Plug-in hybrids are a cross between an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor, meaning you have the option to drive electric-only on short city trips, or use the ICE (petrol or diesel) for longer journeys.
You have to plug in your car to charge the battery, but if you run out of juice the car will simply switch to the ICE which removes any range anxiety associated with fully-electric vehicles.
Another noticeable difference in plug-in hybrid cars is the responsiveness – the electric motor boosts the combustion engine under acceleration for smoother, more instant power.
Mercedes-Benz calls its range of electrically-assisted models EQ. It consists of fully-electric ‘EQ’ models, hybrid ‘EQ Power’ models and mild hybrid ‘EQ Boosts’.
The £37,425 (P11D) A 250 e on test here has a combined power output of 221PS from its 1.3-litre petrol engine and electric motor, an all-electric range of around 44 miles, combined fuel consumption of 256.8mpg and CO2 figure of 26g/km. It can be charged at a 7.4kW wallbox with within one hour and 45 minutes and five-and-a-half hours at a domestic socket.
Some of the standard equipment highlights for our AMG Line Premium Plus model are AMG bodystyling, 180-degree reversing camera, panoramic glass sunroof, heated electric front seats with memory function, augmented reality navigation, 10.25-inch digital instrument display with 10.25-inch touchscreen media display and voice control infotainment. Our car also comes with denim blue metallic paint at an additional £595 and driving assistance pack for £1,495 more.
The hybrid powertrain offers significant benefits to businesses and employees including 6% BIK, annual VED of £0 then £140, £310 Class 1A NICs and an overall running cost figure of 40.79ppm – around 7ppm cheaper than its equivalent ICE counterpart.
First impressions are positive, the cabin is luxurious with high quality materials throughout. However, due to a period of self-isolation, I have yet to fully enjoy all the A 250 e has to offer.