Fuelling your car for free may sound like a far-fetched pipedream, but that’s exactly what one mum-of-two is doing with her ‘plug-in’ hybrid car, thanks to the addition of solar panels on her roof.
Unlike a typical electric car that sources its energy from its batteries alone, the new breed of plug-in hybrids can be plugged into the mains to charge and run on electric power alone for shorter journeys, but also have conventional engines which kick in for more power – or when the batteries are drained, so you never run out of juice – provided you occasionally top up the fuel tank.
Christchurch mum Roz Drinkwater, is managing to drive her Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV off-roader for free as the car can cover over 30 miles on electricity alone – more than enough for a typical day around town for the 50-year-old. When she gets home she can simply plug the car into the mains to recharge the batteries. As a result, Roz has only had to fill the petrol tank once since buying the car in July.
There’s plenty of battery power to do everything I need to do. I just stick it on charge when I get home and I never need to go to a petrol station. It’s brilliant, I absolutely love it.
With electricity generated by solar panels on her roof, all power used to fuel Roz’s car is free, while the panels are being paid for through a 20-year lease.
“There’s plenty of battery power to do everything I need to do. I just stick it on charge when I get home and I never need to go to a petrol station. It’s brilliant, I absolutely love it,” Roz told the Press Association.
“There’s no road tax because of how environmentally friendly it is and I’m not paying for charging it. It’s fantastic.
“It’s the perfect car for me. It’s got great boot space for all the children’s stuff and the dog. It blends the practicality and economy with space and comfort.”
Following concerns over electric car range, plug-in hybrids are becoming increasingly common in showrooms, thanks to their blend of useful range and increased fuel economy – especially if drivers often make shorter journeys, using electric power alone.