Even though the diesel engine has a lot of negative press due the the NO2 (nitrous oxide) emissions and the impact that has on our health, in the short term, diesel is here to stay, especially with people doing high mileage, motorway driving and towing.
The new tougher government penalties for city driving are being rolled out across the country. However this is for older diesel engines not the new Euro 6 compliant engines.
Without doubt, Petrol remains the most popular engine. As a general rule they are cheaper to buy and lease than hybrids, electric and diesel. But you may have noticed, petrol is certainly cheaper at the fuel pump.
For shorter journeys petrol is the favoured option as they have greater fuel efficiency
As electric vehicles (EVs) become more mainstream the production costs are dropping, consequently they are becoming more affordable to lease and buy. The cars are better for the environment with zero exhaust emissions. AS technology gets better so does the range of these vehicles
If you have off road parking, being able to charge at home is cost efficient, very simple and normally fast. You may also be eligible for a grant to get a home charging unit installed. Maintenance costs are a lot lower as there are less moving parts subject to wear and tear.
Plug-In Hybrid or PHEV as they are often referred to, run on both conventional engines and battery, however they take away the range anxiety that pure EVs can give. The electric motor alone usually gives around 30 miles of charge so plenty for the average commute to work. At the moment there are only a few mainstream manufacturers offering PHEVs as part of their line up. PHEVs differ from conventional hybrids as the electric motor tends to run most of the time until its needs recharging. Then the cars combustion engine will take over, seamlessly.
A traditional hybrid has an electric motor and a combustion engine. To re-charge the battery the vehicle uses two techniques to recharge, regenerative braking and the electrical generator. With regenerative braking, the car uses the heat and kinetic energy that normally dissipates with braking and turns it into electrical energy to be stored in the battery. The electrical generator runs directly off the engine.
Traditional hybrids will run on the battery at low speeds and seamlessly switch across to the combustion engine at higher speeds. Driven correctly, the hybrid is a very fuel efficient car