Why You Should Buy A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Have you ever thought about buying an alternative fuel vehicle? Up until last year, we had two gas guzzling SUV’s (we still have one). To say that they were costly to drive is an understatement. With so many new, fuel efficient models being produced, I started thinking that maybe we should look into some of these new technologies before we purchase our next vehicle.  Lucky for me, opportunity came knocking! Earlier this summer, I was given the opportunity to test out a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (Ford CMax Energi) for five months.  I’ve been driving it since August and don’t think I could ever go back to driving a regular gas-powered car again.

Ford CMax Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

What is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle?

One of the main characteristics of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is that it features both a gasoline engine as well as an electric motor that is powered by a large rechargeable battery. They are also a bit different than regular hybrid vehicles because PHEVS can be plugged-in and recharged from an outlet or charging station allowing them to drive extended distances using just electricity. When the battery is exhausted, the conventional engine turns on and the vehicle operates as a regular, non-plug-in hybrid.Ford CMax Energi Engine

Regenerative Braking

PHEVS also produce electric power using regenerative braking.  A tremendous amount of energy is transferred during the braking process. With regenerative braking, this energy is transferred to the battery when the driver’s foot is off the accelerator while coasting, or during actual braking.

High-Capacity Batteries

Plug-in models feature significantly larger batteries than conventional hybrid cars. This allows them to accumulate much more power. At the same time, drivers do not experience range anxiety. They can always buy fuel at a gas station when necessary. This gives PHEV vehicles a major advantage over autos that only run on electricity.

No Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is the phenomenon where people are wary of hybrid electric vehicles because they think that they will exhaust the battery and wind up stranded somewhere. That scenario will never play out in a PHEV mainly because it runs on a dual powered engine. Once you exhaust the battery, your vehicle automatically switches over to the conventional gas engine. As long as you put gas in the car, like you would in a regular vehicle, you won’t have any issues. In fact, we traveled from New Jersey all the way to Niagara Falls in the PHEV and guess what, we didn’t get stranded or have an issues whatsoever! 

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Charging Ford CMax Energi

Super Quiet

The PHEV I am driving is super quiet.  In fact, sometimes I have to check the dashboard to make sure it is actually on! I didn’t realize how quiet it was until one day I was in a parking lot and noticed that a few people walking through the lot were startled to see my vehicle behind them. 

Little Idling

Most vehicles waste gas when they idle while waiting in parking lots or at intersections. If you drive in an urban area, about six percent of your fuel consumption is linked to idling. Plug-in hybrids do not have this problem. Electric motors allow them to travel in any locale with little or no idling.

Less Air Pollution

Many families appreciate the lower tailpipe emissions of a plug-in hybrid car. This protects the natural ecosystem, reduces smog and makes the air easier for everyone to breathe. These vehicles release about 67% less carbon dioxide than the average gas-powered auto. They also outperform conventional hybrids by 37 percent.

Fewer Oil Spills

Gasoline does not only harm the environment when engines burn it. This fuel comes from oil, a substance energy companies must extract from the Earth. Major pipeline and tanker spills happen yearly, and minor spills occur every day. When people reduce the demand for oil, they decrease the frequency of these disasters.

Save on Gas

Depending on how far you drive each day, you can really save on gas. My daily “commute” is pretty short. I drive about 20 miles a day on average and I keep the vehicle plugged in at all times so I wind up driving on electric mode most of the time. I hardly use power from gasoline so I am getting an average of 63.2 MPG which is awesome. 

To sum it up, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will cut your fuel spending substantially and limit environmental harm. It enables you to travel using power from gasoline, electrical outlets and regenerative braking. Such autos accomplish this without the range anxiety associated with all-electric cars.

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About the author


Diane is a New Jersey-based writer and blogger. She is a wife and the mom of a 13-year old boy. Through her blog, she wants to inspire moms to find Zen in their lives while offering practical tips and other valuable information to help families deal with everyday issues. Contact her at dianenassy@gmail.com

Why You Should Buy A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

by Diane time to read: 3 min