What Is A Plug-in Hybrid Car?
A plug-in hybrid car is similar to a conventional hybrid vehicle—both use a gasoline engine as well as an electric motor. However, a plug-in hybrid uses larger battery packs that can be recharged by connecting to common household electricity. Plug-in hybrids can be driven for long distances—from a few miles to as much as 40 miles—without using any gasoline.
Toyota has demonstrated a plug-in concept version of the Prius, but has not committed to a production date.
Plug-in hybrids provide the benefits of an electric car, while maintaining the same driving range as conventional vehicles. Plug-in hybrid drivers travel in an all-electric mode for the vast majority of common local driving. When the battery’s electric charge is depleted, a downsized gas engine is used to either recharge the batteries (as the car moves), or as the primary source of propulsion until recharging the batteries via a plug.
Plug-in hybrid cars are also known as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or PHEVs. Plug-in hybrid cars that use a gas engine exclusively for recharging batteries—rather than directly powering the wheels—are also called Extended-Range Electric Vehicles or E-REVs.
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