What is Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

  • PHEVs combine an electric motor with an internal combustion engine. They have a rechargeable battery pack that can be charged from an external power source, allowing for a certain all-electric driving range. Once the battery is depleted, the PHEV can switch to the internal combustion engine or alternate fuel for extended range.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles helps to driving range of typical electric vehicle with the help of internal combustion engine which can be power by petrol, biodiesel also by compress natural gas. This type of electric vehicles helps to increase drive range with more efficiency than conventional engine vehicle.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle offers the normal driving range of 32 km (20 miles) this is also depends on the battery capacity.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles start-up in all-electric mode and make use of electricity until their battery pack is depleted. Once the battery gets drained, the engine takes over, and the vehicle operates as a conventional, non-plug-in hybrid.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric can be charged by plugging into an outside electric power source, engine, or regenerative braking When brakes are applied, the electric motor acts as a generator, using the energy to charge the battery.
  • The engine’s power is supplemented by the electric motor; as a result, smaller engines can be used, increasing the car’s fuel efficiency without compromising performance.   
  • In plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, it uses both an internal combustion engine and electric motor The purpose of the engine is to provide Power when electric battery charge is decreased and sometimes it is directly connected to the wheels.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle offers improved efficiency as compared the traditional internal combustion engine vehicles particularly for short distance where electric power is sufficient.
  • In plug-in hybrid electric vehicle different operating modes contributes to reduces emission and more environmentally friendly operation.

How do a plug-in hybrid electric cars work?


There are some varieties of PHEV that use an internal combustion engine to turn an electrical generator, which either recharges the vehicle’s batteries or directly powers its electric drive motors.

Electric Motor

Electric motor in plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is same as in the battery electric battery electric vehicle. The function of electric motor is to drive car by using battery power and in some cases by using electric generator.


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses high-capacity battery. This is rechargeable battery and stores electric energy that can be used later.

Internal Combustion Engine

Internal combustion engine is used when battery get drained. Internal combustion activated and vehicle acts as conventional. This helps to increase the drive range of plug-in electric vehicle and also helps to increase efficiency.

In some plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the electric vehicles internal combustion engine is acts as a generator which produce electricity that charges the battery.

Driving Modes

  • Electric Mode
  • Hybrid Mode

Electric Mode

In electric mode the vehicle runs only on electric power from the battery. This mode is suitable for urban areas. In this mode vehicle takes power from the onboard battery pack. This batter for short trips.

Hybrid Mode

In hybrid mode the vehicle runs on electric power from the battery and also internal combustion engine. In this mode electric vehicle operates on both power source. The system on board control system switches between the two sources based on driving conditions, optimizing fuel efficiency.

Regenerative braking system

As in all electric vehicles plug-in hybrid electric vehicles uses regenerative braking system. Regenerative braking system convert kinetic energy of wheels into the electric energy while deaccelerating and when we apply brakes. This electric energy is used to charge the battery pack.

Charging the battery

In plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the battery pack can be charged on household electric supply and also on electric charge stations. Charging times of battery is depends on the capacity of battery.

In plug-in hybrid electric vehicles battery is also charge with regenerative braking system.

Control Unit & Auto Transition

In plug-in hybrid electric are equipped with on board control unit which controls interaction between electric motor and internal combustion engine.

This control unit helps to determine the most efficient power based on the driving conditions, battery charge level and the driver inputs.

When the battery charge is discharged or additional power is needed (e.g., during heavy acceleration), the Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles seamlessly transition to hybrid mode, utilizing the internal combustion engine.

Advantages of Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Following are some advantages offered by the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

  • Plug-in electric vehicles can be easily charged at home.
  • Reduced fuel consumption.
  • Lowers greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Environment friendly operations
  • Flexibility and Increase driving ranges.
  • Regenerative Braking.
  • Government incentives and tax benefits.
  • Noise free operation.
  • Auto transition technology.

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