Five hybrid electric car myths debunked by Ipswich garage

The Volvo XC90 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid car

To completely recharge a hybrid car takes as little as three hours using a fast charger, or from four hours with a domestic three-pin plug socket - Credit: WPR Agency

Plug-in hybrid cars use both electricity and petrol or diesel and an expert car dealer in Ipswich has shared why they're becoming so popular, and how one could save you cash.

The government intends to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 and is offering financial support to those looking to make the switch.

Dan Le Cocq works at Donalds Garage Ipswich on Crane Boulevard and believes there are a number of misconceptions about hybrid electric cars flying around.

Dan Le Cocq, from Donalds Garage Ipswich on Crane Boulevard

Dan Le Cocq, from Donalds Garage Ipswich on Crane Boulevard - Credit: WPR Agency

He said; “Investing in anything unfamiliar can be a daunting experience, especially something as integral and important to everyday life as a car.

"Contrary to popular belief, the fundamentals of hybrid vehicles have been around for more than a century – although there have obviously been some huge advances in technology during that time."

Top five myths — debunked

  1. Hybrid electric vehicles are a new technology:
    Though hybrid cars might seem like a product of the 21st century, the technology actually dates back to 1900 when Ferdinand Porsche produced the first known hybrid gas-electric prototype car.
    Five years later, the first patent for a gas-electric hybrid vehicle was filed by American engineer, H. Piper.
    Unlike today, little concern was given to the impact of petrol vehicles on the environment in the 20th century, so they became the dominating technology simply by default.
  2. Driving a hybrid electric vehicle is different to driving a petrol or diesel car and requires you to change the way you drive: This is not true at all, most people don’t even notice they’re driving a plug-in hybrid.
    Given that the technology in the car automatically identifies whether it is most efficient to use the electric motor, the petrol engine or both combined, there is no behavioural change required – control remains firmly in the driver’s seat.

  3. Hybrid electric vehicles are more expensive than petrol cars: Plug-in hybrid cars are highly efficient and are therefore a good choice when it comes to saving money long-term.
    Some plug-in hybrids have an all-electric range of up to 37 miles, which is more than the average UK daily commute.
    That means it’s possible not to spend a penny on petrol during the week, but still have the option to use petrol power for a longer drive on the weekend. 
    For most people, the electricity to charge the car costs significantly less than the fuel to drive the equivalent electric-only mileage.

  4. Hybrid electric vehicles take too long to charge: People often say that one of the biggest barriers to purchasing a hybrid car is that they’ve heard it takes days to charge – which really isn’t the case.
    To completely recharge the hybrid system’s battery takes as little as three hours using a fast charger, or from four hours via a domestic three-pin plug socket.
    Most users get into the habit of plugging in the car when they get home, so it’s fully recharged and ready to go in time for their next trip.

  5. Hybrid electric vehicles won’t save you money: With councils across the UK, including Ipswich, looking for ways to reduce air pollution, charges for petrol or diesel vehicles entering city centres are becoming a staple of urban life.
    Due to their low emissions, plug-in hybrid cars may avoid such charges.
    Owners also benefit from an exemption on their first 12 months of road tax, while further incentives may be available through employers and manufacturers.

The Volvo XC90 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid car

Electric car owners benefit from an exemption on their first 12 months of road tax - Credit: WPR Agency