Thinking about making the switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle, but still have some questions?
Read on to find out the answers to some of the most common EV queries.
What is a hybrid?
There are several different types of hybrids, usually grouped by acronyms which many people are unfamiliar with.
In its simplest terms, a hybrid is a car that uses a combination of a conventional engine with petrol or diesel and an electric motor to power the car. The most common types of hybrids are listed below.
Mild hybrid (MHEV): As the name would suggest, MHEVs have very little electric assistance. Usually, they have a larger version of a standard car battery and have a very small electric motor that lends a hand to the conventional engine when the car is starting from a standstill or accelerating at a rapid pace. This helps to save fuel, however, it’s only around 5% more efficient than an internal combustion engine on average. MHEVs are not capable of being propelled by the electric motor alone.
Hybrid (HEV): A pure hybrid has a larger battery than an MHEV which can propel the car using electricity alone for very short distances, such as in heavy traffic. The battery cannot be connected to a main socket and is recharged continuously by the petrol engine as the car moves forward, or by harnessing the energy when the car slows. Hybrids typically offer a 20% saving on fuel.
Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV): The PHEV is at the top of the hybrid tree, and has the largest battery of them all. The car can be connected to the mains to recharge. It can cover many miles using only its electric motor. PHEVs also offer much larger savings than the other types of hybrids as electricity is typically cheaper than fuel.
What does the 2035 ban on new petrol and diesel cars mean for me?
The UK government has announced that brand-new vehicles powered solely by petrol and diesel will be banned from being sold in the UK in 2035. Hybrids will be available until 2035 - but only if the car can cover a ‘significant zero-emission range’ on electric power alone.
Up until 2035, you will still be able to buy new petrol and diesel cars. They won’t be banned from UK roads once we hit that date - you just won’t be able to purchase a new car or van unless it’s a hybrid or electric model.
Electric cars and vans are becoming increasingly more practical and affordable. Public charging infrastructure is improving all the time, which is ideal for drivers who don't have access to off-street parking, and those who need to travel longer distances.
Why are new petrol and diesel cars being banned?
As part of the UK government’s "green industrial revolution" as outlined in their 10-point plan – this ban is intended to help fight climate change and contribute to the British economy by creating new jobs in green energy and transport.
On average, the lifespan of a car is around 12 years. There will still be vehicles powered by combustion engines on UK roads for a long time yet, even after the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine cars and vans. Motorists will still be able to purchase petrol and diesel to fuel their cars, although we can expect the number of pumps to decrease and be replaced by chargers for electric cars.
Are electric cars really green?
No car can be totally ‘green’, but there are choices that motorists can make which will minimise the environmental impact of producing, driving, and disposing of vehicles.
It is accepted generally that producing an electric car uses more energy than manufacturing a petrol or diesel vehicle at this current time. Although, the electric vehicle can be run on renewable energy sources while the internal combustion engine must use fossil fuels. Cars powered by fossil fuels also require maintenance that includes the use of oils and filters which need careful disposal.
The UK government’s environmental report “The Road to Zero” supports this, saying:
“Electric Vehicles have substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional vehicles, even when considering the electricity source and the electricity used for battery production.”
PEUGEOT is committed to lessening the impact of EV production and is investing considerably in renewable energy and sustainable supply and distribution chains.
What measures does PEUGEOT take to minimise the impact of battery production?
Lithium and cobalt have been the source of much debate and controversy due to the fact they can come from countries and mines which have been accused of having poor environmental and human rights records.
PEUGEOT and its parent company Stellantis will not accept supplies which have come from these sources. They endeavour to work in partnership with suppliers to implement responsible procurement practices throughout the entire supply chain.
What happens to batteries when the car is scrapped?
At the moment, EV batteries are expensive and contain precious metals. This makes it extremely unlikely that they will be thrown away at a scrapyard or landfill as they are simply too useful to waste. As an EV begins to approach the end of its life, the battery is likely to be removed and used for energy storage in other things such as homes or businesses.
This means that the battery from a car like the PEUGEOT e-208 will have enough capacity to power an average British home for around three days. Some houses around the UK already have battery packs made up of ‘second life’ EV cells. These play an important role in capturing energy from solar and wind and releasing it back to the home or even into the national grid.
