The 5 key distinctions between hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles: which one should I buy?

The WLTP emissions protocol serves as a method to assess the pollution of new vehicles coming on the market since January 2019.

Still, it was prolonged for two years by the previous Government of Spain, and it was 2021 when it entered into force, and it has caused significant changes in the prices of vehicles, but only in prices.

The 5 key distinctions between hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles

For manufacturers to avoid incurring financial penalties for not adhering to the protocol in terms of emissions, specific models’ power outputs have had to be lowered to comply with the regulations and cut their CO2 emissions.

The Seat Leon Cupra, the Volkswagen Golf Rm, the Peugeot 308 GTI, the BMW M3, and the legendary Porsche 911 are some of the vehicles that have had to reduce their power to prevent themselves from becoming a financial burden for their respective automakers.

In addition, this stringent regulation, known as the “new sheriff of the city,” will primarily affect heavier vehicles.

Since SUVs are characterized by being heavier vehicles that require more engine power, which in turn requires extra consumption and, as a result, more CO2 emissions, the fashion for SUVs is currently in the spotlight.

However, why are we sharing all of this information with you? Because we have reached a point where people are beginning to wonder what the best purchase option is for their next vehicle.

By this, we do not mean the type of segment or bodywork that the vehicle possesses; instead, we are referring to the kind of motorization that the car has.

Even though there is still a long way to go in electric vehicles, prospective customers are already thinking about alternative propulsion systems to the conventional internal combustion engine.

Therefore, alternative technologies for cleaner and more respectful mobility with everyone and everything have taken the first step by proposing another hybridization system, the plug-in hybrid (PHEV), a different way to 100% electric and an alternative to the traditional combination.

PHEVs are a different way to 100% electric and an alternative to the traditional hybrid.

Two forms of hybridization are extremely comparable but in specific details that make them distinct depending on the buyer’s need.

What exactly is a hybrid vehicle? And a plug-in hybrid car?

Although they are both powered by electric motors and have low CO2 emissions, these two vehicles operate in very different ways.

The similarities end there, however; they do not share any other characteristics.

When we investigate the two models a little further and consider them apart from the concept of “plug-in,” we see a significant difference between them.

To begin, we need to clearly understand the precise definition of each of these vehicles so that we can differentiate between them.

Vehicles that are classified as conventional hybrids or “Full Hybrids.”

A heat engine and an electric motor are the two types of machines that are typically found in conventional hybrid vehicles.

These are responsible for the mechanical power supply and braking energy recovery.

The combustion engine is responsible for most of the work, with assistance from the electric drive system.

Although both systems collaborate to make the vehicle mobile, the combustion engine does most of the work.

Compared to conventional passenger cars, vehicles of this type can provide significant fuel savings, which is especially beneficial in urban settings.

Nevertheless, the savings are decreased when operating at high speeds or performance levels because the electric motorization is not powerful enough to provide support during that operation phase.

“Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle” (h3 abbreviation: “PHEV”)

Plug-in hybrid vehicles come outfitted with not one but two different types of motorization systems: an electric one (with brake recovery) and a thermal one.

Their electric motorization is distinguished by significant power sources (batteries) connected to more powerful electric motors that can provide improved road performance (higher speed and acceleration).

As a result, they are less reliant on internal combustion engines.

As a result of batteries with a greater capacity, they can travel a great deal further in electric mode.

As a result, their autonomy is significantly improved, and they can for extended periods.

Because the batteries store significant energy, it is no longer possible to fully recharge them using only regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine.

Instead, connecting the vehicles to an electrical network is necessary to fulfill this requirement.

The following are some of the critical distinctions between a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid vehicle:

Once it is understood that hybrids and plug-in hybrids are both types of vehicles characterized by having an internal combustion engine and an electric one powered by a battery of greater or lesser capacity, it can be stated that hybrids and plug-in hybrids are the same things.

To better understand each vehicle concept and the advantages it can provide to users, we will need to delve a little bit deeper.

In the following, we will outline the five key distinctions that set a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid apart as two distinct categories of automobiles.

1. The batteries in plug-in hybrid vehicles have a higher capacity than standard batteries.

They have a small battery of close to 2 kWh, so little capacity that it is sufficient with the regenerative braking and the combustion engine to be recharged.

The hybrid models are distinguished by having a good battery capacity.

This does not happen with plug-in hybrids because, in contrast to traditional combinations, plug-in hybrids have batteries with a larger capacity (approximately 9 kWh).

In addition to being recharged by the regenerative brake and the combustion engine, these batteries are also recharged by a power outlet connected to an electrical network.

2. The method of charging the batteries on the two different models is distinct (plug-in).

In continuation of the prior discussion. As a result of their limited ability to deliver power to the electric motor, the batteries in a conventional hybrid vehicle have a limited capacity, which means that they can only be recharged by the internal combustion engine or through regenerative braking.

This means that the batteries cannot be charged through a power outlet (plug) due to their limited ability to deliver power to the electric motor.

Because of the larger electric motors and batteries installed in plug-in hybrids, regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine are insufficient to charge the plug-in hybrid’s battery to its maximum capacity.

Because of this, plug-in hybrids need to be plugged into an electrical outlet to fully charge their batteries because they are powering electric motors that are significantly more powerful than those installed in traditional hybrids.

