Understanding the Types of Low Emission Cars...

ZERO Emissions 100% Electric Cars

Originally labelled battery electric vehicles, electric vehicles are growing in popularity as their ranges have increase and the quality of the drive experience has improved to match that of petrol or diesel cars. They are powered by an onboard battery, which is usually lithium ion and is commonly installed under the floor. Drive comes from one or two electric motors. The battery is charged from the mains at home, at work or at a commercial charge point on the go. The battery/motor systems are proving to be very reliable.

Advances over the last few years have brought about ever improving ranges with Tesla and now Jaguar pushing the 300 mile range on one charge. This has brought the 100% electric vehicle into consideration for company car drivers who cover long distances and have high annual mileages, with 50,000+ annual mileages within reach for a high mileage lease customer. From a private driver point of view, the BMW i3 with a 150 mile range and the new upgraded Nissan Leaf with a 168 mile range can attract a whole new audience. Easily covering 100 miles per day and charging at home at night means an electric car covering 30,000 miles per year with ease.

HYBRID CARS , there are three types of hybrid car.

The regular Hybrid such as the Toyota Prius. The petrol engine of the Prius also drives a small generator and during any over run it diverts more power to the battery. During braking, the regenerative braking system uses the generator in reverse to brake the car and charge the battery. The energy stored in the battery is used along with the engine when demanded and the system can switch between petrol engine only, battery/motor only or a combination in any split. When the car stops the engine stops and any small movements plus initial acceleration are taken care of by the battery/electric motor. All powered by what would otherwise be wasted energy.

Plug-in Hybrid

Just like a hybrid car, plugin-hybrids are powered by a battery/electric motor and usually a small petrol engine. They have larger batteries than conventional hybrid cars but smaller batteries than conventional 100% electric cars. They can be charged from an external power point, just like an electric car and have a useful electric only range. Commonly, they will have a 20-40 mile range on electric only, enabling them to function in most cases as an electric car with the option of being used for a long journey.

Range Extender

In some cases a plug-in hybrid will simply be a 100% electric car but will have on board a small petrol engine that will add range as the batteries drop below a certain charge. The petrol engine does not drive the wheels at all and is simply a generator. The best example of this is the BMWi3 REX, for which the twin cylinder engine adds up to 70 miles to the battery/motor. This in practice takes the 150 mile range of the latest i3 to 220 miles or means that you can charge your car twice a week instead of every night.

Learn more about electric car leasing and the vehicles on offer in our Help and Advice pages or be sure to check out our blog for more info on electric cars, car reviews and car news... You can also contact our helpful team who will be happy to discuss the types of low emission lease cars in more detail.

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