Hybrids cars in the Philippines: A-to-Z Guide

Hybrids cars in the Philippines: A-to-Z Guide

The popularity of hybrid cars has been growing all around the globe and this trend seems to continue over the next few years. According to JP Morgan's recent study, hybrid cars would account for a staggering 23% of all vehicles sold worldwide by 2025. Well, if you are new to the world of hybrid cars and looking for answers to your several queries regarding hybrid vehicles, here we bring all that you need to know.

This A-to-Z Hybrid cars guide is a basic primer that may help you decide whether choosing the hybrid car is right for you or not. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Hybrid car

What is a hybrid car?

A hybrid car runs on a system which utilises two means of propulsion - an electric motor and a petrol/diesel engine. Both work together to spin the wheels, which leads to lesser petrol consumption leading to better fuel efficiency and lesser CO2 emissions. Also, the excess power produced by the combined powertrain during cruising or braking is used to charge the batteries, further aiding the fuel efficiency or range.

Hybrid car

What are the key components of a hybrid car’s powertrain?

The key components of a hybrid car’s powertrain are an internal combustion engine, electric traction motor, electric generator, and traction battery pack.

What are the types of hybrid cars?

The different types of hybrid cars available on the market are - 

  • Parallel Hybrid: In a parallel hybrid system, the internal combustion engine and electric motor are combined through a shared transmission. The car is either directly powered by a gas engine, exclusively by an electric motor, or by a combination of both.
  • Series Hybrid: In this type of hybrid powertrain, the petrol/diesel mill does not propel the car, rather it acts as a generator to produce electricity, which recharges the battery pack. The battery powers the available electric motors which in turn transmit power to the wheels. 

Hybrid car

  • Plug-in Hybrid: In PHEVs, the available battery pack can be recharged by using an external source of electricity.  It usually comes with a bigger battery that can offer a daily commute on electric power only. When the car's electric range is exhausted, it operates like a typical parallel hybrid
  • Two-Mode Hybrid: This hybrid vehicle works in two distinct ways. In the first mode, it functions exactly like a standard hybrid car while in the second mode, the design can be changed as per the engine’s requirements to perform specific tasks
  • Mild-Hybrid: In this case, the electric motor(s) assists the internal combustion engine in increasing mileage and improving performance. It serves as a starter for the automatic start/stop system, which turns the engine off when the car comes to a halt and saves fuel in the process.

Geely Azkarra

What is the difference between hybrid and pure-electric cars?

A hybrid vehicle combines an internal combustion engine and an electric motor(s) to power its wheels, while an electric motor(s) is the only source of power used by an electric car to move forward. The latter are usually powered by big batteries, which enable them to go for at least 400 kilometres without stopping. Also, EVs are more environment-friendly than hybrid cars as they do not use gas engines. Pure EVs come at a higher upfront cost and need charging, unlike hybrid cars.

Electric cars

Are hybrid cars affordable in the Philippines?  

Hybrid cars are usually more expensive than conventional ICE-powered cars as they come with innovative tech assisting to save fuel and keep the environment clean. The price range of hybrid cars in the Philippines starts somewhere around ₱1.2 million and can go as much as ₱10 million (excluding some ultra-premium options available on the market). Well, if you consider the savings you get on the running costs over time, you will find the hybrids cost-effective. 

Toyota Prius

How long does a hybrid vehicle battery last?

The battery in a hybrid vehicle lasts for a very long time. Several automakers give 80,000 to 100,000 miles or 8-10 years warranty (whichever comes early) on the hybrid batteries. And, if we see customer reviews, it is reported that with the right basic maintenance, it even lasts up to 150,000 miles.  

Hybrid vehicle battery

Do I need to charge a hybrid car’s battery?

Most hybrids come with self-charging batteries, which are powered by their gasoline mill’s regenerative braking. However, if you opt for a plug-in hybrid, you need to charge the battery via an external source. With the help of a standard charger, it usually takes four to eight hours.

EV charger

Why should I buy a hybrid car?

 Here are the advantages of buying a hybrid car -

  • Emit fewer emissions - Hybrid cars do produce some emissions, which are significantly less than the cars powered by only internal combustion engines.
  • Fuel-efficient: Hybrid powertrains use both an internal combustion engine and electric motors, working together as needed and thus cutting down fuel consumption. 

