In this world of ever increasing fuel costs and the charge of electric cars there is a world that harnesses both the electric power and internal combustion power and that is hybrids. A hybrid car is essentially a car propelled by two power sources, a petrol or diesel internal combustion engine and an electric motor(s). Essentially, a hybrid vehicle can operate with one of those sources or both at a given time. For example when driving at low speeds around town you may only use electric power only and then the engine will kick in when you need more power to speed up. The good thing about hybrids fuel efficiency as the electric motor supplements the engine and provides more torque while the engine will maintain higher speeds. The electric motor is battery powered and charged by energy gained when braking, so there is no need for plugging the battery to a power outlet for a charge.
Now that we have that out of the way the begging question is how many hybrid vehicle do we on offer on our market?
Toyota is deemed as the champion of hybrid cars since the introduction of the Prius in 1997 and has since followed up with a plethora of models in their lineup. Other makers have also followed suit such as Honda and BMW and Porsche.
BMW has the i8 hybrid sports car, a futuristic sports coupe that uses an innovative plug-in hybrid engine that generates 275 kW and 570 Nm. This is credit to the 1.5 litre 3 cylinder engine that pump out 170kW and 320N.m, while the electric motor churns out 105kW and 250N.m. This car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km in just 4.4 seconds. According to BMW, this hybrid system has “enormous efficiency, as evidenced by the combined consumption of only 1.9 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of up to 42 g/km”.
Over at Porsche we have options of Panamera 4 E-Hybrid saloon and Sport Turismo as well as Cayenne E-Hybrid. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid starts at just over R 2 000 000, not cheap but you do get “performance, efficiency and comfort.” Pushing out 340 kW combined power from the electric motor and petrol engine.
For Cayenne E-Hybrid we have the price starting at R 1 832 000. All that money gets you high performance from 340kW combine power inspired by motorsport.
Land Rover offers a Range Rover PHEV and Range Rover Sport PHEV. The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine lightweight Ingenium engines and 105kW electric motor, together with a large 13kWh capacity battery which is charged via an external source. In EV mode this delivers up to 48 km from a full charge with zero CO2 tailpipe emissions. Prices start at R1,654,900 for the Range Rover Sport PHEV and R2,233,400 for the Range Rover PHEV.
Lexus has a plethora of hybrid offering with almost every model in their lineup spotting a hybrid option. These are self-charging, meaning every time you brake, the regenerative motor charges, storing electrical energy for high-powered takeoffs and low-speed driving. There is the RX450h, NX300h, IS300h, ES300h and the UX250h. These retail from R690 300 for the cheapest UX250h to R1 368 900 for the RX450h.
Toyota currently has only one offering, the pioneering and venerable Prius now in its 4th generation, priced from From R518 200.
Prices are accurate as of July 2020 for all the listed and mentioned models.
Previously on our market, we’ve had some Hybrid models offered from different manufacturers and these include the BMW 3-Series Active Hybrid, Honda Jazz Hybrid, Honda Insight Hybrid, Honda CR-Z Sports Coupe Hybrid, Toyota Yaris Hybrid, Toyota Auris Hybrid, Lexus GS450h, Lexus RX450h, Lexus LC500h and the LS600h.