Many people think that a Plug-in Hybrid vehicle is just a Hybrid vehicle with the ability to be charged. While that statement is technically true, there is a bit more to; There are differences in the way the two operate under the hood. In this article, we will look at each of these in detail. If you are considering the purchase of a hybrid car, you will probably find that one of these fits your lifestyle and transportation needs better than the other.
What is a Hybrid Car?
Hybrid cars use a standard combustion engine coupled to an electric motor. Both of these engines are used to power the vehicle. According to Metro Kia Atlanta, a local Kia dealer in Cartersville, GA, in its most simple form, a hybrid vehicle will use the electric motor to power the vehicle at lower speeds. It will then switch to the combustion engine when faster speeds are required. The hybrid system may make use of both the electric and combustion motor together if extra horsepower is needed, for example when accelerating fast or going up a hill.
The principle advantage of using a hybrid car is that it is very efficient. By coupling a small gas-powered engine with an electric motor, the vehicle will use less fuel and will pollute less than a standard gasoline powered car. Another advantage concerns the availability of fuel. Since the primary powerplant is the internal combustion engine, owners can take advantage of the existing infrastructure of gas stations across the country.
What is a Plug-In Hybrid?
Where a regular hybrid is pretty much a typical internal combustion engine with added an electrical motor, a plug-in hybrid approaches things from the other direction. A plug-in hybrid is more like a pure electric vehicle (a vehicle powered only by batteries). A plug-in hybrid uses its electric motor as often as possible, and will only make use of the internal combustion engine when the voltage level of the batteries has dropped to the point that it can no longer power the vehicle. In other words, a plug-in hybrid uses all the battery’s power before the internal combustion engine kicks in.
The advantage to this is the charging feature. If you “plug in” your vehicle during the day or night, you might never use the internal combustion engine. Especially if you drive your vehicle less than 100 miles or so per day because your vehicle will operate essentially like an EV. It will run off the batteries.
Which is best for you?
Ultimately, you should aim for a car that’s as free of fossil-fuel dependence as possible. If not for the environment, then for the long-term benefits to your bank account when it comes to fuel costs. And remember, fossil fuels could get much more expensive in the future.
If your daily driving racks up some 100-200 miles or so, consider a plug-in hybrid. The reason is that your power will come primarily from the electricity that you charge your car with, which is cheaper than gasoline. If your driving consists of far longer distances, consider a standard hybrid which can be gassed up at any filling station.