Monday, December 11, 2023

The Benefits of Plug-In Hybrid Cars: How Environmentally Friendly Are They?


Looking into plug-in hybrid cars? There are benefits even if they’re not as environmentally friendly as EVs.

The demand for electric cars has soared in recent years, with sales expected to break records this year. With more than 10 million electric cars sold worldwide in 2022, it seems that lots of us are starting to try to reduce our environmental impact.

However, if you’re not ready to go fully electric just yet then a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option may be the next best solution. While they provide most of the benefits of an electric vehicle on shorter drives, they also have the flexibility of a petrol or diesel car for longer journeys.

In this guide, we take a look at the many benefits of plug-in hybrid cars, including how they are also beneficial for reducing our impact on the environment.

Lower running costs and long-term value

For those who regularly only drive short distances, a plug-in hybrid model like the Hyundai Tucson is a great option, especially when it comes to maintenance. This is because you can rely on electricity to power your vehicle, which is significantly cheaper than fuel.

Mercedes-Benz S580e 4matic
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz

You’ll also find that you can save money by charging the vehicle overnight since there is less demand on the grid and electricity is cheaper. Some electric charging stations, particularly those in public areas or private workplaces, are often free to use.

Owning a PHEV can qualify drivers for various government incentives, tax credits, and rebates, depending on the region. These financial benefits can make PHEVs more accessible and appealing to a wider range of consumers. And, as the demand for environmentally friendly vehicles increases, PHEVs tend to maintain a higher resale value compared to traditional gasoline vehicles. This aspect makes them a financially savvy choice in the long term.

Fewer concerns over ‘range anxiety’

The perfect balance of a combustion engine and electric battery should remove any “range anxiety” for those looking to purchase a plug-in hybrid, which is a common factor that tends to put drivers off from investing in an electric vehicle. 

Once the vehicle has run out of electrical charge, it switches to the petrol or diesel engine, where it will then need to be refueled like most conventional vehicles.

In addition, the electric car battery in plug-in hybrids has the ability to minimize energy wastage through regenerative braking. This process converts the power generated from braking back into energy to be used by the battery.

Reduced fuel consumption

Since plug-in hybrid cars will usually start in electric mode, you’ll find that you won’t even need to use the engine for shorter trips. With the average car journey in the UK being less than 10 miles, it is unlikely that you’ll need to use much if any fuel, lowering CO2 emissions.

Courtesy BMW

And, as regenerative braking also helps to increase the range of the vehicle by reducing the energy lost as waste. Because of this, the car battery is able to stay charged for longer periods before needing to switch to the combustion engine.

As a result, PHEVs contribute to reduced emissions, especially when driven in electric mode. By using electricity as their primary fuel, they emit significantly fewer pollutants than conventional gasoline-powered cars. This is particularly beneficial in urban areas, where air quality can be a major concern. Moreover, when charged using renewable energy sources, their environmental footprint is further minimized, making them a more sustainable transportation option.


Many PHEV models offer enhanced performance compared to their traditional counterparts. The combination of an electric motor and a gasoline engine can deliver higher torque and smoother acceleration. This dual-motor setup often results in a more responsive and engaging driving experience.

PHEVs are often equipped with the latest automotive technologies, including advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), cutting-edge infotainment systems, and connectivity features. This integration of technology enhances the overall driving experience, safety, and comfort.

2024 PHEVs

Alfa Romeo Tonale eAWD


McLaren Automotive Artura

Mercedes-Benz S580e 4matic

Range Rover Sport

Porsche Cayenne 

Volvo XC-90 + XC-60

Audi Q5

Jeep Grand Cherokee

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