In simple terms, energy is stored in a large battery, which drives a powerful electric motor. Easy. To charge it, simply plug it into a home ChargePoint, or a public charger when you’re out and about, and the car will take care of the rest. Plug it in at home, and you wake up every morning with a ‘full tank’ – in the case of the e-Niro, that’s a potential 282-mile range! The car then drives on battery power alone, there is no need to add petrol or diesel. It can even add a charge to the battery while you are driving by recovering energy that would normally be lost – when braking for example.
How does a self-charging hybrid car work?
In terms of how you use it, a self-charging hybrid car works just like a conventional car – there is no need to plug in – simply fill up with petrol at the pumps, and off you go! So what does hybrid mean? It’s pretty simple, along with a petrol or diesel engine, hybrid cars also have an electric motor that is powered by a small battery. The aim of the electric motor is to assist the engine and occasionally drive very short distances on battery power – as opposed to driving long distances on battery power alone as a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric vehicle would.
The battery is charged by recovering energy that would otherwise be wasted – when slowing down for example. The battery then feeds this energy to the electric motor to help with acceleration or to drive the car at low speeds. This means lower emissions, better fuel economy and more money to spend on the things you enjoy. Great!
How does a plug-in hybrid car work?
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) works in a similar way to a self-charging hybrid– there is a petrol engine that works with an electric motor and a battery. In a plug-in hybrid, the battery is much larger than in a self-charging hybrid. This means the car is able to travel around 30 miles on battery power alone – more than enough for the UK average daily commute – but it can also call on the petrol engine for longer trips.
Like a self-charging hybrid, the battery can be charged a little while driving, but for the full benefit, you will need to plug in. Charging a PHEV should take less than three hours. Put this all together and you can enjoy miles of low-cost, all-electric driving while still having a petrol engine for those rare long-distance trips. Perfect.
What is it really like to drive an electric car?
Rather fun, actually. Electric cars are incredibly responsive. That’s because unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce maximum torque at any rpm. So you can enjoy brisk, instant acceleration at any speed without worrying about gear changes – all that torque means electric cars only need one forward gear! The All-New e-Niro can surge from 0-62mph in just 7.8 seconds.
Handling can be impressive, too. Because the batteries are in the floor, electric cars have a low centre of gravity, which helps minimise body roll while making the car feel planted, providing a fun, dynamic drive. The All-New e-Niro even has a sport mode!
If efficiency is your main concern, there’s an eco mode, too. The All-New Kia e-Niro offers a driving range of 282 miles (WLTP combined cycle) on a full charge – that’s London to Newcastle! For some everyday context, the average UK commute is just 10 miles – so the average person could do more than two weeks of commuting without needing to charge once.
Most charging with an electric car is done at home. But If you want to top up on the go, there are more than 7,000 public charging locations in the UK, and most of them have multiple connectors. Plug an All-New e-Niro into a 100kW fast charger and you’ll have 80% charge in just 54 minutes – that’s enough to travel 225 miles!.
What is it really like to drive a self-charging hybrid car?
Very similar to driving a conventional car, but with a few bonuses. The best part is that the car’s clever systems decide how to use the battery and electric motor in the most efficient way possible. You just need to drive as you normally would, while enjoying improved fuel economy and lower emissions.
If you want to have more of a say, you can change driving modes to encourage the car to focus on the economy, or if you want a more dynamic drive, you can switch Sport mode. You will also notice that the car is quieter, particularly around town, thanks to the assistance from the electric motor.
What’s it really like to drive a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)?
Relaxing and rather fun, actually. When running on battery power, PHEVs are very responsive, because unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce maximum torque at any rpm. Acceleration is instant.
Most charging in the UK is done at home, but If you want to top up on the go, there are more than 7,000 public charging locations in the UK. Or, you can simply let the petrol engine take over when you run out of charge.
All you have to worry about is driving as you normally would while reaping the benefits of improved fuel economy and lower emissions.