What is it like to drive an EV or PHEV?
There is simply nothing like getting into an electric car or a PHEV and trying it for yourself. You can request a test drive today with your local Bristol Street Motors PEUGEOT dealer to experience it for yourself.
Most of the car’s controls will be well known to you so there is nothing new to worry about. Electric and plug-in hybrid cars are all automatic, so there is no clutch pedal or gear lever. To start driving the car, press the start button to activate the system, select ‘D’ for drive, release the parking brake and set off on your journey.
As an electric motor delivers all its power as soon as you press the accelerator pedal, it feels faster than most cars powered by a combustion engine. They’re also great at holding the road as the heaviest part of the car – the battery pack – is directly under the car. This means they have a very low centre of gravity which makes them extremely stable when driving around corners.
How do I get the best out of my new EV?
All PEUGEOT electric and PHEVs feature selectable driving modes which change the way the car feels and responds. These range from an ‘Eco’ setting which enables you to prolong your energy to ‘Sport’, which gives you more power but less efficiency on the battery pack.
PEUGEOT’s PHEVs will always begin in electric mode as standard. Within the car, settings allow you to lock the system into an electric-only mode, which allows you to make the most of the silent and emission-free powertrain when in cities.
The next feature that stands out on electric and hybrid cars is regenerative braking. This is a braking system that when you lift your foot from the accelerator pedal the electric motor switches to become a generator, harnessing the power that is normally wasted to funnel power back into the battery. You can select the level of regeneration depending on the way you drive, ranging from low to very strong.
Are electric cars reliable?
Electric cars have proved to be incredibly reliable. A major reason for this is they have fewer moving parts than a conventionally-engined vehicle. For example, there are no exhausts, fuel delivery systems, oil filters, gears, or clutches to wear out, replace, or maintain.
The electric motor which powers the car and batteries is largely maintenance-free and is manufactured to last the lifetime of the car – or even longer in some cases! Other than the electrical system, most of the other parts in PEUGEOT electric vehicles are shared with other models in the range.
PEUGEOT’s electric range of cars also conforms to the same strict testing regulations as other PEUGEOT vehicles to guarantee years of dutiful and reliable enjoyment on the road.
How long will a battery last?
Although EV batteries will likely lose some performance over time, they are designed to be much more adaptable than the power packs in household electrical items so they should last as long as the car.
The car’s electronics will carefully manage things that impact battery life such as high or low temperatures which might harm the battery cells, but owners can learn how to better look after their battery too. Our friendly sales team can help you understand these when you collect your car.
Does the battery need special care?
Your PEUGEOT battery pack is maintenance-free, so you won’t ever need to carry out maintenance to keep it healthy - all you will need to do is charge it when needed. When your car is serviced, our technicians will plug into the car’s computer and perform a health check of the battery and advise you on how to optimise your driving to give the battery the longest life possible.
The internal computer will do most of the work for you, making sure that the electrical cells are kept at the correct temperature in extreme weather or while rapid charging. This will make sure it can charge at the fastest possible rate but will also ensure the long-term health of your battery.
One tip to consider is avoiding charging up your battery to 100% if it is not needed. If you think you’ll need a full charge for your journey, it would be best to only top up to 80% or less. Your EV will let you set the charge level in the EV menu.
Also, it isn’t optimal for the battery to be left with only a small amount of charge. Be sure to keep this in mind if you are going away on an extended holiday or not using the car for longer than a week or so.
Can the battery be repaired?
All PEUGEOT EV batteries are designed to not require maintenance and shouldn’t need any repairs or maintenance during their lifetime. Additionally, the batteries are protected within a sealed steel case to stop any damage from water or road debris.
In the rare event that there is an issue caused by external damage or a malfunction, the car’s systems will make sure it remains safe. The entire battery pack can be removed and inspected by our technicians to diagnose the issue. If necessary, individual cells within the battery pack can be replaced to restore it to optimal health.
What does the PEUGEOT battery warranty cover?
The new vehicle warranty that PEUGEOT offers on all its models covers material or manufacturing defects for three years or 60,000 miles from first registration.
