A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) works in a similar way to a self-charging hybrid– there is a petrol engine combined with an electric motor and a battery. In a plug-in hybrid, the battery is much larger than in a self-charging hybrid. This means the car is able to travel around 30 miles on battery power alone – more than enough for the UK average daily commute – but it can also call on the petrol engine for longer trips.
Like a self-charging hybrid, the battery can be charged whilst driving, but for the full benefit, you will need to plug in. Charging a PHEV should take less than three hours. Put this all together and you can enjoy miles of low-cost, all-electric driving while still having a petrol engine for those rare long distance trips. Perfect.
What are the benefits of a plug-in hybrid?
There are plenty of benefits to owning a plug-in hybrid car, here are some of our favourites
If you aren’t quite ready to go fully electric, a plug-in hybrid is the perfect compromise. You get around 30-miles of electric driving, which should be more than enough for most journeys, but you always have the petrol engine to fall back on if you’re planning a longer trip.
Zero emissions driving
Most of your driving will be on battery power, which is particularly helpful for improving air quality in urban areas.
Cheap to run
Electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel, so when running on battery power, your journey may cost less than a third of what it would in a combustion-engined car. There are tax incentives, too. VED is lower for PHEV drivers, and for company car drivers BIK tax is also reduced. There’s even an OLEV grant available that puts £500 towards your home charger.
Charge at home
Home charging is a major perk. Imagine waking up every day knowing you have 30 miles of electric range. Even if you’re low on fuel, you know you’ll have plenty of range to get to a filling station. You can get a £500 OLEV grant to help you pay for the home charger, too. Just plug in when you get home, and your car takes care of the rest.
When running on battery power, PHEVs are incredibly quiet inside, making for a relaxed atmosphere. Driving is easy, too, because electric motors produce maximum torque at all revs, so acceleration is instant.
What’s it like to drive a PHEV?
Relaxing and rather fun, actually. When running on battery power, PHEVs are very responsive, because unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce maximum torque at any rpm. Acceleration is instant.
Most charging in the UK is done at home, but If you want to top up on the go, there are more than 7,000 public charging locations in the UK. Or, you can simply let the petrol engine take over when you run out of charge.
All you have to worry about is driving as you normally would, while reaping the benefits of improved fuel economy and lower emissions.