Whether you’re completely new to hybrids or have been doing some research on electrified vehicles, we’re here to help. Simply browse the answers to frequently asked hybrid questions below or click on one of the links to explore a certain topic.
Are there different types of hybrid vehicles?
Yes – but they still all rely on the combined use of an engine and a self-charging battery-powered electric motor
Mild hybrids - Subaru’s e-BOXER mild-hybrid technology automatically and continuously controls when the car uses the electric motor alone. By not allowing the driver to select electric-only drive (called Electric Vehicle – EV mode), the high-voltage battery can remain compact (maintaining boot space) and light, maintaining the car’s balance and low centre of gravity. This ensures the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive offers the same traction, stability and handling you’ll find in all Subaru AWD vehicles. A lighter battery also maintains an impressive capability when it comes to towing loads.
Full hybrids - Full hybrid vehicles work in the same way,
but also let the driver manually select electric-only drive if they
wish. Whilst full-hybrid vehicles can travel 20-30 miles using
electricity alone, creating no emissions, they also need a larger
capacity, heavier battery to do so. This can reduce cabin and luggage
Plug-in hybrids - To offer greater use of EV mode, some
self-charging full-hybrids can also use a mains lead from an external
charging point to charge the battery, allowing them to drive extended
distances using just electricity. These are called Plug-in Hybrid
Vehicles, or PHEVS.
Why change from conventional petrol and diesel cars to electrified vehicles?
The fossil fuels used to make petrol and diesel are a finite resource. When burnt to create heat or energy, fossil fuels release harmful greenhouse gases including CO2. Excess CO2 pollution makes the atmosphere trap solar heat, causing global warming and damaging ecosystems. With concerns around climate change and temperature rises increasing, governments are working together (and legislating) to significantly reduce emissions and the use of fossil fuels.
Making the switch to electrified vehicles is helping to reduce fuel use, and therefore the CO2 and harmful emissions produced by combustion, when we drive.
How is a hybrid car more efficient than a conventionally fuelled car?
The self-charging battery powered electric motor means the petrol engine only needs to run when needed. When gently pulling away from stationary or in slow moving traffic (EV driving), the engine stays off – using no fuel at all. When it does run, it’s highly efficient, and is often assisted by the electric motor, further minimising fuel use.
How is hybrid cleanerthan conventionally fuelled cars?
When powering a vehicle in slow city traffic, a hybrid’s self-charging
battery-powered electric motor is emissions-free. Compared to
conventional driving in the same conditions, a hybrid will be cleaner
and use less fuel. Even when cruising using just the engine, hybrid CO2 and NOx emissions are still lower – and without particulates like diesels.
Do I need to recharge a hybrid? Do I need to plug it in?
No. All hybrids are self-charging and maintain the battery charge. Plug-in hybrids additionally offer the option to use mains charging, should you wish.
How long does the battery last?
Hybrid batteries are sophisticated high-voltage lithium ion units. Designed to provide many years of service, they can be recharged thousands of times. After about 10-15 years, it is normal for hybrid battery performance to slowly start to decline. If this happens, manufacturers have cost-effective hybrid battery replacements and battery recycling programmes in place. The current cost of replacing a battery in a Subaru e-BOXER is expected to range somewhere from £1,000-£2,500, depending on the model.
What happens when a hybrid car is stationary at idle?
The engine turns off to save fuel. Releasing the brake pedal lets the car move forward slowly, using the electric motor only.
What happens when a hybrid car is cruising at speed?
The petrol engine alone takes over as the most efficient power source. The engine also powers the electric generator, recharging the battery.
What happens when a hybrid car is in slow city traffic?
The battery-powered electric motor alone drives the car. The petrol engine remains off, using no fuel and creating no emissions. Driving is smooth and almost silent.
What happens when a hybrid car accelerates (for instance to overtake)?
Both the petrol engine and electric motor work together providing instant, responsive power. Excess engine power also recharges the battery.
What happens when a hybrid car climbs hills or steep gradients?
As during acceleration, when under load both the petrol engine and electric motor work together providing instant, responsive power. Excess engine power also recharges the battery.
What happens when a hybrid brakes or decelerates?
When you brake (or decelerate), energy from the car’s movement that would otherwise be lost is captured and used to recharge the battery. This is called ‘regenerative braking’. In a Subaru e-BOXER, braking feels natural and progressive, just as in a conventional car.
What happens when a hybrid descends hills or steep gradients?
Again, regenerative braking captures the energy that would otherwise be lost and uses it to recharge the battery.
What happens when encountering rough terrain?
Driving slowly, the battery-powered electric motor will power the car –unless under load, when the motor will assist the engine too.
Are hybrids cheaper to run than conventional cars?
Compared to running an equivalent model petrol or diesel car, a hybrid vehicle, with a combination of both engine and self-charging battery powered electric motor, typically offers improved mpg and also uses less fuel.
Are hybrids more affordable to own than conventional cars?
Compared to owning an equivalent model petrol or diesel car, hybrids also offer several advantages that can make them more affordable to own. These include:
Hybrids are electrified. Are they safe?
Yes – absolutely. Subaru e-BOXERS have been subjected to the most stringent safety testing – well in excess of that required by law.
Electric components like the lithium-ion battery, inverters, and DC-DC converters are enclosed in a reinforced protection frame to stay secure and unexposed, even in a rear collision. They are also engineered to remain waterproof, securely packaged under the cargo floor.
Is servicing a hybrid more costly? Is it more complex?
No. Despite the different technology, Subaru e-BOXER servicing costs will be less, or the same as, the equivalent petrol or diesel model.
Regular serving keeps the battery, electrical systems, engine, motor and coolants in optimum condition. As the e-BOXER range does not have clutches there are no replacement costs, and regenerative braking usually extends the life of brake pads.
What warranties come with a Subaru e-BOXER?
The e-Boxer range comes with Subaru UK 5-Year / 100,000 miles (whichever is sooner) Limited Warranty, including Bodywork ( 12-Year Anti-Corrosion Warranty, Paintwork ( 3-Year Warranty) and 3-Year Recovery and Assistance.