Welcoming new, environmentally friendly technology into your fleet holds many benefits: reduced road tax, discounts on charges such as London's Congestion Charge and a possible Government Plug-In Grant of up to £5000*, as well as doing your bit to help save the world.
Plunging straight into an all-electric fleet though is a big step, as the longevity of fully electric vehicles hasn't yet been proven. The best of both worlds is hybrid cars: not 100% electric but part electric, part petrol or diesel.
Most hybrid vehicles offer a variety of driving modes, such as 'eco-mode', where the car decides how to most efficiently use conventional and electric power, 'zero-emission-mode', where the car runs purely on electricity and 'power-mode', where both engines are used to deliver maximum power on demand. The car can sometimes be plugged in to recharge the battery, as well being recharged by energy generated by the petrol or diesel motor whilst driving.
Unsure of where to start in the hybrid world? We've put together our list of the top ten hybrid vehicles.
*The Government's Plug-In grant is only available for certain vehicles: find out which ones.
1. Toyota Prius Hybrid
First launched in 1997, the Toyota Prius was the world's first mass produced hybrid car. Using Hybrid Synergy Drive technology to optimise fuel consumption, the Prius produces ultra-low CO² emissions, particularly whilst during city congestion, stop-start traffic and at slow speeds. The petrol engine turns off when stationary to further lower fuel consumption, and the Prius can also run for two miles at up to 50mph on purely electric power. Other features include rain sensor, smart entry and start system and head up display.
2. Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron
In the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron lies a 75kW electric motor, coupled with a 1.4TFSI to offer the performance and reliability of a combustion engine with the economy of an electric motor. Choose to drive with just the combustion engine, just the electric drive or in hybrid mode using both. Charging in just 2 hours 15 minutes (in comparison, an iPhone takes 4 hours to reach full charge), the range of the electric motor is 31 miles. Producing 37g/km of CO², the e-tron offers 5% benefit in kind.
3. Ford Mondeo Titanium Hybrid Electric Vehicle
The Ford Mondeo Titanium Hybrid is powered by a state of the art hybrid battery, which uses a high voltage lithium-ion technology traction motor when operating in electric mode. Switching between the electric power and a petrol engine, the petrol engine kicks in when accelerating at speed or overtaking, whilst contributing as needed to supply extra power. Smart Regenerative Charging captures over 90% of brake energy and uses it to recharge the battery, with the Mondeo producing 99g/km of CO². A nice touch is inside, when the more efficiently the car is driven, the more green leaves appear on the SmartGauge screen positioned on the dashboard.
4. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
PHEV stands for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, and the Mitsubishi Outlander is the world's first plug-in hybrid SUV. The PHEV users twin electric motors and a highly efficient 2.0 litre petrol engine to match the driving style, achieving optimised fuel efficiency and performance with a combined range of 510 miles. Capable of 32.5 miles in purely electric mode, the Outlander produces 44g/km of CO². Features to further aid efficient driving are easily accessible via the touch of a button, including power saving, eco mode and regenerative braking.
5. Lexus CT200h
Producing CO² emissions from 82g/km, the Lexus CT200h combines a 1.8 litre petrol engine, high-output electric motor, compact battery, hybrid transmission and a power control unit. Starting off, the electric motor propels the CT200h up to 45mph, until the petrol engine cuts in at speeds above but still receives assistance from the electric motor when required. Braking or releasing pressure on the accelerator harnesses the kinetic energy, converting it into electrical energy for storage in the hybrid battery, meaning the CT200h never needs to be recharged.
6. Peugeot 508 RXH
The Peugeot 508 RXH is available with Hybrid4 technology, combing a 163hp Diesel 2.0 HDI engine with a 37hp electric engine. Drivers can choose from four driving modes to suit the driving style; Auto, Sport, 4WD and ZEV. Offering CO² emissions of 104g/km, the 508 RXH provides a combined fuel cycle consumption of 4 litres/100km. Technology isn't forgotten either, with the Open & Go system, meaning the car will open and start whilst the key is in the driver's pocket, 7" multi-function colour touch screen and satellite navigation, available as standard on all models.
7. Citroen DS 5 DSign Hybrid 4 200 Airstream
The DS 5 hosts Citroen's first full hybrid drivetrain, combining the performance of a HDi diesel engine with an electric motor. Producing CO² emissions of 85g/km, the vehicle supplies a total combined power of 200 EC hp, four wheel drive, electric urban drive and accelerator boost function, with a choice of four driving modes. As far as fuel consumption is concerned, the DS 5 uses between 30% and 35% less fuel than an equivalent diesel engine, and between 10% and 15% less on the open road.
8. Honda Jazz Hybrid HE
Producing 62.8mpg with 104g/km of CO², the Honda Jazz combines an electric motor with a conventional petrol engine. Able to run solely on electric power using the EV mode, the Jazz also comes with automatic Continuously Variable Transmission, which delivers optimum fuel economy and ensures the most efficient drive ratio is always selected. In car tax band B, the Jazz offers zero road tax to further drive down costs whilst climate control, keyless entry and electric heated door mirrors provide driver ease and comfort.
9. BMW ActiveHybrid 5
As the first BMW sports saloon with hybrid technology, the ActiveHybrid 5 interlinks a combustion engine motor with electric, ensuring energy is only used when necessary. Purely electric driving is made possible when necessary, with the boost function assisting when overtaking, making a saving of up to 20% on fuel compared to a conventional drive system. CO² emissions reach as low as 149g/km, with torque of 400Nm. Standard specification on the entry model includes Park Distance Control, automatic air conditioning, automatic windscreen wipers and headlights and BMW Business Navigation.
10. Volkswagen Golf GTE
The Volkswagen Golf GTE combines the popular GTI dynamics with the economy of the fully electric e-Golf. Producing 204PS, the GTE achieves 166mpg on the combined fuel cycle, with emissions as low as 39g/km. At the touch of the GTE button, the electric motor combines with the TSI petrol engine to deliver a top speed of 138mph, with a full range of 580 miles or 31 miles on purely electric. The plug-in battery can fully charge in 2 hours 15 minutes, and information such as the charge level is displayed on the dash with the Composition Media 5.8 inch colour touchscreen display showing the range monitor, energy flow indicator and e-Manager.