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Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) - What is, Types and Components

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) - What is, Types and Components

A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle’s power source can largely store electricity when traveling in populated areas. For instance, a luminous PHEV operator may travel entirely on electricity to and from work, plug the car in to recharge at nightfall, and be ready for a further all-electric journey the following day. 

The vehicle is powered by the internal combustion engine when the battery is mostly discharged while accelerating quickly, or when there are heavy heating or cooling demands. The converse is also applicable for some large PHEVs; at the job site, energy is used to run auxiliary equipment or control the cabin’s climate.

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What is a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)?

A possible solution that utilizes electricity to replace a sizable portion of fleet petroleum usage is Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. It is an HEV that can refill its fuel cell storage using power from an external source (such as the power system for electricity). 

The car can then operate in a charge-depleting (CD) mode, lowering the system’s state-of-charge (SOC), and replacing the propellant that would have been used otherwise with electricity. The usual liquid fuel used by PHEVs is petroleum (gasoline or petrol), but other options like hydrogen or biofuels are also available.

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Types of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

There are two different plug-in hybrid setups.

Types of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Series Plug-in Hybrid: In this setup, the vehicle’s only source of propulsion is electricity. As long as the battery charge is sufficient, the car operates entirely electrically. The engine starts the electric motor when the battery is depleted of power. The series plug-in hybrid might not require conventional fuel on short trips and at moderate speeds.

Parallel Plug-in Hybrid: In this configuration, the car is propelled in practically all situations by both its internal combustion engine and electric motor. Usually, only at slower speeds can the car run entirely on electricity.

Components of PHEV

The essential components of a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle are listed below.

  • Electric motor: One of the most important parts of the electric vehicle is the electric motor. It either powers the car entirely on electricity or cooperates with the internal combustion engines.

    The electric motor may be powered by the internal combustion engine or the battery pack, based on the kind of PHEV.
  • Internal Combustion Engine: When the battery is depleted, the conventional engine turns on to move the car. In some cars, the internal combustion engine may also function as an electric motor or battery charger.
  • Battery Pack: In a PHEV, there are primarily two sorts of batteries. 

    The secondary or supplemental battery supplies electricity to the vehicle’s various electrical parts while the primary rechargeable battery serves as the traction battery for the electric motor. 

    Linking the traction battery to an external power supply will allow it to recharge.
  • Onboard charger:  The onboard charger is essential since it is necessary to recharge the battery. 

    The battery pack is charged via a conversion from Alternative Current to Direct Current power. Additionally, it keeps an eye on things like weather, charging progress, and battery voltage.
  • Transmission: A gearbox is necessary for the transmission of power from the engine or electric motor, without which the electrical energy and internal combustion engine are useless. Like any other gasoline or diesel vehicle, a PHEV operates on a conventional gearbox.

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How does a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Work?

PHEV vehicles work in the same way as conventional hybrid vehicles generally. The bigger battery pack that has to be connected to an external electrical source, is the primary distinction. 

For further information on how a plug-in hybrid automobile operates, see the following points:

  • Normally, a PHEV comes up in all-electric mode, where the electric vehicle autonomously moves the car forward.
  • Until the battery pack runs out of power, the car will remain running entirely electrically.
  • Upon reaching driving speeds, certain PHEVs automatically transition to hybrid mode (Electric Motor + Internal Combustion Engine).
  • When the battery charge runs out, the internal combustion engine kicks in, and the automobile runs like regular gasoline or diesel car.
  • The battery pack is connected to an external power source, which begins charging the vehicle.
  • Regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine both assist in charging the battery.

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Advantages of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The following are some of the PHEV benefits.

  • PHEVs have no pollutants when operating exclusively on electricity.
  • When compared to normal petrol/diesel automobiles, they emit less CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • The electric vehicle helps the motor, making plug-in hybrid vehicles propellant at slower speeds.
  • If you only travel domestically, then the operating costs are cheap.
  • There is no reason to worry about mileage as the internal combustion engine can handle vast intervals.

Disadvantages of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles have the following drawbacks.

  • PHEVs are more costly than traditional and regular hybrid vehicles.
  • During lengthy highway trips, the fuel usage can be comparable to that of a regular car.
  • The declining battery life might harm the efficiency of pure electric vehicles.
  • Regardless of the type of charger, the battery charges in a few hrs.
  • Electric vehicle can be expensive to fix.


Mode of OperationThe vehicle is propelled by a combination of an IC engine and an electric motor.An electric motor helps the traditional Internal combustion engine run more efficiently or function better.The car is driven by an electric motor.
Emission levelsCompared to gasoline and diesel automobiles, they emit fewer greenhouse gases.Lesser carbon footprints than those of traditional cars.There are no pollutants from their tailpipes.
ChargingThe recharging period is less since battery packs are more compact.There is no requirement for recharging because the battery pack is charged while the car is moving due to regenerative braking or a generator.Battery packs in BEVs are bigger. Thus, the charging time extends.

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Top Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The Top PHEV list here:

  1. Tesla Model Y
  2. Renault Zone
  3. BMW i3
  4. BYD Tang
  5. Tesla Model 3
  6. Chery eQ
  7. BYD Qin
  8. BAIC EU-Series
  9. Tesla Model X


Reduced carbon emissions are one of the significant advantages of PHEVs. Plug-in hybrids significantly reduce vehicle pollution because automotive emissions are the main cause of the rising pollution levels. 

PHEVs can operate in purely electric mode with no emissions when their battery packs are larger. Additionally, the car’s carbon emissions are greatly reduced while operating in hybrid mode.

In general, PHEVs are the subsequent right approach after EVs to reduce car emissions.

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