10 advantages of staying in a plug-in hybrid

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Europe is fully determined to jump electric car. The best example is the ban on the sale of vehicles with combustion engines from 2035, with exceptions that have yet to be determined. A path that will begin much earlier, with the future Euro 7 regulation and its drastic limitation on polluting emissions, which will imply a mandatory electrification of the market.


The problem is that in this race to popularize the electric car, it seems that we want to run before walking. At the moment, electric cars are expensive vehicles and the need for huge quantities of lithium does not seem to play in favor of lowering the price. Added to this is the poor recharging network on the road. Spain has here a serious problem in the expansion of this technology. In fact, Europe has gone to work to prevent this type of situation from becoming entrenched in the different countries of the continent.

It is logical, therefore, that doubts assail the buyer of a new car. Staying in combustion seems to be tied to the past. Perhaps the time has not yet come to bet on the electric car, a technology that undoubtedly has a long way to go to develop and improve in the coming years. But if we want to enjoy the advantages of the electric car without giving up those of the combustion vehicle, a plug-in hybrid It is presented as the perfect option.

The 10 advantages of a plug-in hybrid

We are living a turning moment in the automobile industry, leaving combustion engines behind and betting heavily on electrification. However, if we want a car with which we can get around for little money and travel quietly regularly, the plug-in hybrid has a series of advantages that we are going to break down.

DGT

Zero Emissions Sticker

Buying a car is already synonymous with looking at which DGT environmental sticker we will have to wear on the windshield in the coming years. This is especially important if we take into account that, as we explain below, they are decisive when it comes to establishing what restrictions will affect us if anti-pollution protocols are activated or in the Low Emission Zones (ZBE).

In the case of a plug-in hybrid, these vehicles usually receive the Zero Emissions environmental label. This distinction is received by all those vehicles whose batteries allow them to travel more than 40 kilometers in exclusively electric mode. In addition, it must be taken into account that in countries such as Germany, purchase aid is more restrictive, so this figure tends to increase in order to be competitive in said market.

A battery to be reckoned with

What differentiates a plug-in hybrid from a self-recharging battery or an electric one? Broadly speaking, the size of your battery. When we talk about a hybrid, we are referring to a car that can be powered by gasoline, in exclusively electric mode or with both engines working together to achieve the best performance.

Hybrids rely on electric motors to deliver more power on time or move without spending any gasoline. With a self-charging hybrid, the battery is filled by taking advantage of the energy released during vehicle braking. This stored electrical energy is used to circulate “under sail” or in short sections of the conduction, eliminating the most inefficient phases of combustion engines.

The advantage of a plug-in hybrid is that its battery is not as large as that of an electric car, but it does exceed 10 kWh as a minimum of storage. This allows PHEVs to exceed, at a minimum, the 40 kilometers in exclusively electric mode required by the DGT. However, these figures have grown in recent years and some models even come close (and even exceed) to a hundred kilometers available without expelling polluting emissions.

ZBE

The ZBE: the year of change

2023 will be the year of change in all cities over 50,000 inhabitants In our country. As stated in the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, all these cities (and those with more than 20,000 inhabitants and unfavorable environmental reports) will have to design Low Emission Zones (ZBE) with the aim of improving their air quality.

The design of these LEZs is in the hands of the municipalities that can apply any type of measure in order to achieve the objective, which does not mean that vehicles such as label B have to be excluded by regulation. Nor that cars without a sticker cannot circulate, as in Madrid and Barcelona.

However, other consistories (as proposed in the Madrid town of Fuenlabrada) already consider that there are spaces where can only circulate vehicles with a Zero Emissions label, precisely the one shown by these plug-in hybrids.

Now hybrid, now electric

As we said, when a plug-in hybrid does not circulate in electric-only mode, does it as a traditional or self-recharging battery hybrid. In other words, it only relies on the battery during acceleration phases, in which the combustion engine is less efficient, or for short periods of time.

What’s the point of this? Well, saving electricity in the battery can make a lot of sense. As we said, some cities are studying the possibility of forcing zero emission vehicles to circulate on some of their streets. But, there is more, it has already been suggested that this can only be done in exclusively electric mode.

Cities such as Fuenlabrada (Madrid) are already planning exclusive streets for zero emission vehicles

In fact, cities like Madrid have already tried what are called “pollution radars”. They are cameras that detect if a car is being used with its combustion engine or in exclusively electric mode. In addition, models such as the Kia Niro PHEV can prioritize the use of the battery to circulate in urban environments. Thus, when a route is indicated in the navigator, they automatically activate and deactivate this mode.

It is not surprising that, little by little, spaces are imposed where you can only circulate in exclusively electric mode. It is a debate that has already been put on the table related to the ZBE but also to implement in the environments of especially sensitive places, such as schools or hospitals.

