All these different terms which are related to the vehicles of the future are electrifying…
Joking apart, there are lots of differences between the many types of PHEV, EV, HEV, ICE, and they’re just for starters!
So, putting it simply, PHEV stands for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which means, like many electric cars, it has rechargeable batteries that can be recharged by using a plug socket.
You might be able to guess from its name that you can plug these types of PHEV vehicles in to charge up their batteries, which are, on average, large enough to allow for anything from 10-50 miles of electric-only driving.
PHEVs can charge their batteries through charging equipment or by the internal combustion engine as well as regenerative braking.
By using electricity from the grid to run the vehicle, some or all of the time, can drastically reduce operating costs and fuel use relative to conventional vehicles.
Because they are plugged in every night, it’s not long before you can start to see these drastic decreases in fuel consumption as they can go for weeks before having to fill up with petrol or diesel – obviously depending on how far and often you drive your vehicle.
But these PHEV vehicles don’t just get by on the electric charge as they are still hybrids.
By combining an internal combustion engine with an electric motor for optimal efficiency and performance, PHEV delivers the best of both technologies.
And since you still have the combustion engine, these cars come with no range-anxiety attached.
But the downside of plug-in hybrids is that if you can’t plug-in your vehicle every night, you won’t see that primary benefit.
However, they’re still more fuel efficient than fuel-burning counterparts, but you’re paying a premium for the plug-in technology you won’t always be able to take advantage of.
PHEV usually delivers a virtually silent drive when in full electric vehicle mode and can provide a seamless transition between the fuel engine and the electric motor.
You can simply decide how you want to drive – you can select the default driving mode, which combines the fuel and electric drive, or you can decide to opt for the full electric mode. It’s that simple.
PHEVS, therefore, produce lower levels of emissions, depending on the electricity source and how often you use the all-electric mode.
At present, PHEVS are generally more expensive than conventionally-fuelled vehicles. Still, because in the UK, many drivers find they can do their daily commute and errands in electric mode, so they find they save costs in the long-run – 30 miles a day is the average PHEV usage.
So, in a nutshell, PHEVs are for those people who want to be more environmentally aware with their vehicles but who aren’t confident enough to go the whole way yet.
Users can be 100% electric on short trips, but for long journeys, they can be reassured that they can quickly fill up at a garage and then continue on their way in a very short time.