The following guide will explain what plug in hybrid technology is all about as well as describe its current pros and cons.
Introducing the Plug In Hybrid Car
Hybrid vehicles were first produced as early as 1899. Early hybrids could be charged from an external energy source before operation, but the term 'plug-in hybrid' has come to mean a hybrid vehicle that can be charged from a standard electrical wall socket.
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, termed PHEV or PHV for short, has rechargeable batteries that can be restored to full charge by connecting a plug to an external electric power source, just as with other electronics we so frequently use.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 officially defines a plug-in electric drive vehicle as a vehicle that can be recharged from an external source of electricity for motive power and draws this motive power from a battery with a capacity of at least 4 kilowatt hours.
A PHEV shares the same characteristic as conventional hybrid electric vehicle in that it has an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. It is superior to hybrid cars however in range of distance before a refill is needed because its combustion engine works as a backup when the batteries are depleted - this gives it the same range reliability as a traditional petrol operated car.
Manufacturers are increasingly turning their attentions to this eco-friendly form of transport - we are seeing more and more PHEV passenger cars, and in the future we can also expect to see them in the form of commercial vans, trucks, buses, motorcycles and scooters on the roads.
Main Benefits of PHEV Vehicles
The cost of electricity to power plug-in hybrids for all-electric operation is estimated at less than one quarter the cost of petrol. Total fuel economy of a PHEV depends on the amount of driving between recharges. The beauty of this technology is that PHEVs have the potential to be even more efficient than conventional hybrids because the reduced use of the PHEV's internal combustion engine allows the engine to be used at or near its maximum efficiency.
Compared to conventional vehicles, PHEVs reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Plug in hybrid cars also remove our dependence on petroleum, which has become a major political and pollution issue in our times.
Power Source Convenience
In time, we are likely to have the convenience of home recharging, which means less trips to fuelling outlets. This would also mean your car effectively becomes an emergency backup power for the home if there's an electricity cut.
Disadvantages of Plug In Hybrid Cars