The facts about electric range and running costs

Electric vehicle range

Discover the driving range of a hybrid car and how it compares to an electric and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.


What is the range of a hybrid car/electric car/plug-in hybrid?

A hybrid car uses the electric motor at lower speeds, and the petrol engine after that, so the range tends to be the same or better than a conventionally powered vehicle. A plug-in hybrid has more powerful motors, so it can travel further on electric power alone (usually around 30 miles) with a total range of around 300 miles when you factor in the petrol engine range. Some pure electric vehicle manufacturers claim their cars have a range of over 280 miles.


What are the hybrid cars with the longest/best range?

A hybrid car range can vary a great deal between the manufacturer's claims and its actual range. For an accurate guide, look for the new official WLTP figures. A plug-in hybrid usually has a longer range because it has more powerful motors and bigger batteries. One manufacturer claims their plug-in hybrid has a range of 97 miles on electricity alone.

We look at running costs

We explain why hybrids can be more expensive to insure and examine other running costs compared to conventional vehicles.


Are hybrid cars more expensive to insure?

In short, yes. This is because the technology involved on board electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars is expensive to develop, which is reflected in the purchase price. Expensive cars tend to have higher insurance premiums.


Why Are Hybrids More Expensive to buy?

Developing a hybrid vehicle takes years of research. It’s the same for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids – so the up front investment needed by manufacturers is reflected in the price. However, the higher price is usually offset by much lower running costs.

Will a hybrid car save me money?

Yes. Take a closer look at the running costs for electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

Electric cars

An electric car costs £5.00 per 100 miles*

An electric vehicle (EV) doesn’t need petrol at all, running on 100% electricity. A fully charged battery charge costs around £8.40, compared to a full tank of petrol that costs on average a hefty £75.00.

Hybrid cars

A hybrid car costs £14.50 per 100 miles*

A hybrid uses an electric motor to power the car at lower speeds. This reduces petrol consumption. An ordinary car might return 36mpg on average. A hybrid could offer 50mpg, meaning you fill up less often.

Plug-in Hybrid Cars

A plug-in hybrid car costs £12.20 per 100 miles*

A plug-in hybrid has a more powerful motor and bigger battery, so it can go further and at greater speeds on pure electricity. Use it for average commutes and you’ll hardly ever need the petrol engine – so running costs are much lower.

*About Costs per 100 miles

Estimate costs per 100 miles are indicative and based on comparison of similar sized models with comparable fuel consumption. Electric cost per miles calculated at 5p. Petrol cost per mile 15p.

Sample journey is assumed to be 100 miles drivin in one go, starting with a fully charged battery and full tank of fuel.

In reality, cost per 100 miles is influenced by a large number of factors from driving style to length of journey to frequency of charging.


Will a hybrid vehicle lessen my dependence on gasoline?

A hybrid vehicle uses an electric motor up to speeds of around 25mph, so you’ll be using slightly less gasoline (petrol). A plug-in hybrid alternates between a petrol engine and an electric motor throughout the whole journey, so your petrol consumption will be much lower than a conventional car. An all electric vehicle doesn't use petrol at all.

Did you know, if you charged our plug-in hybrid overnight and do less than 28 miles a day, you could do all your commuting on electric power?


What are the tax benefits of owning a hybrid vehicle?

Electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles are classed as ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). Business users and private users receive tax benefits. For more information, download this UK Government factsheet.


We answer your questions on other electric topics.