Hyundai Ionoq

  • Better performance: Since electric motors don't require a specific RPM to deliver power, they can deliver rapid torque during heavy acceleration circumstances. The system can generate the necessary power to move forward in many ideal situations, like overtaking on the freeway.
  • Highly Controlled NVH levels: In a hybrid powertrain, the engine does not require to reach high RPMs on pressing the throttle, thus there are no unwanted grunts, vibrations or noises from the engine.
  • No Range Anxiety: Another advantage of having a hybrid car is that you need to worry about its range, unlike pure-electric vehicles. Hybrid cars can drive on fuel alone if you run out of battery juice in any scenario.

Hybrid cars

Why shouldn’t I buy a hybrid car?

Here are the disadvantages of buying a hybrid car - 

  • Higher upfront costs: While the automakers are trying to offer hybrid cars at an affordable cost, these are still high-priced compared to ICE-powered cars. However, the decent fuel savings of the hybrid powertrain with time totally justify the higher price.
  • Less luggage space. Hybrid vehicles, especially plug-in hybrids, can have less interior space for luggage due to the presence of huge battery packs.
  • Maintenance can be expensive: The combination of an ICE and a battery pack/electric motor increases the likelihood that more things could go wrong with the hybrid car, which of course will raise the cost of repair. It is also important to be aware of the battery's deterioration over time, even though this often occurs over a number of years. 

Hybrid car

What is the test-drive checklist for a hybrid car?

While taking the test drive of a hybrid car, keep the following things in mind -

  • The powertrain transition between ICE and hybrid modes; it should not be rough
  • Check the brake pedal's ease of use by pressing it
  • Check if the brake energy regeneration is adjustable. A few automakers offer four levels allowing the driver to pick the desired strength
  • The cargo space occupied by the battery pack
  • Understand the Eco menus and gauges that will help you make the most out of the fuel 

Regenerative braking system

Should I buy a hybrid car new or used? 

Technology is changing at a rapid pace. So if you are thinking of buying a used hybrid car, the chances are high that the existing technology could become obsolete within a couple of years. That means the newer the car you buy, the more up-to-date the battery chemistry and software it will have. Also, the newer models are expected to be more fuel-efficient.

On the other hand, the negative part of buying a new hybrid car is that its value will depreciate the second you will drive it home. So, if depreciation is your concern, you can consider a used vehicle. Just check out the car’s reliability ratings and its battery pack’s reliability. 

Corolla Altis

What hybrid cars are available in the Philippines?

Some of the hybrid cars on sale in the Philippines market are -

  • Toyota Prius: Available in a single variant, the Toyota Prius comes equipped with a 1.8-litre gasoline engine and an electric motor generating a maximum power output of 99 hp and a peak torque of 142 Nm. The power is sent to the wheels via an Electronically-Controlled CVT. The Prius hybrid retails at P2,339,000.
  • Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid: Priced at P1,595,000, the Corolla Altis Hybrid also runs on a 1.8-litre and an electric motor, just like the Prius. Here, the setup is tuned to kick out 121 hp and 142 Nm torque. 
  • Toyota Corolla Cross: As the Corolla Altis sedan’s counterpart, the Corolla Cross is fitted with the same mechanical setup delivering 1 hp more power than the former. It retails for P1,665,000
  • Hyundai Ioniq: Hyundai offers the Ioniq hybrid for P1,548,000 in the local market. Under its metal skin lies a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, delivering 139 horsepower.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: This Japanese plug-in hybrid pickup carries 2.4-litre gasoline and twin electric motor system under the bonnet. The setup dishes out 126 hp of power and 199 Nm of torque, transmitting to the ground via a single-speed transmission. The Outlander PHEV price tag reads P2,998,000.
  • Geely Azkarra: The mild-hybrid system of the Geely Azkarra comprises a 1.5-litre turbocharged gasoline mill and a mild-hybrid system, combinedly producing 190 hp and 300 Nm of torque. It is priced at  P1,600,000.
  • Mazda 3 Hybrid: Priced at P1,495,000, the Mazda 3 hybrid vehicle takes energy from the brand’s patented M Hybrid setup pairing the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine and a small Integrated Starter Generator.

 So are you looking to buy a hybrid car? If yes, what are your top picks, let us know in the comments.

Also read: What could Kia Philippines have in store for PIMS 2022?

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