Do hybrid or electric vehicles make Gloucestershire greener?

Cheltenham's Cleevely EV weighs up the benefits of hybrid vs electric vehicles and reveals some surprising uses for your car's battery - including powering events!

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Choosing the right vehicle for your lifestyle in Gloucestershire can mean weighing up lots of different choices.

Owner of Cleevely EV, Matt Cleevely is one of the UK's leaders in his knowledge of electric vehicles and how to get the best out of them.

SoGlos gets the lowdown from him on choosing the right new vehicle for you and the environment. 

Electric vs hybrid - what's the difference?

The difference between battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles is that with a hybrid you still need to put petrol or diesel in a vehicle.

With an electric car, the energy you use to power it comes from the energy stored in the battery, from plugging it in to charge.

With hybrids, you are powered by both fuel and electricity. Beyond this, there are hybrid variations too. These include plug-in hybrids, where the high voltage system is charged by plugging the vehicle into an electricity source, whereas a mild hybrid creates the energy in the battery through burning the fuel - a very small proportion of  the battery charging will occur during the vehicle usage and regenerative braking.

What are the benefits of hybrid?

With having the two power sources, the electric motor will power the vehicle at lower speeds. This is a real benefit in our cities, towns and villages, especially around our children’s schools and in built-up areas.

They also offer a higher mileage range, which is more in line with what consumers are used to with a full tank of fuel.

What do you see as the top benefits of electric?

After driving electric vehicles for the past five years, the driving experience is a great benefit. The instant power and torque of the vehicle is more than enough to change the minds of most ‘petrol heads’.

With a broader picture on electric vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions and congestion incentives, they are a strong choice for our towns and cities.

Currently, there is no road tax fee with electric vehicles, although this will no doubt change over the coming years.

Importantly, let's talk electricity. We are all aware of how much prices have soared over the last year.

Many electricity companies are providing incentives, such as lower prices to encourage electric vehicle owners to charge at off-peak times when there is surplus energy.

This tends to happen overnight, when we are all asleep. It's worth having a look into whether your energy provider has tariffs specifically for electric vehicle owners.

What do people often not realise about hybrids?

Hybrids can be perfect ​for some, if you are doing 200 miles plus each day.

Hybrid cars can also be less powerful due to the weight of the vehicles - you have an engine, fuel tank, battery and electric motor to carry around with you, which requires more fuel usage. 

Plug-in hybrids are a stepping stone to electric vehicle ownership. Through the plugging in part, you have more of an awareness of what energy you are using. This works both ways, as you begin to begrudge putting fuel into the vehicle.

What is sometimes surprising about EVs?

How fast they are, the instant torque and acceleration speed makes them great fun to drive.

It's interesting how much of a high voltage battery system on an electric vehicle can be recycled or reused.

Most components are recyclable and the high voltage batteries have other uses, for example providing power for events, or as battery storage for homes and businesses.

People are often surprised by the fact that electric vehicles don’t take as long to charge as most people think. Dependent on the charger size and power output, charging to 80 per cent can take as little as 20 minutes at motorway services. And if you think about it, that allows just about enough time to stand in the queue to get a coffee.

If you were to choose between the two, which would you go for and why?

Electric - all day long! We have previously had a plug-in hybrid, so returning to burning fuel is not something I see us doing any time soon.

More on Cleevely Motors and Cleevely Electric Vehicles

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