Hybrid cars are the next generation of motoring, providing users with all the advantages of a traditional powertrain coupled with EV motors and batteries. The result is a vehicle that is incredibly efficient around town, yet still has the capability to complete longer journeys without the classic 'range anxiety' that a fully electric vehicle can induce.
However, as with any other vehicle, your driving style can dramatically alter the efficiency of your car. A 'heavy' accelerator foot and harsh braking will result in greater fuel consumption in a petrol vehicle. Likewise, how you drive a hybrid car can significantly impact your efficiency. So, how can you use your hybrid more effectively and keep fuel costs and energy usage down?
The most likely time you'll engage EV mode will be around town for those short trips such as commutes, school runs or shopping trips. The lower driving speeds mean you'll get more kilometres out of your battery. If you accelerate hard, you'll use up more battery power, shortening your range.
Eco mode doesn't change the speed or engine power, but it reduces the accelerator's sensitivity. That means you may have slower acceleration, but you will be able to see a marked improvement in your km/L numbers. On the open highway, you don’t need to be accelerating hard. So setting the cruise control once you’re at the correct speed will mean a more fuel-efficient journey.
Most modern hybrid vehicles have what is known as regenerative braking. This is when the batteries receive a charge when you apply the brakes. However, this system works best when your braking is smooth and progressive rather than sudden and harsh. Look well ahead, and if you see brake lights in front of you, apply steady pressure to the brakes rather than leaving it to the last minute to stamp on the brakes. Not only is it a safer way to drive, but it's more fuel and energy-efficient too.
Just like a petrol car, excess weight will directly affect your hybrid vehicle's efficiency. Don't carry more than you have to. It may be time to empty the boot to make sure you're not transporting unnecessary weight.
Not only is having the correct tyre pressure a safety concern, but it also has a considerable impact on your fuel or energy consumption, including when you're in EV mode. The more resistance your tyres produce, the greater the drag and the more energy your car needs to move along the road. Pump up the tyres to the correct pressure, and your vehicle moves much more easily, using less energy to get you up to speed.
Learn your way around your hybrid dials to check that your hybrid system is working correctly and that the car is managing those high-voltage battery levels correctly.
Our top tip: If you want to ensure you get more range in EV mode, don't select N (neutral) when you're stationary in stop-start traffic. If you do, the car won't generate electricity, and the battery will discharge.
If you want to know more about hybrid cars and discover the range of luxury hybrid vehicles from Lexus, browse our site or visit one of our Al-Futtaim Lexus showrooms. Our professional team will be happy to answer your questions. You can also arrange a test drive online and Discover Amazing for yourself today.