Buying a Hybrid Car: What Help?

Hybrid cars are on the rise, and with good reason: By combining an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, they allow motorists to take advantage of electricity without choosing to buy a 100% electric car. . Another interest in buying a hybrid vehicle: to take advantage of certain state aid. But be careful to distinguish between the types of hybrid cars. The latter do not actually offer all the same benefits and do not all benefit from state aid.

Written by CecileMay 18, 2022 at 16.12.

Do you want to take advantage of the contribution of an electric motor without acquiring a fully electric car? So hybrid cars are an interesting alternative. Halfway between traditional thermal cars and fully electric cars, they allow for savings on fuel consumption without having to resort to sometimes complicated recharging for 100% electric cars. The car manufacturers have well understood this, as many of them offer one or more hybrid cars. It is still necessary to understand the various hybridization systems that condition access or not to government bonuses.

A vehicle is said to be hybrid when it combines an electric motor with a conventional heat engine, whether it is petrol or diesel. The definition of the hybrid car therefore seems clear, but in practice it is sometimes difficult to navigate on the car manufacturer’s side, where the exact names can be confusing.

All about the different types of hybrid cars

Hybrid cars are actually classified into three categories. Among these, only two hybridization systems allow driving in 100% electric (more or less long). From the lightest to the most sophisticated hybridization, it is therefore possible to buy:

  • a micro-hybrid or mild-hybrid car (mHEV for mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle), also called mild hybrid,
  • a full hybrid vehicle or FHEV (Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle), also called a total hybrid,
  • a plug-in hybrid or PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle).

Mild-hybrid or micro-hybrid cars

Let’s quickly talk about the first family of hybrid cars, which allows you to harness the energy released by electricity, without necessarily being 100% electric. That mild hybrid cars have a more efficient generator starter (10 to 30 kW) and a specific battery, which is recharged using an energy recovery system during deceleration. This so-called kinetic energy provides welcome assistance to the heat engine during acceleration phases.

Good to know : Hybrid cars benefit from the Stop & Start system. This system, also found on internal combustion vehicles, is intelligent and automatically shuts off the engine when it is stopped, to restart just as quickly when the user releases the brake pedal. This technology is noticeable mainly in the city where stops are very frequent.

The key: reduced consumption … but still no mode that allows 100% electric driving. For this we are going to address the two remaining families of hybrid cars: FHEV or PHEV.

Full hybrid cars (FHEV)

FHEVs or full hybrid cars includes an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, both of which allow – simultaneously or alternately – to drive the wheels of the vehicle. The batteries in the electric motor are mainly recharged during the deceleration and braking phases. This type of hybridization benefits from the less sophisticated systems mentioned above, but above all offers the ability to run 100% electrically over a few kilometers. The electric motor takes over during the first laps with the wheel, over a short distance.

Benefit for the user: a noticeable decrease in consumption during this energy-intensive phase.

It should be noted that if the electric battery is not sufficiently charged, then only the start of the car is secured thanks to the electricity, but not the rolling phase that follows. A full hybrid car also sees that its internal combustion engine takes precedence over the electric when the speed requires it, while in phases that require increased power, such as overtaking, both motors (thermal and electric) operate simultaneously for optimal energy increase.

The interest of the all-hybrid:

  • reduce fuel consumption by letting the internal combustion engine rest from time to time, or by assisting it with its performance.
  • recharging the electric batteries is done automatically, just by driving.
  • no restrictions on connection to a terminal, nor more or less long loading time.

However, given the small size of the batteries in full hybrid cars, the 100% electric range is limited to a few kilometers.

plug-in hybrid car

Plug-in hybrids (PHEV)

To take advantage of full electric operation over greater distances, it is necessary to choose plug-in hybrids. This type of car is considered to be the most successful in terms of hybridization. Plug-in hybrids are also more expensive than FHEVs, but this higher price in particular provides greater all-electric range.

