The past several years have seen the rise to popularity of hybrid vehicles. As hybrids carry on with their match to mainstream adoption, there is also a relative increase in the number of questions being asked about them. One of most common questions has something to do about the difference between hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
In order to put an end to the confusion, first, it is best to start tackling their similarities. Both of these hybrid vehicles make use of two methods of propulsion, an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. These vehicles are rotating between these two methods which depend on the specific situation. In those instances when additional power is required, the vehicles can then draw from the two sources. But, the main differences of the said two systems are the primary energy source as well as the overall efficiency in energy of these two vehicle architectures.
The Hybrid Electric Vehicles or HEV
When running on low speeds, hybrids often draw their power from their electric motor. Every time a driver increases speed, he calls on more power for propelling the car forward. In order to generate the increased power requirement, the hybrid will then switch to the ICE or internal combustion engine. The change will then cause the car to shift from its electric power into gasoline power. When the vehicle still requires even more power, such as when scaling steep hill, the two propulsion systems are going to work at the same time in order to provide an extra boost.
Gasoline still remains to be the primary source of fuel for these hybrid vehicles. But, the amount of gasoline needed is dramatically lesser as compared to a solely Ice vehicle. It is because the electric motor is using regenerative braking for capturing energy then storing this in on board batteries. The stored energy is going to be used to offer power to the vehicle’s electric motor.
The Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle
The plug-in hybrid vehicles make use of electric motor for powering every aspect of propulsion. The vehicle is going to continue using the electric motor until the battery levels have reached the predetermined battery SOC or state of charge.
At SOC level, the car enters into charge sustaining mode. In several cases, an internal combustion engine acts as a generator, which kicks in to provide power to electric motor. Plug-in hybrid is an electric vehicle, which may call on gasoline to extend the range.
The primary fuel source for the PHEVs, while in charge depleting mode, is electricity since they utilized stored energy, which was sourced from an electricity grid. While the PHEVs take advantage of the regenerative braking, the captured energy isn’t enough to sustain an electric motor as the primary driving system.
Plug-in Hybrid vs Hybrid – Which is More Efficient?
There are numerous battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the market today. Due to this, the financial case shifts away from the hybrid vehicles. For instance, 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle has to drive about 242 miles before it overtakes Chevy Volt, which is a plug-in hybrid vehicle, when it comes to fuel efficiency and always inefficient inside a hundred miles.
Plug-in Hybrid vs Hybrid – Which is Much Better?
The use of a bigger battery in plug-in hybrid allows you to go farther on an electric power alone, which provides a cost advantage as you consider using less fuel. But, plug-in hybrids are more expensive compared to the traditional hybrids due to the cost of batteries. Even if the battery’s size is measured by kilowatt hours, it is crucial. The reason behind it is that the bigger the capacity of the battery, the longer its range is. The figures for fuel economy are also essential as once you burn fuel, you like it to burn as little as possible for your to enjoy savings. Majority of plug-in hybrids are more efficient compared to the regular hybrids.
Monitoring Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
There are numerous aspects of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles that are useful when monitoring and they vary from the conventional cars including electricity usage, charging behaviors, and battery SOC. FleetCarma already developed an effective monitoring system, which was specifically built and designed for these.