Hybrid Vehicle Vs Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles? The Difference Explained


Hybrid vehicles vs Plug-in hybrid vehicles, which one would you rather prefer?

The world is adopting electric cars as we speak. Many people think that there aren’t many choices while buying an electric vehicle. However, electric cars are not just limited to cars with a big battery attached to them.

Electric cars are of several different types including:

  • Battery Electric Vehicles
  • Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles
  • Hybrid Vehicles

While there are also several other types of EVs, today we’ll only focus on Plug-in hybrid vehicles and Hybrid vehicles.

Difference Between Hybrid Vehicles And Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles vs. plug-in hybrid vehicles Specs

What Are Hybrid Vehicles?

Hybrid Vehicles are a type of self-charging electric vehicle that operates using a small internal combustion engine, one or multiple electric motors and a small electric battery.

Hybrid vehicles have been operating on our roads for over a decade. The main advantages of buying a hybrid car include an improved fuel economy, lower CO2 emissions, and the smooth ride of an electric motor.

How Do Hybrid Vehicles Work?

Hybrid vehicles vs. plug-in hybrid vehicles Difference

Hybrid vehicles work by using the internal combustion engine and the electric motor in an efficient combination in order to achieve the lowest emissions possible. All this is done using multiple on-board computers that regulate the functioning of the motor and the engine.

The internal combustion engine is mainly used to offer more performance and extended range, as it can draw fuel from a large tank. While the electric motor is used for providing smooth and efficient driving for a small distance, as the battery is small and can hold less energy.

For example, when you’re driving at a low speed and don’t need much power, the car uses the battery to drive itself, thus consuming less fuel. Once the car senses that you need to go fast on a long distance, it turns on the internal combustion engine, which offers more range.

Therefore, when driving in a city, the car saves the fuel by using the electric battery and while driving long distances, it switches to the combustion engine to provide more range. Additionally, whenever the driver brakes, the accumulated energy is used to charge the electric battery to be used later.

Sometimes when more performance is required, the engine and the motor work in tandem to offer a boost to the car.

Hybrid vehicles have better aerodynamics and less weight compared to normal gasoline vehicles. They also have relatively smaller IC engines which offer better efficiency.

Examples of Hybrid vehicles include – Maruti Swift Hybrid, Toyota Prius, Tesla Hyper Hybrid, etc.

What Are Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles?

Hybrid vehicles vs. plug-in hybrid vehicles Difference

Plug-n Hybrid vehicles are electric vehicles that provide a dedicated zero-emission electric driving range, usually around 70-120 km, along with the long-term capabilities of an internal combustion engine.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles are electric vehicles with an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that draws power from a relatively big battery.

How Do Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles work?

The main difference between Hybrid vehicles and Plug-in hybrid vehicles is the big electric battery. Plug-in hybrid vehicles can offer around 100 km of electric-only driving range, whereas hybrid vehicles can only be driven using gasoline.

Because of a large battery, the Hybrid vehicles need to be plugged into a wall socket for charging.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles are relatively more aerodynamic and efficient than hybrid vehicles. They don’t offer higher MPG than Hybrid vehicles but the added electric range increases the total driving range to more or less similar to hybrid cars.

Plug-in hybrids offer up to 200 km of electric driving range, which makes them the perfect city vehicle. These vehicles are mostly driven in cities for which the 200 km range is enough. Hence they don’t cause any pollution for 80% of their driving.

In Conclusion: Hybrid Vehicles Vs Plugin Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid Vehicles Plug-in Hybrid vehicles
Driveability Can only be driven on Gasoline Can be driven on Gas or electric
Efficiency Higher MPG but no electric range Relatively lower MPG with 100 km of electric range
Examples Toyota Corolla Hybrid Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid

So to sum it up, if you don’t want any additional change to your driving habits but you still want to do your bit in keeping the air clean, then buy a hybrid vehicle.

If you want to keep your whole city driving clean, then going for a plug-in hybrid is the best option. For both options, you’re doing your part in minimizing air pollution without compromising the driving range.

So go electric today.

Yetnesh Dubey

Yetnesh Dubey

Associate Editor at Fossbytes. Yetnesh manages the everyday editorial duties and oversees the writing staff. He occasionally covers news related to electric vehicles and tech.
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