The Hybrid Revolution . Taking a Closer Look at Premium Hybrid Vehicles
Diesel fuel, for example, has become increasingly vilified following on from the emissions scandal of a few years ago. The world needed an alternative source of motive power and turned to electricity; but because of certain limiting factors like range, electric cars have not proved to be the ultimate solution. For now, until battery capacity can be greatly increased, we needed a fresh idea and it arrived in the form of the hybrid car.
The Advantages Of Hybrid
Briefly, a hybrid vehicle is one that uses more than one means of propulsion. As things stand at the moment this means combining a normal petrol or diesel engine, either as primary driver or generator with one or more electric motors. These vehicles can either be Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) or self-generators that need no outside electrical source.
The chief advantages of hybrids are that they use less fossil fuel and emit less CO² than most conventional mainstream vehicles. At low speeds they can run on electric power alone. As a result, here in the UK at least, owners also get extra benefits in the shape of lower rates of road and company car tax, as well as possibly avoiding city congestion charges. Obviously this will be dependent upon where in the world you are, but most countries are now seeing the light when it comes to pollution issues and the like.
Availability Of Hybrid Vehicles
Most motor manufacturers have jumped on to this bandwagon. They realise that a fully electric car that will cover long distances without the need for a lengthy roadside stopover is still some way off. The infrastructure for very high speed chargers lags way behind the sale of vehicles; hence the sense of hybrid.
There’s a wide choice. Here’s a look at just three premium hybrids that we at MHH International have viewed recently and it is not by any means a definitive list. There’s plenty more where these came from across most brands:
The Mercedes C350e
The C350e plug-in hybrid features the same advanced plug-in hybrid technology as the award-winning new S-Class. The car is powered by a 1,991cc turbo-charged petrol engine and a powerful electric motor for a total system output of 279hp and torque of 600Nm. This bold, powerful car (0-62mph in 6.2 seconds) has a pure-electric range of around 19 miles and posts the official figure equivalent of 134.5 miles for your gallon and CO² emissions of just 49g/km on the combined economy run.
BMW 330e iPerformance
The BMW 330e PHEV commands the same presence on the road as its conventional siblings. It doesn’t make any silly points about green motoring; it is pure BMW. Interested parties will probably only be able to tell the plug-in hybrid BMW 3 Series by its badge. Under the bonnet power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor producing a combined total of 249bhp. 0-62mph rushes towards you in just 6.1 seconds, yet the fuel economy and emission numbers are on a par with the above Mercedes.
The Audi Q7 e-tron
This is the first ever Audi plug-in hybrid; a SUV that combines a powerful six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with an electric motor to deliver 368bhp of system power coupled with a frankly huge 700Nm of torque. With the two power units working in unison the Q7 e-tron offers the potential for electric-only zero emissions driving for up to 34 miles and a total range of up to 820 miles. This equates to a total of 156.9mpg. You still get the quattro drive too. A real all-terrain hero.
As mentioned these are just three of the many premium hybrids available today. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at MHH if you have any further enquiries.