What a Plug In Hybrid Is
A plug in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) is a hybrid that operates like today’s hybrid models but can also be plugged into a standard household’s 120-volt outlet. Plugging it in is not required to operate, but doing so allows operating for a certain number of miles on electric drive only.
Benefits of Owning a Plug In Hybrid
When driving locally, it’s possible that you’d rarely, if ever, need to gas up because many local trips of average distance could be driven exclusively on electric power. Another benefit of driving a plug in hybrid is the fact that electric components need significantly less maintenance than mechanical components, so operating with electric drive may reduce overall maintenance costs. In the future when standards are established for this, it’s possible that a plug in hybrid vehicle could provide power back to the electrical grid or even power a home in the event of an outage.
Plug In Hybrids are Clean
Considered by a growing number of people as potentially the most effective way to reduce oil dependency in the short term, plug in hybrids could conceivably be mass produced in just a few short years using an infrastructure – the electrical grid – that’s already in existence. Battery-powered vehicles reduce air pollution and can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well. Studies conducted by the California Air Resources Board prove that battery electric vehicles emit at least 67% fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline-powered cars.
Benefits of Plug In Hybrids Improve with Age (and Time of Day)
Because the electric grid only improves as time goes on, it’s said that plug in hybrids and electric vehicles are the only modes of transportation that get cleaner as they age. Moreover, plug in hybrids typically recharge at night using excess power from plants that don’t totally shut down. Often, that overnight power is less expensive than daytime power.
Plug In Hybrids Cost More
The central challenge to commercialization of PZEVs and electric vehicles remains extraordinarily high battery costs, the same challenge that battery electric cars have faced since the early 1990s. There are no currently available mass-market PHEVs available anywhere, although major automakers are working to develop them. However, some companies are offering PHEV conversions, primarily to fleets that can afford them. On average, these conversions add $10,000 or more to the cost of a standard hybrid vehicle.