So, you’re in the market for a new vehicle and the news is a buzz with information regarding new electric vehicles. There is talk everywhere with terms that you are not sure of. What is a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)? Are they the same as an electric vehicle?
Hybrid vehicles were the first of a long series of innovations when it comes to clean electric power in the automotive world. These vehicles use many existing components that we are familiar with, such as a fuel tank as well as an internal combustion engine. Engineers designed complicated electric storage and drivetrain systems to function together with the engine currently equipped on the vehicle to provide the owner with increased fuel mileage and decreased emissions. A hybrid vehicle uses engine power as well as regenerative braking to charge the vehicles storage battery. This energy is than converted to assist the internal combustion engine to assist the engine during initial acceleration as well as high energy power needs, such as passing a vehicle. These vehicles do have some drawbacks. To create energy you must use energy, and these vehicles have very limited distances that they run on full electric power. Possibly as short as the time it takes to accelerate from 0-30km/h.
With Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles engineers have solved some of these issues. The solution was simple, install a larger storage battery, and the ability to charge your vehicle at home or with one of the many charging systems that are available in most large cities around the world. By installing a larger storage battery engineers have allowed Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle owners to get increased electric only range. This range has increased substantially. The Chevrolet Volt has an electric only range of up to 53 miles, yes that’s right. With the right conditions you can travel 53 miles before burning any gasoline. A PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle) is a compromise, you get the efficiency of great fuel mileage and electric only travel, but you still have an internal combustion engine that needs maintained.
When you think of an Electric Vehicle, I am sure the first brand that comes to mind might be Tesla. Not only are they one of the most popular electric vehicles today, they are also currently one of the most advanced. What makes a Tesla an Electric Vehicle? Current internal combustion engines store energy that is stored in the form of gasoline in the fuel tank. This fuel is burnt to create energy that powers the vehicle. Unlike the internal combustion engine, Tesla’s vehicles store energy in a large battery pack located in the chassis area of the vehicle. Like the Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicle, fully Electric Vehicles also use. The battery transfers energy through wiring and a series of control modules to motors that power the vehicle. Fully electric vehicles contain complicated electronics, but the internal combustion engine and its related components are completely removed from the vehicle.
This article is not a exhaustive list of the differences between the many vehicles available on the market today, however, hopefully you gleaned some information regarding the major differences between these vehicles.