Because of this, the driving range of a plug-in hybrid is significantly greater than that of a conventional hybrid vehicle.

3. The internal combustion engine is relegated to the background in a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Because of their lower power output, the electric motors mounted in traditional hybrid vehicles can only be used during the vehicle’s start-up process and at low revs on terrain that is not particularly taxing.

However, if additional power is required, a conventional hybrid vehicle’s internal combustion engine will kick in to assist the electric motor and, in turn, will charge the vehicle’s batteries by way of an alternator.

This is because the electric motor cannot offer more than what it already has.

In other words, the combustion engine is the primary source of most of the Full Hybrid’s electric power generation.

Therefore, we can conclude that fuel is the primary energy source in traditional hybrid vehicles (gasoline or diesel).

This does not happen with plug-in hybrid vehicles, which get their name because they have electric motors that are more powerful than those found on conventional hybrids.

This enables plug-in hybrids to be less linked to, or dependent on, the internal combustion engine.

Because of this, the batteries have a higher capacity than usual because they must supply energy to electric motors that are significantly more potent; as a result, the internal combustion engines can operate in a more subdued manner and do not need to be kicked on as quickly as they do in traditional hybrid vehicles.

In these models, the roles of the protagonist and antagonist are switched, and electricity, rather than fuel, serves as the primary energy source.

4. Compared to hybrids, plug-in hybrids have a lower fuel consumption.

Because electricity is the primary energy source in plug-in hybrid vehicles, the internal combustion engine is utilized very little, resulting in a significant reduction in fuel consumption.

Because of this, the driver will rarely need to refuel his vehicle at a service station, resulting in significant financial savings for the driver.

To give us a general idea of what has been explained, the average homologated consumption of a conventional hybrid is 4.8 liters per one hundred kilometers.

The combustion engine primarily determines this consumption.

Approximately 6.50 dollars; however, using a plug-in hybrid in a vehicle that consumes the same fuel will cost about 2.80 dollars for every 100 kilometers driven.

This considers that the route is mixed, which means that both engines are utilized at various points along the journey.

Because we may keep the plug-in hybrid running on electric power alone for the trip, our consumption might end up being zero.

5. Drivers who do not have access to charging stations should consider purchasing a conventional hybrid vehicle.

If you want to buy a plug-in hybrid vehicle, you should first ensure that you have regular access to an electrical network or that you can install a charger in the parking space where the car will be parked.

Because of this, traditional hybrids are designed for drivers who either do not have access to any charging point or whose vehicle will be in constant operation and will not have time to recharge it.

Taxis are a clear example of traditional hybridization because they circulate continuously throughout the day and primarily by city sections.

During these times, the taxi’s small electric motor takes some prominence while it waits to be helped by the combustion engine.

However, because most journeys are given within the city, the combustion engine can wait because these journeys have low motor demand.

What are the advantages of driving a plug-in hybrid vehicle that I can take advantage of?

A lot! Since most drivers do not travel 100 kilometers in a single day, driving will be entirely electric in most cases.

This is because we will be able to charge our vehicles overnight or while they are parked in any electrical network.

Therefore, they are considered to be as efficient (or even more efficient) than a typical electric car, given that if you travel an average of 50 km total daily (shooting high), you will be able to finish the journey without spending a single drop of fuel on it.

In contrast to an electric vehicle, an internal combustion engine will start when the batteries run out of juice and stop feeding the car.

You can have peace of mind when traveling long distances with a plug-in electric vehicle not because you can charge it in any electrical network, unlike a traditional hybrid (which also), but because, thanks to its improved electrical autonomy, when the charge runs out you have at your disposal a combustion engine with a full tank that will allow you to continue the march without any problems.

This is why you can have peace of mind traveling long distances with a plug-in electric vehicle.

To summarize, if we consider that the majority of drivers travel an average of 30 kilometers per day, the electric motors of plug-in hybrid vehicles are more than capable of completing the journey entirely in electric mode, and the battery can be recharged at your charging point when you get home from work.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles have become increasingly popular in recent years.

The 5 key distinctions between hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles

The rise of plug-in hybrid vehicles will be the dominant automotive trend in 2021.

The requirements and restrictions on CO2 emissions for manufacturers have only just begun, which means that the vehicle fleet will gradually be “electrified” to end the harmful gas pollution that is emanating from combustion engines.

This will be done to reduce or eliminate harmful gas pollution.

Because of this, we are already seeing changes in trends today, and in particular, it appears that the plug-in hybrid will be the main protagonist in the year 2021.

The primary development that will take place on our roads will be the meteoric rise of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which will result in a sizeable expansion of the number of electric and plug-in vehicles.

Research conducted by Transport Environment suggests that by the year 2021, they could account for 15% of total sales on the European continent.

Despite everything, the percentage will be lower in Spain because there are significant price differences between these vehicles and the average purchasing power of the population.

Because the new regulations have already been implemented, the manufacturers anticipate achieving a market share of 10 or 11% with the sale of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

This is not a bad result compared to the initial estimate of 6% they had made.

In addition, a plug-in hybrid version will be available in every range of models brought to market in 2021.

This is because, to meet sales quotas, such units are required in all bodies.

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