PEUGEOT understand that some owners might be nervous about the new technology within electric vehicles, so the warranty for the lithium-ion battery pack is extended to eight years or 100,000 miles for 70% of its capacity.
This ensures that at least 70% of the battery’s charging capacity is expertly maintained for the warranty period, or it will be repaired by PEUGEOT, subject to the usual terms and conditions. The warranty offered by PEUGEOT also includes roadside assistance.
Is it expensive to service electric cars?
Compared to cars powered by fossil fuels, it is not expensive to service electric cars. In fact, the maintenance costs of electric cars are around 30% less on average than an equivalent petrol or diesel – meaning motorists can save money in the long run.
On average, electric cars are much lighter on brake wear too as they use regenerative braking.
If you are concerned about service costs, then you might want to consider a service plan package, which can help you spread the cost of vehicle maintenance across manageable monthly payments.
Can every PEUGEOT dealer look after an electric car?
Most of the vehicle components are shared with the petrol and diesel models, with the main difference being the electric powertrain. It is actually much simpler, however conducting repairs requires special training to ensure everyone is kept safe – after all, there is high voltage and a lot of power involved.
Our expert technicians have undertaken a series of training courses which ensure that they can maintain and repair electric and hybrid vehicles.
Are electric cars safe in an accident?
The independent testing organisation Euro NCAP tests most cars on the market and has discovered that electric vehicles are as safe - or even safer - than conventional cars in the event of an accident.
PEUGEOT’s engineering team ensure that all our vehicles are fitted with the latest technology to prevent accidents from taking place in the first instance. In the unfortunate event of an accident, the car’s strong shell and passive safety systems will ensure that the occupants and the electrical systems are well insulated from harm.
Can you drive electric cars in a flood, heavy rain, or through a car wash?
It’s well known of course that electricity and water don’t mix, which is why PEUGEOT’s engineers go to extraordinary lengths to ensure its EVs can be used in all the same conditions you would expect to use a conventional petrol or diesel car. Prototypes have been tested in heavy rain, standing water and other extreme weather conditions. They have even been tested in a lightning storm situation and have been found to be perfectly safe.
In general, there is no need to modify your behaviour in an electric car, as both electric cars and those with a combustion engine are perfectly safe to drive in extreme weather or through a car wash.
Low and Zero Emission Zones: what are they and what do they mean for me?
Low and Zero Emission Zones are areas which are to specifically be used by traffic which produces little or no exhaust emissions. This is usually because they are densely populated urban areas where the air quality is of a poor standard.
The first Low and Ultra Low Emission Zones are in London, with the idea to extend them to much larger areas in the future. Any vehicles which enter the zone must be officially certified to have modern emissions equipment or be a cleaner engine type.
Cities all over the UK have similar zones or are expected to introduce low or zero-emission zones. These include places such as Aberdeen, Bath, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield.
Will PHEVs be able to use ZEZs in the future?
The rules in place around plug-in hybrid vehicles inside Zero Emission Zones are still to be finalised. For example, the Oxford Scheme will only allow vehicles completely powered by an electric battery inside the designated area without paying, so PHEVs would not be included - even if they are running in electric mode.
In the future, as schemes become more widespread, a system will likely be established allowing PHEV owners to use technology to prove they didn’t use an internal combustion engine while driving in the zone. Motorists could simply display an indicator light which illuminates when in EV mode, as is the case on PEUGEOT PHEVs.
PEUGEOT endeavours to ensure it is part of the policy discussion and ensure that its customers' interests are considered.
Is it easy to charge an EV or PHEV?
Charging your EV or PHEV can feel as simple as plugging in your phone or laptop. All you need is a standard UK domestic socket. Despite this, we do recommend that owners have a dedicated home wallbox installed. This will make charging far faster, safer, and more convenient. Away from home, you will have the choice of two different types of charging.
AC - This is similar to what you might use with your home wallbox. These charging units are typically found in places where you will be parked for a longer period, such as train stations, shopping centres, and office buildings.
