Another thank-you to RRG Toyota for allowing the Car-E-Lease team to test and review one of their demonstration vehicles at a recent Go Electric! Event in Bury – the Toyota Prius.
The recent events held by Go Electric! across Greater Manchester have been discussing all things alternative fuel, clean air zones, charging infrastructure and vehicle options. If you follow Lets Experience Electric on Twitter you will be able to keep up to date with their latest roadshows and events.
For any Greater Manchester business that wants to know about what is going to change in our local area over the next 5 years, it is important to attend these events as there are a number of local authorities, public bodies and businesses associated in delivering solutions which can help you to understand what is going to happen.
Some individuals and businesses believe that the change to electric cars and clean air zones are just a fad; the wheels are very much in motion on these projects and we are approaching a time where you need to genuinely consider how it will affect you or your company.
So moving to the car shown here – is this one of those hybrid plug-in electric thingys? While we were at the roadshow it was great to see such interest in all things alternative fuel. However, it was very clear that there is a still some confusion over the different fuel choices available to a customer i.e. what car needs to plugged into an external source? Which car is a self-generating? Which car has no combustion engine?
We understand the complications now facing individual and business customers alike as they try to wade through the sheer volume of a fuel choices.
To help customers understand exactly what fuel choice is available them, we have produced two keys tools which will help:
An “Alternative Fuel Decision Tree” which a customer can use to select the right fuel for them – https://www.carlease.uk.com/car-e; and guides on each “alternative fuel” which is available at the same link…
The reason you need to understand the exact fuel choice is that the way in which the cars operate are fundamentally different and your obligations as a driver will be affected by each vehicle.
Some examples of the queries we face are set out below (together with some brief answers):
Do you have to charge an EV/PHEV?
Both Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) do require some form of “charging”.
Many customers will have seen cars attached to a charging point at some point in their journey.
As an EV operates via one power source only, the lithium-ion battery, the vehicle must be charged to operate. If you fail to charge the vehicle correctly, you will be unable to drive it. Customers who are buying/leasing an EV will need to review the range of the battery to ensure that it meets their requirements; the term “range anxiety” emerged as a result of some customers being concerned about how far the vehicle could travel. Each manufacturer and/or vehicle can offer different battery solutions; these currently range from 100 – 300 miles on a full charge.
The availability of charge points, together with the speed of charging, could be instrumental on your decision.
In contrast, a PHEV has a traditional combustion engine (generally petrol but diesel options are becoming available) coupled with a smaller lithium-ion battery solution. Unlike an EV, you will only achieve a modest range on the battery source alone; generally 15-30 miles for most vehicles. However, to achieve “electric-only” driving you must charge the battery correctly. Unlike a hybrid, which can often be referred to as “self-charging”, the PHEV relies on the driver physically connecting the vehicle to a charge point.
If you do not charge the battery, the vehicle will operate on the combustion element only.
This will result in the vehicle failing to achieve the stated combined MPG figures.
For customers going for a “hybrid” there are no charging requirements. While there is a small lithium-ion battery, this will charge as the vehicle moves forward and it brakes (this is a process known as regenerative braking). Therefore, a hybrid will operate efficiently when it is regularly accelerating and braking. However, as the battery is only small it will not cover long journeys as an electric-option only.
In terms of the car shown here, the Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Plug-in Excel 5dr CVT (Petrol), this is based on the following configuration:
Pearl White Pearlescent Paint
Leather – Black
15″ alloy wheels
As standard the car includes rain sensing wipers, hill start assist, Bluetooth, wireless smartphone charger, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, collision prevention assist, forward collision warning, front and rear parking sensors, intelligent parking assist, lane departure warning system, rear view camera, push button starter, 8” colour screen, navigation system, body coloured external, electric heated/adjustable/retractable door mirrors, DAB radio, JBL sound system, Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic headlamp levelling, LED headlights and daytime running lights, air conditioning, 3 spoke leather steering wheel, leather upholstery, footwell lights, 60/40 split folding rear seats, electric lumbar support, 15” alloys, smart entry and start, immobiliser and alarm. There are very few additional manufacturer options you can add to a Prius – you can choose your external colour or internal colour and there is only a protection pack (scuff plates and bumper protections) to add.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £34,635.00 and CO2 at 28g/km. The 1798 CC 1 speed auto petrol engine and 8.8 kWh battery delivers 235 combined MPG (EC), 64.2 (WLTP), 122ps, electric-only travel of 30 miles or so and 0-62 times of 11.1 seconds.
So would you select the Toyota Prius as your next PHEV leasing option? Or would Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, Kia Niro PHEV or Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV get your vote?