On the grand scheme of things, hybrid and electric vehicles haven't been around for that long. The Nissan Leaf was only introduced in 2010, for example.
However, with research suggesting a 'climate catastrophe' is just over the horizon, and with news outlets frequently reporting the slow diminish of crude oil, hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly popular choice.
The electric/hybrid revolution is well underway, with a huge number of manufacturers boasting at least one 'green' model in their line up. For example, Mercedes-Benz have pledged to have an electrified version of each of their models by 2022, while Honda intend on two-thirds of their sales being electric by the end of 2030.
The threat of global disaster isn't the only reason you should invest in a hybrid or electric car, there's a number of other reasons they make sense too. We also wrote about our favourite used electric and hybrid cars.
Cheaper to run
It probably comes as no surprise to learn that hybrid and electric cars are considerably cheaper to run than their petrol powered counterparts. For example, a full charge on a Nissan Leaf will only cost a few quid and give you a range of up to 250 miles (trim dependent).
The cheaper running costs aren't just limited to the cost of charging the battery either; the majority of hybrids/electric cars are designed to run on 'eco-friendly' tyres, which have a lower rolling resistance. They also typically last longer than performance-orientated tyres.
They are better for the environment
Global warming is one of those issues that isn't going away any time soon. However, you can do your bit by investing in a hybrid or electric car because they emit considerably less harmful gasses than the typical petrol powered car.
Electric cars run purely off their batteries and therefore burn no fuel as a result, which means absolutely no CO2 is being produced. Hybrids do emit emissions because of their engines, but they are usually very low. Opt for a Toyota Prius and CO2 emissions will be as low as 70g/km.
Although modern cars do an excellent job when it comes to refinement, they aren't quite on the same level as a hybrid or electric car. The issue with petrol, or diesel, cars is that that no matter how well engineered they are, there will always be noise and vibrations that filter into the cabin when driving.
Electric cars don't suffer this issue because their electric motors don't utilise internal combustion (if that wasn't obvious already). As a result, you get seamless acceleration and near silence on the move. Hybrids still utilise a petrol/diesel powered engine, but can run on pure battery power for a respectable amount of time; perfect for the city!
No congestion charge
Bear with us if you don't live near London, because this will apply to you at some point in the future. Many motorists will appreciate how displeasing it is having to pay the congestion charge in London. However, the majority of hybrid and electric cars are completely exempt because they produce such low emissions.
Why does this apply to those who don't live in London? Well, the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles is only going to speed up over the next couple of decades. As a result, a number of large cities have outlined future plans to bring in limits against certain petrol/diesel powered cars entering.
Unless you go for a performance-orientated vehicle, the majority of regular cars suffer from some sort of lag or general gutlessness. This may not be an issue for some, but others will find it annoying having to wait for the car to perk up and get a shift on.
Electric cars, on the other hand, provide all of their power as soon as you touch the accelerator pedal. The result is brisk acceleration, which really allows you to make progress in the city or on the motorway. Hybrids may use a traditional engine, but their electric motors are typically designed to assist them at low speeds, giving you a greater sense of urgency.
So, why not?
There's plenty of reasons to invest in an electric or hybrid powered car. The environment is better off because of them, and so is your bank account. It may be a while before they become the norm, but why not make the transition now and reap the benefits?