg
CO2 emissions – 168g/km
- 19" alloy wheels
- Remote Smark Park Assist
- 10.25" touchscreen satellite navigation
- Customisable head-up display
- Panoramic sunroof
Available to lease from LetsTalk Leasing from £510.80 (exc. VAT) per month.
The Lexus NX hybrid is a stylish luxury vehicle with impressive fuel economy.
Acceleration – 0-62 mph in 6.3-8.7 seconds
Fuel economy – 44.1-49.5 mpg
CO2 emissions – 129-144g/km
- Blind spot monitor
- Rear cross-traffic alert and braking
- Heated steering wheel
- 9.8" touchscreen display
- Kick-activated boot opening
Available to lease from LetsTalk Leasing from £549.43 (exc. VAT) per month.
Browse our range of electric and hybrid cars to lease and tailor your lease contract to suit your budget and mileage needs. Contact us today by calling us on 0330 056 3331 to learn more about our self-charging hybrid car leasing deals.