Honest John: which is best, pure electric or one of the many types of hybrid? –

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Astra la visitor

I want to buy a new car later this year but I am confused about the new technology available. There seem to be hybrids, light hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric. We do lots of short journeys, quite frequent round trips of about 80 miles and occasional, but regular, journeys of 200 miles or more each way. What would be the most suitable type of car for our use? PG

Mild hybrids have 12v or 48v electric motors to regenerate otherwise wasted energy and assist a petrol engine. They work quite well. Self-charging hybrids have bigger batteries and electric motor generators to do the same thing more effectively. I’ve seen 55mpg from a big Toyota Camry hybrid, 63mpg from a Toyota Auris hybrid and nearly 80mpg from a Toyota Yaris hybrid (the latter driven very carefully). The next stage is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) that can run for up to 20-30 miles on electricity stored from plugging in to the mains, after which it reverts to running as a self-charging hybrid. Cars that are solely electric (EVs) tend to have ranges of between 80 and 300 miles, depending on the size of the (very expensive) battery. If you want to follow government guidelines, you could go electric but you would need to recharge any electric car costing less than £30,000 before you reach the end of your 200-mile journeys. At the current time, for the sort of use that you describe I’d go for a plain self-charging hybrid such as a Toyota C-HR or a Kia Niro.

Unfair isle

The turbocharger of my 2017 Peugeot Bipper van blew at only 896 miles and was replaced. The second turbo failed at 4,666 miles and this is where my problem begins. I live in the Shetland Islands, we do not have a Peugeot dealership so the vehicle had to go to Aberdeen for repair the first time. The Aberdeen dealer closed and the nearest is now Peterhead. Peugeot Customer Care stated it would reimburse me the expenses to get the vehicle there. Now Peugeot is refusing the warranty claim because the oil used in its services is not detailed on the invoices. I have now been without the use of the vehicle for two months. What can I do? GF


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