Which is better – a hybrid or electric car? Do all hybrid cars need to be plugged in? How would I organise a charging point at home or work?
As we move further in 2019, the appetite for electric car lease deals increases at an amazing rate. The plethora of fuel choices is giving many personal and business leasing customers a little bit of a headache. The volume of conversations on all things alternative is putting many customers into a place of uncertainty, as they struggle to find out which fuel choice is better for them or the business.
Our easy-to-use fuel guide, which can be found at the following link, should help many customers make the practical choice on which fuel choice is best.
Like many businesses, our customer is running a very mixed fleet of petrol, diesel and alternative fuel vehicles which try to meet the needs of the individual driver. However, like many businesses, they were in a conundrum about how to proceed with their next lease deals.
As with any customer, we endeavour to make the process simple and discourage any immediate or knee-jerk reactions to the growing literature in the modern press. Like many individuals and businesses out there, they were under the impression that diesel cars are being banned. Quite the opposite indeed, as diesel vehicles will go through a rigorous WLTP and RDE testing process to ensure that the essential statistics produced are more accurate and that the emissions they produce do not breach the maximum allowances.
So is a hybrid better than the electric options? What “better” actually means is very much dependent on the person asking the question – do you mean cheaper/quicker/longer-range/lower company car tax etc. The extent to which one engine type is better or worse depends very much on the individual or business we are speaking to. For example, a hybrid (which may mean a self-generating or Plug-In) may offer better performance, cheaper monthly rentals and be more available for a quick delivery but it won’t offer the company car tax savings of an electric car, it still produces emissions and if not used correctly could be less cost-effective for the driver.
Understanding fuel choices is crucial as the ability for the driver to benefit from the vehicle will often depend on how much effort they are prepared to invest into the vehicle.
The leads on nicely to our next proposition – do all hybrid vehicle need to be plug-in? To answer this quickly – NO.
In the UK, there are two very distinct forms of hybrid vehicles – 1) a mild/self-generating/self-charging hybrid; and 2) Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (or PHEV for short).
With a hybrid, there is a combustion engine (normally petrol) and this is coupled with a small lithium-ion battery which operates for a very small range on its own (circa 2/3 miles) or works in conjunction with the engine.
The crucial point is that the battery does not need external charging; this will charge when the vehicle moves or brakes (regenerative braking). Option 2, the PHEV, works very similar to the above with the exception that the battery does need to be charged externally. As you will see from the pictures of the BMW PHEV here, the customer has demonstrated just how a PHEV vehicle is charged. The idea of a PHEV is that as the battery is much bigger, this can offer a longer electric-only range. Some vehicles offer between 15 and 30 miles, which covers many customers who operate low to medium mileages. As such, the PHEV offers lower CO2 than the hybrid and can present a much better position on company car tax. That being said, the customer MUST plug-in the vehicle for the battery to operate correctly.
So how do I charge a vehicle? Life in the electric vehicles industry is moving quicker, as suppliers compete to remain current. The result is that new charge points are appearing across the UK at peoples homes, fuel stations, service stations, shops, supermarkets and in towns/cities. The choice to a customer is therefore to look at a home charge point installation, speak to the employer/organise their business to have a point or to utilise the public charge points in the network.
To assist personal customers, the Governmental-Body (OLEV) have a Homecharge Scheme – which will provide up to £500 towards a charge point installation.
What this means is that the individual, subject to their home infrastructure, shouldn’t need to pay much more for their charge point.
CarLease work with Raw Charging, a ChargePoint representative, who organises the actual paperwork for the customer. The “ChargePoint Home” will offer a 7.4kW charge which can offer circa 25 miles of charge per hour.
What also helps is that the point is Wi-Fi enabled so it can communicate with your phone and the network.
Many vehicles charge during the night, as opposed to 9pm when everyone is watching Coronation Street! To assist businesses who may want alternative fuels for their directors or employees, Raw Charging can also help with the installation of 3-22kW ports. Like the Homecharge Scheme, businesses can benefit from installation grants to minimise the cost involved. For any small businesses looking to change their fleet, these point are essential. Failing that, you will need charge your vehicle using public-accessible points – companies like ChargePoint and ZapMap offer facilities for you to find the nearest available charging solution.
In terms of the car shown, the BMW 5 SERIES SALOON 530e M Sport 4dr Auto (Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle – Petrol), this is based on the following configuration:
· Blue Stone Metallic Paint
· Dakota leather – Black/Black world with exclusive blue stitching
· Aluminium rhombicle interior trim with pearl chrome finish
· 19″ M double spoke light alloy wheels – style 664M + Run flat tyre
· Sun protection glass
· Through load system
As standard the car includes Dakota leather, acoustic glazing, heated windscreen and washer jets, rain sensors with auto lights, ASC, brake assist, park distance control, brake energy regeneration, CBC, DTC, hill start assist, M sport braking system, active guard, 20GB hard drive, BMW online, eDrive services, digital cockpit, navigation system (professional), real time traffic information, cruise control, heated front seats, iDriver with 10.2” display, body coloured externals, electric and heated door mirrors, DAB radio, Bluetooth, follow me home headlights, LED daytime running lights, 3-spoke M sports steering wheel, warning triangle and first aid kit, alarm system with engine immobiliser. In terms of additional options, consider adding – sun protection glass, BMW display key and the Harmon/Kardon loudspeaker system.
On the technical-side, company car and business users can note the P11d at £50,670.00 and CO2 at 49g/km. The 1998CC 8 speed auto petrol engine delivers 128.4 combined MPG (EC), 252ps and 0-62 times of 6.2 seconds. The battery will offer a range of 25-30 miles on a full charge. Service intervals are set at every 24 months or 18,000 miles, whichever lands sooner.
BMW 5 Series Deals – or – check out more PHEV lease car deals and options below…