Very low cost per kilometer

Using a plug-in hybrid is synonymous with consuming less gasoline in any condition. In the first place, it must be taken into account that it is an ideal vehicle for those who travel a number of kilometers close to the electric autonomy of your vehicle. In other words, if on a day-to-day basis we cover most of our journey in exclusively electric mode, savings are guaranteed.

Plug-in hybrids generally use slow-charging outlets. This is not a problem in this type of car, since the battery is not as large as an electric one. This allows having all its electrical capacities available in about five or six hours (at most) with a 2.3 kW domestic plug.

The cost of recharging with a domestic plug is very low, much more at night. This means that, with a contracted rate of 0.20 kWh of consumption, fully recharging the battery of a plug-in hybrid reaches €2.50 if we talk about vehicles with 15 kWh batteries. This can travel between 60 and 70 kilometers in electric mode. Thus, the buyer of this type of car will spend about 3.50 euros for every 100 kilometers.

Keep in mind that gasoline and diesel have been close to two euros for each liter of fuel. If these prices are maintained, a vehicle that consumes 6 litres/100 kilometers will be spending between 10 and 12 euros. The savings in this case are considerable on a day-to-day basis.

Hybrid

Free recharges at slow charging points

These data are taking into account domestic recharge figures. But the plug-in hybrid has another point in its favor: the free refills. Some town halls, restaurants or shopping centers, among other spaces, have free charging points.

The main problem here for electric vehicles is that these charging points are usually very limited in charging time or power, so filling their large batteries for free is feasible but much more expensive.

A plug-in hybrid can take advantage of these points more efficiently, because as we have seen, in the worst case, a 2.3 W plug will allow you to recharge between 20 and 25% of the battery. As soon as the offered power is greater, the charging time will be reduced drastically and the volume of electrical energy accumulated in that time will skyrocket, so filling the batteries for free is a value to be taken into account.

Less gasoline, yes or yes

Whether we plug our vehicle into a domestic outlet or plug it into a public charging point, the fuel economy with a plug-in hybrid it is self-evident. But, in addition, if we do not take advantage of this capacity, the cost of gasoline will also be less than with a combustion vehicle.

Electric and plug-in hybrids grow 66% in Europe and already represent one in five cars sold in 2021

And it is that, as we said, when a plug-in hybrid works without the electric mode, it becomes a self-recharging or traditional battery hybrid. This will allow you to save a few tenths of fuel on the open road, with sailing, but the savings will be much more evident in the urban environment or in traffic jams, where you will pull the battery when starting, eliminating the most inefficient part of the block. of gas.

The comfort of the electric motor

It is something that stands out in electric vehicles and is often overlooked when we talk about plug-in hybrids. Users of zero-emission cars tend to highlight one advantage above all else when it comes to driving: the ride comfort.

When the vehicle is moved solely by the electric motor, vibrations are reduced to a minimum and the sound of the combustion engine is eliminated. A discomfort that is not evident until we put it aside. In fact, in my own experience, when a person who has never been in one before gets into an electric car with me, the first thing that stands out is how quiet these types of cars are.

Moves III

Aid from the Moves III Plan

Another advantage that we should not overlook. The purchase of zero emission vehicles is subsidized in Spain with the Moves III Plan and, of course, plug-in hybrid vehicles are included in it. It must be taken into account, however, that only those cars whose retail price is less than 45,000 euros (excluding VAT) are eligible for this aid.

The aidsIn any case, they are the following:

  • PHEV with between 30 and 90 kilometers of electric autonomy: 2,500 euros without scrapping and 5,000 euros with the scrapping of an old vehicle.
  • PHEV with more than 90 kilometers of electric autonomy: 4,500 euros without scrapping and 7,000 euros if an old vehicle is scrapped.

The best of both worlds

In short, the plug-in hybrid is a dream car for those who travel tens of kilometers daily (especially if it falls within the range of action of their battery) but want a car with which they can ignore the problems of electric vehicles.

If you want to go on a trip, with a plug-in hybrid it is not necessary to plan where to charge the car or confirm at the destination if we will have an available charging point. In that sense, a plug-in hybrid brings great freedom to its buyers.

But, in addition, in the city it continues to enjoy all the advantages of the electric car. Their day-to-day savings It is evident (and on a trip we continue to enjoy a hybrid when the electric battery runs out) and it provides the driving comfort of the electric ones. In addition, it guarantees freedom from the vast majority of traffic restrictions and, when the day comes, it could circulate in exclusively electric mode in those areas where it was essential.

Europe is fully determined to jump electric car. The best example is the ban on the sale of vehicles with…

Europe is fully determined to jump electric car. The best example is the ban on the sale of vehicles with…

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