We have recently looked at which new all-electric vehicles (EVs) will be released in Australia in 2018, and this week we’re covering plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).
One step beyond hybrid vehicles without plug-in capability, such as Toyota’s Prius, PHEVs combine an internal-combustion engine with the possibility of short-range pure-electric motoring.
The best-of-both-worlds solution (between a petrol/electric hybrid and a fully battery-powered EV) allows the vehicle to be plugged in to a domestic power outlet to charge its battery for electric-only operation with zero tailpipe emissions.
Typically, in concert with on-board power regeneration such as in a regular hybrid, this provides for a real-world driving range of up to 50km – far more than a non-plug-in hybrid, which may offer only a few kilometres of battery range.
Like hybrids, however, and unlike EVs (or range-extender EVs, which incorporate a combustion engine that acts as a power generator, extending their range), PHEVs are powered primarily by a conventional combustion engine – fuelled by petrol in all cases in Australia so far.