Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid Vehicles available in Australia

If you are thinking about moving to an electric vehicle and you can’t wait for the range to rise to your comfort zone, you may want to consider hybrids or better still plug-in hybrids.

Hybrid cars have petrol motors boosted by a powerful electric motor. They only have  small batteries which can only be charged by the on-board generator  and they have very limited electric only range but the combination gives good performance and very low fuel consumption. The Toyota Corolla hybrid sells for around $30,000 and it only uses 4.2 L/100km and has a 600km range. There are a lot of hybrid cars sold in Australia now. https://rac.com.au/car-motoring/info/hybrid-cars-australia

Plugin Hybrids are similar but have larger batteries which can be charged at home or from a charge station and give around 60-70km of electric range. So if your daily commute is within this range your fuel cost would be dramatically reduced. A 60km  battery charge would cost $3 or only $1 if you can charge from your solar. The Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in has 77kw petrol engine, a 44kw electric motor and a 9kwh Lithium Iron battery which gives it 60km electric range and 900km range on a tank of fuel. The quoted consumption figure is 1.1L/100km but I suspect that this figure is achieved with a lot of short electric only trips. I think the fuel consumption would be around 4 to 5 L/100km on a trip. There are not many plug-in hybrids for sale. I found only  the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in, the Mitsubishi Outlander Phev , Ford Escape Hybrid, Mini Countryman Hybrid , Mercedes A250e, Mercedes C300e and Volvo XC40 Recharge, Volvo XC60 T7 Polestar , BMW 330e , BMW530e. https://www.whichcar.com.au/car-advice/phev-on-sale-in-australia

I must mention my Holden Volt which I bought one second hand. It is a bit different to the other hybrids as it is always driven by the 110kw electric motor.  It has  a 1.4 litre petrol motor which only drives a generator and supplies power to the electric drive motor and charges the battery. So when in hybrid mode the electric drive pulls power from both the battery and the generator but when braking or going downhill it stores power back in the battery. The Volt gives me around 70km electric range and 800km range in hybrid mode with fuel consumption around 6L/100km in hybrid mode. I charge my Volt from my solar panels and get most of my local driving  without using any petrol. Read more about my Volt here and my experience with installing solar panels here


Rob Shorrock

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