Canterbury Motoring World: All You Need to Know About Hybrid Cars!!

hybrid-cars-electric-vehicle-buying-guide_electric-vehicle-buying-guide_00-1First things first! What is a hybrid car? You may have heard the term being thrown around in the media and by those campaigning for a “greener” planet! But like many others, do you feel slightly in the dark about what a hybrid vehicle is? Personally, I think it sounds like some kind of transformer!

In simple terms, a hybrid car is a car that uses two or more engines. For example, in most cases they have an electric motor working alongside the conventional petrol or diesel engine. You may be surprised to hear that the technology behind hybrid/electric cars has been around since the 1900s, but it has only been in recent years that the vehicles themselves have become more affordable and therefore more accessible to the average driver like you and I.  In fact, the very first commercially available hybrid car was the Toyota Prius in 1997 over in Japan.

According to new figures, the demand for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the UK is soaring and with the increasing number of car manufactures offering hybrid/electric models along with the increasing number of charging points in the UK, this figure is only set to continue to rise. However, here at Canterbury Motoring World we feel like there is still a real lack of knowledge surrounding hybrid and electric powered vehicles so we have outlined some of the advantages and disadvantages of them.

Advantages:

  • They are “environmentally friendly” – hybrids emit less pollution that gas-only vehicles as they are a considerable amount less dependent on fossil fuels. Due to this, going through an emissions test is not a requirement.
  • They are very efficient vehicles – due to them being lighter in weight they are much more fuel efficient and beat EPA mileage estimates.
  • They come with financial incentives – hybrids are will supported by the government due to their environmentally friendliness, so to encourage more of us to buy them they have put incentives in place such as making hybrid vehicles exempt from congestion charges as well as making the cost of their annual tax a lot lower than that of a normal car.
  • Hybrid cars require less servicing and maintenance as there is less “wear and tear” on certain mechanical features.
  • They are very quiet – electric engines are practically noiseless.

Disadvantages:

  • The quietness of hybrid cars can also be seen as a negative as the fact they are almost silent is a potential cause of accidents with pedestrians and other motorists.
  • Although they are cheaper to run and maintain, the initial cost of a hybrid car is more expensive to buy compared with your standard petrol/diesel car.
  • Some have complained that the battery packs that run the electric engine takes up significant space, leaving less cabin/boot space for personal items.
  • Although the maintenance and servicing doesn’t have to be carried out as often, when it is required it can only been done at a main dealer by specialist technicians which can be inconvenient and timely.
  • These hybrid/electric cars are built for economy, not speed! Due to their lower power output, if you love fast cars these aren’t for you!
  • The lightness of the hybrid cars can make them harder to handle when on the road and also mean that they are unlikely to withstand a high impact collision.

In conclusion, although there are a number of disadvantages, here at Canterbury Motoring World we think that the future is looking electric and in years to come more and more of us will be going green and having to remember to charge our cars as well as our phones!

Author: Rebecca McGinty

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Canterbury Motoring World: Beware of Cyclists!

Over 100 cyclists die on our roads every single year! With the forever encouragement to hang up our car keys and get more active and healthy, this number is only sure to rise, unless both cyclists and drivers learn to co-exist on our roads together in a safe manner.

Here at Canterbury Motoring World, we think that it is the lets-look-out-for-each-otherresponsibility of both the cyclists and the drivers of our roads to ensure that the above statistic doesn’t increase!

Firstly, we shall start with what the cyclists must do:

  • Wear the appropriate clothing! By law, you should wear a cycle helmet that conforms to current regulations, wear reflective clothing when cycling in the dark and avoid wearing any types of clothing that can get tangled in the bike
  • Make yourself visible at night! By law, your bicycle must be fitted with white front and rear red lights if you will be cycling at night. Your bike must also be fitted with all necessary reflectors.
  • Use cycling routes and facilities! Although not compulsory, it is strongly advised that where possible use cycle routes, cycle boxes, toucan crossings, cycle tracks and cycle lanes.
  • Do not cycle on the pavement!
  • Ride sensibly and carefully! Keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the pedals, don’t ride too close behind other vehicles and never ride more than two abreast. Always look and signal before all turns and manoeuvers, be aware of your surroundings and other road users so you can spot any oncoming hazards. Do not ride under the influence of drink or drugs, do not hold onto any moving vehicles and don’t carry passengers unless you bicycle has been specifically designed to do so.
  • Obey all road traffic signs and signals.

Now, let’s see what the drivers can do:

  • Know the cyclist’s rights!
  • Think of the benefits! One more cyclist means one less car on the road causing congestion.
  • Appreciate their vulnerability! Weighing in at approximately 2 tonnes compared with bikes at approximately just 20 pounds, cars are more likely going to come out on top in a collision.
  • Beware when turning left and right!
  • Look before opening your car door! One of the biggest things that cyclists fear is being “doored”. The impact of a car door flinging open and hitting a moving cyclist can send them flying.
  • Always give cyclists 3 feet of clearance! When passing cyclists, do it slowly, smoothly and with lots of room!

Most of the above are either laws we must abide by anyway or common sense, at the end of the day we just all have to be more careful and aware that we do have to all share the roads together!

Author: Rebecca McGinty