3 uses that can correspond to the purchase of a non-rechargeable hybrid car

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There is nothing insignificant about adding an electric motor to a vehicle already equipped with a thermal block. Making them work together is complex, and yet a non-rechargeable hybrid model (also called a “full hybrid” or FHEV) doesn’t change its owner’s driving method in any way, compared to a 100% thermal equivalent with automatic transmission. The whole complexity of the system has only one goal, to consume less and reduce exhaust emissions. An average reduction of 0.7 l. at 1.5 l./100 km according to the manufacturer’s approval data in the WLTP cycle, can be expected.

A goal already pointed out by the evolution of engines when they add elements of pollution control or modifications on injection, supercharging, distribution. But here the change is deeper, the investments to achieve it are greater and the gains can be more significant for certain types of use but, on the contrary, inconclusive or even counterproductive in other conditions. Not to mention the largest increase in purchase prices (between € 1,000 and € 2,000).

A partially offset cost during maintenance, thanks, depending on the technical solutions used (planetary gear train, dog box, etc.), to a limited number of mechanical parts and, more generally, to less wear of the brake pads. But to expect your purchase to be profitable, the non-rechargeable hybrid vehicle must be used for the uses for which it generates the most consumption savings.

Among these uses, those in which the “full hybrid” becomes even more recommended than any other engine often come close to uses especially suitable for gasoline engines, but differ from them by a few additional conditions. These are the profiles most compatible with this choice of non-rechargeable hybrids.

You do not have a charging plug when the vehicles to be plugged in may have been suitable for you

Illustrative photoPhoto Credit – Renault

The largest consumption gains of the non-rechargeable hybrid can be seen in the city. From a concentrated use in this urban environment, you would need a small vehicle for everyday life, or a more familiar model to cover all your annual commutes, based mainly on urban traffic and urban periphery with longer punctual journeys. A small electric model in the first case or a version with a larger battery in the second, or even a rechargeable hybrid, might be fine. Problem is, you can’t install a charging station at home, or you don’t have access to a plug. Unless you’re just getting ready to go back to the logic of recharging, especially on long trips.

Therefore, the non-rechargeable hybrid, such as the gasoline engine, becomes suitable options. But with this high proportion of urban traffic, the consumption savings of the non-rechargeable hybrid could make the initial investment profitable during the vehicle’s ownership period.

The second urban vehicle capable of going far

Illustration photo - Toyota Yaris

Illustrative photoPhoto credit – Honda

Again, the non-rechargeable hybrid engine and the gasoline engine come together here. As part of the acquisition of a second vehicle, it will generally have to cover fewer kilometers as it is not intended for family travel. But if from time to time you have to be able to travel long distances, this eliminates the choice of the small 100% electric vehicle, in favor of these two proposals “full hybrid” or gasoline.

For the operation to be interesting with the first solution, despite the additional cost of purchase, it will be necessary, on the one hand, that the long journeys are not too numerous and, on the other hand, that the daily journeys remain concentrated in the city for the most part.

Daily commutes on the main roads (unless they are always congested) limit the hybrid’s consumption gains and then tip the scales towards 100% thermal gasoline.

The main vehicle for moderate mileage limited on long journeys

Illustration photo - Toyota Yaris

Illustrative photoPhoto Credit – Ford

By not disturbing the ease of use of 100% thermal models, non-rechargeable hybridization offers the same versatility as the latter. Choosing it as the main vehicle capable of meeting all needs is very possible. In this case, the annual mileage should not exceed 20,000 km, often involving trips on highways, where diesel is more competitive. If this threshold is exceeded but the “Low Emission Zones” (ZFE) also need regular access, the unhybridised petrol engine remains the alternative to diesel.

On the contrary, below this threshold, but with a mileage distributed mainly in urban areas, with a relatively low proportion of long journeys, a non-rechargeable hybrid will benefit from its lower fuel consumption.

to summarize

With two engines under the hood, the hybrid car is, by definition, a 100% thermal and all-electric intermediate solution. A combination of the two energies that wants to preserve the ease of use of the first while reducing its consumption with an operation partly equivalent to the second. If the use adapted to the non-rechargeable hybrid seems very close to that of a petrol engine, it stands out with nuances for its specificities.

Quentin Cazergues

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