A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) has a petrol or in some cases a diesel engine and an electric motor; both can drive the vehicle. Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles offer the best of both worlds, with a zero-emission range of around 20-40 miles, and then the convenience of a petrol or diesel engine to drive longer distances.
Plug-in Hybrid vehicles reduce overall emissions by offering zero emission operation for a limited range before the engine is used. The zero-emission range should be prioritised for use in city centres to improve the air quality in urban areas. Environmental and cost savings increase the more the vehicle is driven in electric mode.
Plug-in Hybrids should be driven on electric power as much as possible, especially around built-up areas, with the petrol or diesel engine used for longer journeys. This requires the PHEV to be charged as much as possible. If a PHEV has such a driving cycle, it’s possible to achieve average economy of over 100mpg. If a PHEV isn’t regularly charged, and is used for long journeys on its petrol engine, then fuel consumption could be as low as 30-40mpg.