Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) vs. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV): Which One Should You Choose?
Approximately 4 minute read.
The automotive industry has been undergoing a major shift in recent years, with a growing focus on the development and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as a more sustainable alternative to traditional gasoline-powered cars. There are two distinct types of vehicles within the EV category: plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – each with its own set of pros and cons. If you’re considering getting either one but still unsure on which to invest in, you’ve come to the right page.
Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are a bridge between traditional hybrids and full electric vehicles. They’re pretty much hybrid cars that can be plugged in to gain additional charge for higher voltage battery. Essentially, these models utilise two different powertrains, one electric motor that enables drivers to travel certain distances using electric only, then there’s normal petrol engine which gets utilised once the battery has depleted, reverting the system to a regular hybrid-like operation. This is one key advantage of PHEVs as gasoline acts as a backup in case the battery runs out, giving PHEVs a longer driving range compared to BEVs. The gas engine also means that drivers don’t need to worry about range anxiety or finding charging stations, which can be a concern for BEV owners.
Using the electric motor is best for short distances, generally between 30 km and 60 km, which is ideal if you want to avoid consuming fuel on shorter journeys. If you’re someone who commutes to work daily and the distance falls within that range, or if you’re someone who’s not yet ready to commit to a fully electric vehicle but wants to enjoy the benefits of a BEVs, then a PHEVs is perfect for you. With PHEVs you can get the best of both worlds and use BEVs efficiently around town, and traditional car range for longer journeys.
Image: Audi A3 TFSI e Plug-in Hybrid
PHEVs may also be a popular choice among consumers who may not have access to charging infrastructure or who require a longer driving range. Plus, PHEVs are typically more affordable than BEVS which makes them a more practical choice for some consumers.
However, PHEVs do come with some disadvantages. Due to its dual powers source, PHEVs are larger in weight compared to BEVs, this can influence fuel efficiency and driving performance. As PHEVs still rely on gasoline engines, they still produce greenhouse gases which may be a concern for consumers that seek sustainable substitutes to petrol vehicles and want to reduce their carbon footprint.
View all Plug-in hybrid range (PHEV) at Archibalds.
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)
Battery electric vehicles (BEV) most commonly referred to as EVs, run solely on electric power and is powered by a battery which is charged by connecting the vehicle’s power supply to an external source of electricity; a wall outlet in your home or at work, or a dedicated EV charger. The absence of a gasoline engine in EVs means they have zero emissions and offer a smooth and quieter driving experience.
Image: Volvo C40 Recharge EV
EVs do not emit any harmful pollutants and are therefore more environmentally friendly, making them an ideal choice for consumers who are looking to minimise their carbon footprint. However, this comes at the cost of sacrificing range for a more sustainable option. Fortunately, advancements in battery technology have significantly improved the electric range of EVs in recent years.
On average, most EVs have a driving range between 200 to 400 miles per charge. For longer journeys, it’s important to plan ahead in terms of your route and locating charging stations along the way. As mentioned earlier, range anxiety is something that EV owners may experience, but there are ways to overcome it.
As EVs continue to evolve and charging infrastructure continue to spread throughout the country, range anxiety will soon be a thing of the past, but if it’s something that concerns you, here are five tips to overcome range anxiety.
Although EVs are more expensive to buy than PHEVs, they generally offer lower costs in the long run. This factor may serve as another reason why you might want to invest in an EV. Per-mile electricity costs are typically lower than gasoline. Additionally, because EVs have fewer components, they often cost less to maintain compared to PHEVs. Lastly, with EVs, you can say goodbye to gas station trips as you gain the ability to charge in the comfort of your own home. You can even charge while you’re sleeping, so you can wake up with a fully charged and ready-to-go EV.
View all Battery electric vehicle (BEV) range at Archibalds.
Image: Jaguar I-PACE EV
As the automotive industry continues to shift towards electric vehicles, consumers must decide between PHEVs and BEVS and ultimately the decision between the two comes down to personal preference and lifestyle needs. Consumers should consider driving habits, driving range requirements, and access to charging infrastructure before coming to a final decision to choose the best electric vehicle for their needs. In terms of PHEVs, they offer more flexibility and cost less making them a practical choice for some consumers, on the other hand, BEVs offer zero emission driving , a more advanced technology, and quieter driving experience making them a more advanced and sustainable option for others.
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Electric vehicle/mode ranges are shown using WLTP (real world driving test). This is variable based on driving conditions, style, situation and terrain. The average New Zealander drives approx. 40 km per day.
International models might be shown for illustrative purposes only, and New Zealand specifications may vary.
Charging points refer to charging locations a part of the New Zealand ChargeNet network.