DC or ‘rapid charging’ - These are usually found in service stations and other locations near major roads - such as a supermarket or restaurants. They are specially designed to top up your batteries while you are on a long journey, or if you don’t have access to off-street parking. These can charge a PEUGEOT at up to 100kW, making them much faster than UK standard AC outlets.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
The amount of time it takes to charge an electric car will depend, mainly on the type of electrical connection you have access to. The slowest charger is a normal three-pin socket, which is best kept for ‘emergency’ use when there is not any other form of charger available.
The amount of electrical charge from these is around 2kW per hour. The average capacity for a car battery is around 60kWh. They can be extremely handy if you just want to get a few extra miles in the ‘tank’ though.
The most common charger for EV owners is a wallbox, which will normally feed power at either 3.6, 7.2 or 11kWh. There are also public AC chargers, that have similar outputs to a wallbox, so plugging in while you shop or have lunch in a busy city centre would typically add around 30 miles of range to a car like the PEUGEOT e-2008.
The biggest and fastest chargers are called DC ‘rapids’ and can be found at service stations and other locations up and down the country.
What will owning an electric car do to my electricity bill?
If you have an electric car for daily use, it can be expected that your energy bill will rise. The benefit, of course, is that you will never have to go to a petrol station again, so that cost will disappear.
Once you have purchased your electric car, it will be worth shopping around for different energy deals which consider your higher usage and reduce the price per kW/h unit. Many suppliers will also be able to offer you cheaper energy prices at night by using a smart meter.
Simply by setting your PEUGEOT's charging timer in the car’s infotainment menu or via the MYPEUGEOT app, you will be able to take advantage of cheaper electric rates to top up while you sleep. This will help you cut the cost of recharging by up to a third.
Another efficient way of cutting costs is looking out for places which offer free electric car charging. Some shops and businesses will let you plug in for free and you may be able to charge at your place of work without it being considered a taxable benefit.
How do I charge away from home?
Most EV owners will charge their cars at home or work because it is so convenient. You can park your car while you sleep or get on with your day of work or leisure and get back to find your battery has been topped up. However, there are likely going to be times when you need to charge your vehicle away from your home.
You can find convenient charging points along your route with the MYPEUGEOT app. Once you have located the charge point, may sure to make a note of the type of charger it is.
If you plan to be parked for more than an hour or are plugging in a PHEV, an AC charger will be the most suitable for your vehicle. These do not usually have a cable attached, so you will need to use the ‘Type 2’ lead which comes with your car.
For the quickest and most efficient charge for your pure electric car, look for a DC charger, usually referred to as a ‘rapid’. Rapid chargers work at a very high voltage and can add lots of power extremely quickly. They have cables that are attached to the charger unit, so make sure to park as close as possible to your charging port, and then select the plug marked ‘CCS’.
What happens if I run out of charge?
You may have heard of ‘range anxiety’. This is something which can be experienced by most first-time electric car owners. If you are driving a PHEV, the car will simply switch to petrol power once the battery has run out of charge. However, in an electric car, you will experience much the same sensation as if you ran out of fuel in a petrol or diesel car, although you will be warned several times before you get to the stage where the car won’t move.
Your electric vehicle will also offer to find the nearest charging points using the MYPEUGEOT app as the battery level starts to decrease, allowing you to stay on the move. If you do find yourself having run out of power, the MYPEUGEOT app is also able to call PEUGEOT’s mobility service. Your vehicle will then be transported to the nearest charging point to get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Is PEUGEOT looking at hydrogen and synthetic fuels?
PEUGEOT work continuously with experts from different parts of the world to ensure the fuels used in their vehicles are as efficient and sustainable as possible.
However, the practicalities of producing, storing, and distributing hydrogen mean that battery-electric vehicles are a far more viable option in the UK right now. They are currently much cheaper to purchase and operate too
Some industry experts have also put forward synthetic fuels as a way of reducing carbon and being kinder to the environment. Like hydrogen, they are created using electricity to manufacture a fuel which can then be burned in a conventional internal combustion engine. Due to this, existing cars and commercial vehicles can also use them with no changes needed to infrastructure.
PEUGEOT believes the best way it can contribute to the decarbonisation of transport is to continue producing affordable and attractive battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles which drivers will be proud to own and drive.
We hope this article has helped to clarify some of your most common queries about electric and hybrid vehicles. Follow the links below for more information.