A Brief History of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVS)

Plug-In Hybrid Cars

Also known as PHEVs, the plug-in hybrid vehicle is essentially the best of both worlds when it comes to having a combustion engine and electric car capabilities. They are called ‘hybrids’ because they have your average gasoline engine combined with a large, rechargeable battery. Even though it’s not entirely electric, it does have its place in making an impact on the environment.

With PHEV vehicles, you don’t necessarily have to worry about the battery running out of juice and leaving you stranded. You can plug them into an outlet to charge the battery. While you’re out on the road, if the battery runs out, then it automatically switches over to gasoline, giving you a better maximum range.

A Little Change Makes an Impact

The number one reason why someone would buy an electric vehicle is due to their environmental friendliness. As the technology continues to develop, a lot of vehicles are switching to becoming more hybrid in nature, rather than going full electric. Even though you still make use of a gasoline-powered combustion engine, the amount of fossil fuels used to power hybrid cars is significantly reduced.

The maximum distance a hybrid can get right now before switching to gas is between 10-40 miles. This is helpful, as most commuters don’t that far to and from work. That means you rarely will run into an opportunity to have to switch over to the gas. If most of your traveling is done on the electric battery, that’s drastically reducing the amount of pollution.

It’s also important to consider how often you’d buy gasoline. It costs much less money to charge a battery than to fill up a tank full of fuel. If you’re constantly filling up, then you’re essentially a slave to paying whatever the current gas prices are. They fluctuate and when it gets expensive, you could easily drop $100 into the tank each week. A hybrid vehicle cuts out most of that cost, saving you tons of money yearly.

PHEV Features

All PHEV vehicles need to charge the battery is a place to park and a typical 120-volt outlet. As mentioned previously, PHEV cars are the best of both combustion engines and electric-only vehicles. Yet, they only work using a single method: either all electric or all gas. It doesn’t combine the two as the same time. You can switch from gas to battery, or use the battery until it runs out and switches to gas on its own.

Hybrids also help contribute to regenerating their battery while on the road. It’s a process called ‘regenerative braking’. It can convert the energy lost while braking right back into electricity and stored in the battery. Also, the engine is much smaller than you’d find in a full-sized combustion engine, saving space and weight, allowing the hybrid to be more fuel efficient.

The hybrid exists mainly as a crossover and to help get people acquainted with the next technology. If they saw how effortless it was to use the electric engine, while still having the option to use gasoline, they will be more inclined to buy a fully-electric vehicle in the future. It is doing its part to help save the environment.

Source: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/how-do-plug-in-hybrid-electric-cars-work#.WFRwHPkrLIU