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It wasn’t all that long ago that owning an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid car seemed like a nice, aspirational idea that probably wasn’t all that practical. However, everything has changed in just a few short years.
Not only has the public embraced greener cars in recent years but the recent Budget measures show that there is now a political will to support the growing appetite for low emission vehicles. Of course, the motoring industry itself has also embraced this trend and the technology itself has come on in leaps and bounds.
Since 2018, Land Rover have offered plug-in-hybrid models of the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover models, so they are established experts in this technology. Now you can also pick up plug-in-hybrid editions of the New Defender, Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Velar. The Land Rover range is now electrified and ready for anything, with a broad range of plug-in hybrids that are at ease in every habitat, from rocky mountain trails to smart city streets.
The best of both worlds
Having a plug-in-hybrid means you can manually choose between the EV mode, the hybrid mode or engage the petrol engine with the save mode. That means that you never have to worry about your car running out of charge but you can engage the electric motor for shorter drives, your daily commute or trips around town.
That versatility means you have full control. You can use cheaper, greener fuel when it’s convenient to do so but you’ll always have the back up of a petrol engine for peace of mind and performance.
Finding a charger is never a concern
The number of charging points around Ireland is increasing all the time and there’s no doubt that this technology is here to stay but there is still work to do. That makes a plug-in-hybrid a great entry point into the electric vehicle market until the infrastructure catches up.
With a plug-in-hybrid, long drives are never a concern and you don’t need to plan a trip based on where you can find a charger. Plug-in-hybrids also tend to have higher range in EV mode than normal hybrids, with the likes of the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport capable of covering 55km on a single charge.
Unlike some hybrid vehicles, the new Land Rover plug-in-hybrid range can use fast chargers that are normally reserved for electric vehicles. So, if you do want to engage the electric engine on a longer drive and charge up while you have a coffee stop, you can get an 80pc charge in 30 minutes.
Besides which, Land Rover’s new plug-in hybrid models can be plugged into a wall box at home, with grants now available for installation. You can get a full charge in around two hours at a cost of just €2.50.
Drivers can stay connected to the Evoque and Discovery Sport PHEV via Land Rover’s intelligent InControl Remote smartphone application. Whether at home or out and about, the app allows drivers to monitor the vehicle’s charge status, ready the vehicle for the journey ahead or even set a charging timer to take advantage of off-peak energy tariffs.
Owners can automatically pre-condition the battery and cabin temperature before starting a journey: using mains power to do this when the vehicle is plugged in rather than drawing energy from the battery when you start driving maximises range and enhances occupant comfort.
One of the concerns that some people have around EVs or hybrid vehicles is performance, but Land Rover’s plug-in-hybrids can actually give you more power than standard petrol vehicles. They can be powered by the petrol engine or the electric engine, but they can also be powered by both engines working together in combination.
In the case of the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, the turbo-charged petrol engine has a 200PS and the electric engine has a 100PS, which means they can deliver a combined 300PS. So far from being pale imitation of the originals, these plug-in-hybrids can actually access more power than their petrol counterpoints.
Get greener versions of your favourite models
The future may be electric but it isn’t quite there yet. If you’re in the market for an EV, your range of buying options may be limited. One of the benefits of Land Rover’s new plug-in-hybrid range is that you can still get all your favourite models in a version that will produce less CO2 emissions.
So you can still enjoy the low running costs, the savings you’ll make on tax incentives, and the good feeling you get from doing your bit for the environment but you can do it in a stylish, high performance vehicle.