With concerns about range and charging, deciding to get behind the wheel of an electric car isn’t straightforward for everyone. And that’s where plug-in hybrid electric car, or PHEVs, come in. They offer a convenient first step towards more electric miles. So let’s plug into some of the most common questions.
If they’ve got a petrol engine, why bother charging them?
This is a common misconception. The reality is that if you own a PHEV and you never charge it, it quickly becomes expensive to own and run – you’re dragging an entire second “engine” around with you and never using it.
The average daily commute in England and Wales is around 20 miles. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has an electric range of 28 miles, while a BMW X5 Hybrid has plenty enough to get you to work and back with electric miles to spare.
Even on longer journeys, they can recognise they’re on a motorway and will switch automatically between petrol and electric to maximise efficiency – so plugging in and charging regularly is a must.
Do folk remember to plug it in though?
A recent survey of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV owners found that 96% of owners plug-in at least once a week. The survey also found that half the average daily mileage of all owners surveyed are electric, meaning tens of thousands of fossil-fuel miles are being prevented.
More interestingly, a quarter of PHEV owners said they’re thinking about getting an EV next, meaning their time behind the wheel of a PHEV has convinced them that electric is the future, meaning they’re more likely to ditch the petrol engine entirely next time.
Isn’t charging tricky? What if I can’t charge at home?
Plugging in your PHEV is no more difficult than plugging in a kettle. With a home charger, like one from BP Chargemaster, or a convenience charge point near your home, plugging in takes seconds and as they have a small range it doesn’t take too long to top them up with electricitry. But a PHEV does work best for you if you have access to home charging and can top it up daily.
And don’t forget, thanks to your electric motor, you can wave goodbye to queuing up at the local petrol station every few days.
By moving to electric, aren’t we just moving the emissions elsewhere?
It’s true that electricity generated in fossil-fuelled power stations releases carbon into our atmosphere. And it’s a point that EV sceptics often raise.
You might want to consider switching to a green energy tariff, like the ones offered by the likes of OVO Energy, Octopus or Pure Planet.
So switch to green energy, get behind the wheel of a PHEV, and you’ll not only be cutting your carbon footprint by charging with 100% renewable electricity, you’ll also be saving money, improving air quality and cutting noise levels where you drive.