Market Watch: The big hybrid secret

You can read the news stories, the press releases, the marketing blurb, but no one nowhere has pointed out one of the greatest benefits of hybrids.

The parking spaces.

In every car park where there are charging points, there’s always – always – a spot. And they’re always pretty much the best parking spaces available.

Plus, while you’re parked up, your car is charging up. That means you don’t need to spend as much time at the fuel pump. And if you’re used to diesels, your hands won’t be stinky afterwards. Just unplug and off you go.

On a more objective note, though, it really is the year for hybrids. Thanks to the Toyota Prius, hybrids have been around for around two decades now. But it’s only since the launch of the hybrid supercars from Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche that we’ve all sat up and thought: well, if the best supercars are now hybrids, that must be saying something.

Around a year ago, we had our first BMW i8 in the showroom. Beautifully designed and made, a clever petrol-electric drivetrain, and a delight to drive. We had it for a few weeks. We had so many people enquiring, fascinated by it – but they just weren’t quite sure. Yes, we all knew hybrids were great, but … no, maybe next time.

But eventually it sold. The next one sold soon after. Over the past year, there’s been a huge shift in perception. Now, our customers are buying hybrids without hesitation. With power to rival – if not obliterate – normal combustion engines, but with massive efficiency and refinement gains, it’s an easy choice. At the moment, we have five hybrids in our showroom. We’re selling more hybrid Porsches than we are their diesel counterparts.

Hybrids have more power than conventionally powered vehicles – comparable to or even better than diesels – and still make super marvellous noises, which we’re quite fond of at Alexanders.

Benefit in kind (BIK) is also reduced, and companies can get the VAT back, so hybrids make sense for companies, too.

By all means take one for a test drive, but remember the true joy hybrids comes in ownership. And at the car park.