There are lots of things to consider when choosing a new car, but fuel type is one of the most important when it comes to running costs, affordability and environmental impact. The Motability Scheme offers hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric vehicles to give you as much choice as possible. As more and more electric cars become available on the Motability Scheme, our Motability Specialist can help guide you through the different types of electric vehicles, plus hybrids and alternative fuels that are available on the Motability Scheme.
See what Valentina and her daughter, Ana, who recently joined the Motability Scheme and ordered an electric car. What do they think of their new vehicle?
Hybrid vehicles combine standard petrol or a diesel combustion engine, battery and electric motor and can be considered the first step towards going fully electric. The electric motor powers the wheels at lower speeds or in combination with the combustion engine, with the combustion engine taking over the driving or recharging the battery when needed. This combination makes hybrid vehicles highly efficient for urban driving.
Typically a hybrid vehicle battery is charged by the engine, mainly from the energy created under braking. However, you can also get plug-in hybrids which can be charged using an electric socket or a charging point and often feature a bigger battery, meaning you can drive further on pure electric power. In some cases, this can be as much as 30 miles. Otherwise, hybrids are refueled in the same way as a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle.
Fully electric vehicles are probably the long-term future of motoring. Electric vehicles work solely on battery power and are the ultimate eco-friendly choice as they create zero exhaust emissions.
Rather than MPG, electric vehicles work on ‘range’ and you need to regularly charge an electric vehicle to make sure you have enough range to complete your journey. The range of an electric vehicle is the distance that can be driven on a single full charge of the battery, but this can be affected by a number of factors including the outside temperature, your driving style and even whether or not you are using the air-conditioning. Generally, electric vehicles are more suited to urban driving rather than longer motorway journeys.
As electric vehicles do not use any sort of combustion engine, they do not produce any CO2 emissions.
There are two things to think about before making your choice, charging and range.
Charging cables can be heavier than you think, and need to be plugged into the wall and the car. If you are a wheelchair user or have restricted mobility this is something to consider. You will also need to store the cable in the car for charging on the go. If you have a lot of equipment to carry, think about the space this might take up.
Charging stations are often built into parking bays at service stations or on curb sides, but there may not always be a dropped curb which could restrict your mobility; however, most are found in car parks that have level access making it easier to charge on the go.
Depending on the type of journeys you take, you will need to know how far you can go in your electric car before you need to recharge. Making sure your car is fully charged before you set off is a good habit to get into.
Once you’ve worked out what type of car you want and have looked at the available options, we would recommend that you take a few different cars out for a test drive. Even if you are not going to be driving yourself, you need to make sure the car is comfortable and suits your needs. With a range of Hybrid, Hybrid Plug-in, and full electric EV vehicles available on the Motability Scheme across all our franchises contact one of our franchise Motability Specialist to arrange a test drive.