What is the point of hybrid vehicles?

What is the point of hybrid vehicles? For a self-charging hybrid, all electrical power would come directly or indirectly from petrol (diesel) engine. Surely there is no efficiency gained? For a PHEV, I understand it will carry a heavy battery on top of a normal car, surely it will consume more energy per mile than a pure electric or traditional vehicle. If it is not the electricity is way cheaper than petrol (diesel), there isn't really any benefit of driving one?

Asked on 14 October 2019 by aaj

Answered by Andrew Brady
Hybrids work at their best around town when they can set off under electric power and cover short distances before the engine kicks in. As well as taking power from the engine, energy is also recuperated under braking. The batteries are relatively small compared to a PHEV, but that means a PHEV can travel further under electric power when fully charged. You're right that a PHEV will use more energy than a electric or combustion-engined car due to its extra weight, but it also represents a good compromise for many people and has the ability to travel without any tailpipe emissions. Many PHEV drivers will use their car mainly for short commutes (sub-20 miles) which can be done without using any petrol, but the engine is still on hand if required for a longer journey.
Tags: phev hybrids
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