Plug- In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
• These vehicles offer the benefits of electric power and the gasoline engine can help out when needed.
• They offer better fuel economy and lower fuel costs (because electricity is a cheaper “fuel” than gasoline).
• Because less gas is burned, PHEVs reduce our dependence on oil and also emit fewer greenhouse gases than conventional gas vehicles.
• PHEVs may qualify for a federal tax credit for a new vehicle purchase; the amount (up to $7,500) depends on the size of the vehicle battery size. There may be some additional benefits offered by state and local areas, such as special parking spots and driving lanes.
• Because they have both electric and gasoline components, these vehicles have a more complicated design than all-electric vehicles.
• Maintenance is required on both systems. Gas engines require oil changes and the same checks that conventional gas engines require. And while the electrical components (battery, electric motor and electronics) require less maintenance than gas-powered engines, some maintenance is required.
• Having both a combustion engine and a battery pack takes up space and adds weight.
Just as with a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), it’s necessary to recharge the electric battery. There are several levels of charging. How you charge and how often you charge depend on how far you drive your vehicle and charging method.
• A standard 120-volt home receptacle (Level 1 charging) on a dedicated electric circuit (five to eight miles of driving range for every hour of charging).
• A 240-volt connection (Level 2 charging), installed by an electrician who understands BEVs (12 to 75 miles of range for every hour of charging).
• Some public areas and workplaces offer charging stations.
• Note, direct current, or DC, fast charging, available in some public stations, is typically not compatible with most PHEVs.
Learn about battery electric vehicles (BEVs) here.