PHEVs | A Guide To Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

22 June 2021 Blog

We’re all familiar with the word ‘Hybrid’ when it comes to shopping for our new car, but what does it all mean? Whether its PHEV, MHEV or BEV… there are too many acronyms to keep track of!

Whilst we’ve had Plug-in hybrid and self-charging cars on UK roads for a few years now, the recent push from the government has introduced a host of new manufacturers to the hybrid market. But don’t worry…we’ve put together a basic guide to help answer the queries you have when it comes to buying your first plug-in electric vehicle.  

We share our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the plug-in hybrid market.

What is a plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV)? 

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (also abbreviated to PHEV) is a vehicle with a battery pack that can be recharged in addition to its regular fuel powered internal combustion engine. 

How do plug-in hybrid cars work? 

The difference between a fully electric vehicle and a PHEV is simplea PHEV has a petrol or diesel engine as well as electric motors. This combination is designed to give the ideal balance between economy and practicality. 

With most able to run on fully electric modes for a short burst, the regular engine is there to achieve longer journeys and in some cases there to help charge the batteries when driving. 

Unlike a mild hybrid or self-charging hybrid, you plug your vehicle into a charging port to charge the batteries 


What happens if you don’t plug in a PHEV? 

If you don’t plug in a PHEV car the car will simply run using the internal combustion engine, whether petrol or diesel. 

Although it will run as normalyou will find a significant change in the vehicles economy and MPG. The electric motors are designed to supplement the combustion engines and help the vehicle achieve a better fuel economy.  


Does a plug-in hybrid recharge while driving? 

Some PHEV models are fitted with technology that can place the car into a ‘charging’ driving mode, where the internal combustion engine will begin to charge the cars batteries. 

It is important to note that optimal charging is achieved by charging the car at an electric point. 


Where can I charge my plug-in hybrid? 

You will have noticed an increasing number of places adopting EV charging and fast charge stations. 

It is commonplace to see these in supermarket car parks, workplaces and shopping centres. Many new homes are coming fitted with electric vehicle charging points too, meaning you can leave the car to charge overnight! 


How long does a plug-in hybrid take to charge? 

This will vary and is influenced by a lot of factors. Some of these factors include: 

  • The type or charging you’re using 
  • The location you’re charging 
  • How low the batteries currently are. 

As a rough guide a 120V charger will take around 3 hours to charge, whereas a 240v charger can half that to only an hour and a half.  


Is it worth buying a plug-in electric hybrid?

Buying a PHEV is a great way to reduce your fuel bills and to be more environmentally friendly. 

Whilst they aren’t quite as fuel efficient as a fully electric vehiclethey are the ideal choice for anyone with a regular commute or that often does short journeys. 

The practicality of having a regular engine to supplement the electric motors means a PHEV is a great introduction into the world oh hybrid and electric vehicles. 


What are the advantages of a plug-in hybrid? 

There are many advantages when it comes to having a PHEV. The main benefits you will see are: 

  • Reduced CO2 emissions 
  • Better fuel economy 
  • Reduced fuel bills, as you can charge the car using charging points.  
  • Strong residual values as demand for hybrid vehicles increases.