Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

What is a Plug-in Hybrid?

A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) has a petrol or in some cases a diesel engine, an electric motor and a battery; both the petrol engine and the electric motor can drive the vehicle. Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles offer the best of both worlds, with a zero-emission range of around 20-50 miles depending on the vehicle, and then the convenience of a petrol or diesel engine to drive longer distances.

Plug-in Hybrids have had a bad press because many company car drivers have opted for them due to low Benefit in Kind tax, and then they have never charged the vehicles, so the real-life economy and emissions are likely to be worse than a conventional petrol model, due to the extra weight of a PHEV. However if PHEVs are charged regularly and are mainly driven on electric power for local trips in built-up areas, with the petrol engine used for occasional longer journeys, they can deliver substantially improved economy and lower emissions.