Electric and Hybrid FAQs

With plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles becoming increasingly popular, we have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions relating to the new generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Here, we hope you’ll find some of the answers, but if you are unsure about any terminology or need more information please get in touch, we are here to help.

Hinckley: 01455 899 508 | Leicester: 0116 464 7100

TMS Volvo
Coventry: 02476 303 132 | Hinckley: 01455 899 508 | Leicester: 0116 275 8800

Your questions answered on Electric Vehicles

Shown above the Kia Soul EV (Electric Vehicle) has been Named 'Best Value Electric Car' In Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021.

Q. What is an electric car?
A.An electric car is one that uses a battery pack and electric motors to power it, in place of a traditional petrol or diesel engine.

Q. How does an electric car work?
A.Electric cars have one or two electric motors which are powered by a battery pack. These propel the car in place of a combustion engine. The battery pack must be plugged into an electrical source to be charged.

Q. Do electric cars pay a congestion charge?
A. When driving in central London, fully electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell cars are exempt from the congestion charge, along with a number of efficient hybrids too. You should contact the authorities in other cities to check if you are eligible to enter the area without having to pay a charge.

Q. Can electric car batteries be recycled?
A. The batteries that power electric cars (and hybrids) can be recycled. The batteries, with their lighter weight and longer range, are lithium-ion type – just like laptops and mobile phones. 

Q. Do electric cars need oil?
A. Oil is not needed for electric cars. This means they don't need regular oil changes – unlike gasoline cars that need regular and sometimes expensive servicing – and they are generally cheaper to maintain.

Q. Do electric cars need an MOT?
A. Electric cars have to pass the MOT test – like any other vehicle – after three years. The main difference is that there's no emissions test. Everything else like the brakes, suspension, lights, steering components and bearings etc. still apply.

Q. Are electric cars better for the environment?
A.Due to the reduced CO2 emissions, electric cars are better for the environment than petrol or diesel cars.

Q. What electric cars are available?
A.At TMS, we have a range of electric and hybrid cars available. Browse our new and used car pages to discover them.

Q. Are all electric cars automatic?
A.Fully electric vehicles don’t require gear changes, meaning they’re essentially driven like an automatic petrol or diesel car. Some hybrids come with manual transmission – our team can provide further details.

Q. Should I buy an electric car?
A. The choice of whether to buy an electric car is, of course, entirely yours. With more and more vehicles becoming electrified, there are plenty of hybrid options if you’re not ready to go all-electric. Our sales advisors can make recommendations based on your needs.

Q. Are electric cars worth it?
A.Electric vehicles are certainly worth investing in. They are cheaper to run than petrol and diesel cars, and are better for the environment, since they produce much lower or zero CO2 emissions.

Q. Are electric vehicles cheaper to run than petrol?
A.On the whole, electric vehicles are cheaper to run. Electricity is cheaper than fuel, and services may cost less too.

Q. Are electric cars safe?
A.Yes – electric vehicles are fitted with the latest safety measures to ensure the safety of occupants and other road users.

Q. Can I charge my electric car at home?
A.Yes – many electric cars can be charged using a three-pin plug. Owners can also install a home wall box for faster charging.

Q. Where can I charge my electric car?
A.Electric cars can be charged at home or at public charging points.

Q. How much does it cost to run an electric car?
A.Electric cars cost approximately 2-4p per mile, which is significantly cheaper than petrol and diesel cars.

Your questions answered on Plug-in Hybrids

The award-winning Volvo XC40 hybrid is just one of the superb hybrid vehicles we currently have available.

Q. What is a plug-in hybrid vehicle?
A.A plug-in hybrid vehicle combines a petrol engine with electric motors to provide power. The battery must be plugged into an electrical source to charge.

Q. What are alternative fuels?
A. Electricity is classed as an alternative fuel, alongside other, less common fuels such as hydrogen and biofuel.

Q. Do hybrid cars cost more to maintain?
A.Hybrid cars typically cost the same or less to maintain than traditional fuel vehicles, because there are often fewer moving parts to service.

Q. What is regenerative braking?
A.Regenerative braking transfers energy produced when braking to the battery to be stored and re-used during driving.

Q. How often do hybrid batteries need replacing?
A.The batteries in modern hybrids are designed to last for at least 100,000 miles, so it’s unlikely you will need to replace the battery pack if you’re the first owner of the vehicle.

Q. What is the best hybrid car?
A.The best hybrid car for you depends on your needs and budget. At TMS, we’ll be happy to talk you through the options and help you find the perfect model.

Q. What is the best used hybrid car to buy?
A.The best used hybrid car for you depends your individual needs and budget. Contact TMS today to find out how we can help you find the ideal vehicle.

Q. How do I charge my hybrid car?
A.You can charge your car by plugging it into a compatible charging station. This might be a home wall box, public charging point or rapid charging station. Check your vehicle’s compatibility with us when you purchase.

Q. How does a hybrid car save energy?
A.Hybrid cars use technologies such as regenerative braking and auto start-stop to save energy. Speak to the team at TMS for full details on energy saving features.

Q. How do I drive a hybrid car efficiently?
A.Properly maintaining your tyres, getting regular services and driving carefully helps to maximise fuel economy. Many hybrid cars also have an Eco mode to promote efficiency.