In addition to the benefits found in the other hybrid families and described earlier, a PHEV car actually makes it possible to drive about 50 to 60 km in 100% electric. To offer this greater autonomy, plug-in hybrids are equipped with larger batteries whose capacity varies from 7 to 15 kWh in general. The electric motor – or electric motors depending on the model – is also more powerful.

When the charging of the batteries no longer allows driving solely with the electric motor (s), the internal combustion engine takes over. While waiting for charging from the mains or from a terminal, the internal combustion engine gradually recharges the electric batteries in the same way as on a full hybrid. It is also possible, on certain models, to force this charging of the electric motor by the heating motor, but the fuel consumption will then be higher.

PHEVs are particularly valuable vehicles for everyday use, as their 100% electrical autonomy, greater than on FHEVs, allows less fuel to be used. To get the full benefit of it, however, it will be necessary to think about recharge them on the mains or on a charging station.

If charging is convenient, even if it takes several hours, charging at the terminal requires attention to the capacity of the batteries in the electric motor and to the vehicle itself. In fact, the terminals at the destination are not all equipped with the same power. Therefore, for efficient charging in a short time, be sure to connect your plug-in hybrid car to a compatible terminal.

Second solution : invest in your own charging station, adapted to your vehicle.

Full hybrids and rechargeable hybrids are therefore the only families of hybrids that can actually run on electric motors. These cars also offer a more comfortable ride, avoiding jerks and limiting the noise from internal combustion engines. However, it is only the purchase of a PHEV car that allows you to benefit from state aid.

hybrid car charging on the mains

State aid for the purchase of a car

Conditions of the ecological bonus: how to take advantage of it?

At the time of writing these lines are still possible to make use ofan ecological bonus when buying a plug-in hybrid car, or plug-in hybrid. The termination of this bonus for plug-in hybrids was scheduled for 1 January 2022. It has just been postponed until 1 July 2022, as stipulated in the decree of 29 December 2021 regarding. aid for the acquisition or rental of low-polluting vehicles. However, the size of the bonus decreased on July 1, 2021. This bonus is subject to certain criteria.

To take advantage of one organic bonus of 1000 euros (2000 euros previously), it is necessary:

  • buy a new plug-in hybrid car with an all-electric range of more than 50 kilometers
  • the cost of acquiring the vehicle must not exceed 50,000 euros (price incl. VAT is stated)
  • the carbon impact per kilometer should be placed in 21 and 50 grams.

If your plug-in hybrid car meets all these conditions, then you can take advantage of the ecological bonus. The dealer can deduct this bonus from the purchase price, otherwise it is up to you to apply online.

IN Overseasincrease this ecological bonus by 1,000 euros, provided you drive in this area within six months (or more) of acquiring the vehicle.

If you are considering buying a plug-in hybrid car, there is still time to enjoy this ecological bonus, set to disappear on July 1, 2022 for this type of vehicle. Subsequently, this state aid will be reserved for electric cars whose CO2 emissions do not exceed 20 g / km.

Good to know : Do you live in one of the 131 municipalities in Greater Paris? You can get a support of up to 6,000 euros, which can be combined with the organic bonus and the conversion bonus that we mention below. This aid was created by the city of Greater Paris with the aim of improving air quality.

dashboard on a hybrid car

The conversion bonus

The conversion bonus aims to help the French replace their old car with a new or used vehicle. This government promise only concerns (for the hybrid category) rechargeable hybrids or plug-in hybrids.

To benefit from this conversion bonus, which can be combined with the organic bonus, the plug-in hybrid car must benefit from a all-electric range over 50 kilometers (whether new or used). The size of the conversion premium can then reach 5,000 euros.

As for the scrapped car, it must be (for private and professional):

  • a petrol vehicle registered before 2006 or a diesel vehicle registered before 2011.
  • the total permissible weight of the car or van must not exceed 3.5 tonnes.
  • the scrapping of the old car must be done in an approved VHU center (end-of-life vehicles).

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