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Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)

Plug-in hybrids combine petrol, diesel or alternative fueled engines with a battery and electric motor. Plugging into the mains electricity, allows for a longer range of electric-only power. The batteries have a greater storage capacity than an existing hybrid. Good for commuting, and short journeys as when in electric mode there are zero tailpipe emissions.


  • zero emission when driving on batteries
  • fuel efficient in traffic
  • easy to drive
  • cheap to run if doing regular 10/15 mile commutes
  • tax efficient


  • relatively expensive
  • fuel economy not very good on motorway journeys
  • complex to maintain
  • battery life concerns
  • embedded energy used in battery manufacturing
  • resale value uncertainty

See cost per mile calculations

Compare the annual running costs of plug-in hybrids to conventional diesel and petrol cars.

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