Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are hybrid vehicles with an added battery. Since the term implies, plug-in hybrids - which look and perform considerably like "standard" cars - can be connected to a 120-volt outlet (for example every night at home, or in the course of the workday in a parking garage) and charged.
Plug-ins operate on the stored energy for much of a typical day's driving - with respect to the size the battery up to 60 miles per charge, far beyond the commute of an average American - and when the charge is used up, automatically keep running on the fuel in the fuel tank. An individual who drives daily a distance lesser than the vehicle's electric range would by no means need to dip into the fuel tank.
Electricity rather than gasoline-
The majority of the energy utilized by plug-ins originates from electricity and not from gasoline. That electricity could be produced cleanly and efficiently.
The plug-in hybrid drive system works with all vehicle models and doesn't entail any sacrifice of vehicle performance or driver amenities. A medium size plug-in can speed up from 0 to 60 mph within 9 seconds, sustain a top speed of 97 mph and maintain 120 mph for around two minutes even with a low battery.
Plug-ins approximate retail cost is higher than that of corresponding traditional vehicles. The difference in cost depends on the size of battery. Every additional 10 miles of vehicle range in electric mode adds about $1,000 to the price.
Environmental impacts of plug-ins must be compared with those of traditional vehicles on the basis of emissions over the whole fuel-cycle ("well-to-wheels",) meaning the emissions associated with the extraction, processing, distribution and final use of the energy that propels the vehicle. Although for traditional vehicles these incorporate emissions that derive from digging and processing crude oil as well as tailpipe discharges, for plug-ins we should take into consideration emissions generated by power plants offering the electricity for charging the car's batteries. All told, a plug-in that's fully charged every night can minimize emissions by 50% due to the improved fuel economy along with the non-production of tail pipe emissions during the electric driving phase.
Consumer surveys indicate strong market prospect for plug-in hybrids. Prospects will grow with time as public acquaintance with the technologies increases. Most of those surveyed favored being able to charge their vehicle at home rather than gasoline station.