Are Hybrid Cars The Answer?
An integrated electric starter-generator supports the car’s petrol or diesel engine for cleaner performance that helps reduce fuel consumption and lower tailpipe emissions. Additionally, the technology aids acceleration and makes for a smoother drive. More and more prestige cars are featuring this excellent compromise.
Plug-in hybrids, or PHEVs, generally have a larger and more powerful battery than their non-plug-in hybrid counterparts, enabling them to operate entirely on electrical power, just like a purely electric vehicle that does not have a fossil-fuel engine. They can run for relatively short distances on electricity alone.
Whichever makes more sense to car buyers it does at least offer options when the full-blown EV offerings do not suit. Here are some examples of hybrid vehicles that offer greener credentials whilst being entirely capable of running long distances without the need to re-fuel:
Volvo S90 Twin-Engine Hybrid
The S90 is Volvo’s premium four-door, flagship saloon. All the usual classic Volvo styling cues are there, making the car instantly recognisable as being from the prestige Swedish company. The cabin has the by now expected cool Scandinavian vibe and features new details on the connected dashboard and instrument panel.
Power from this range-topping hybrid is derived from the T8 Twin Engine, a petrol-plug-in model driving through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine delivers all the benefits of a high performance, low emission petrol engine with an electric motor that delivers power on demand with ultra-low CO2 emissions and more than 30 miles of pure electric range.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class E300e EQ Power SE
The latest, long-established Mercedes Benz E-Class offers enhanced self driving ability (not fully autonomous), an advanced digital dashboard, touch sensitive controls on the steering wheel, a nine-speed automatic gearbox and a plug-in hybrid function.
This petrol-electric function combines the electric motor with the auto gearbox. The electric motor is designed to work seamlessly with both the turbo engine and the automatic 'box. This fine German saloon can also run in electric-only mode.
Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
With those familiar design cues that spread across the whole Porsche range, the Panamera offers luxurious motoring matched by outstanding performance. This is a saloon car in which to cross continents.
Drawing on the technology gleaned from the development of the Porsche 918 Spyder, the plug-in hybrid always starts in purely electric mode and can cover a range of up to 31 miles (50 kilometres) on EV power alone, with the potential to reach a speed of 86mph as a zero-emissions vehicle. The all-wheel-drive Panamera manages the benchmark sprint to 62mph in just 4.6 seconds and the as-standard air suspension ensures an optimum balance between comfort and handling at all times. One for the connoisseurs.
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