There’s often some confusion between hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles and that’s because both types of vehicle have an electric engine and a rechargeable battery ‘under the bonnet’. The big difference between them is that a hybrid vehicle has two engines: an electric engine and a conventional fuel powered engine. An electric vehicle only has an electric engine.
This means the electric vehicle has to literally plug itself into a charger to charge up its battery when its power runs out - after so many miles depending on how often it is used. The hybrid vehicle, using technology pioneered and perfected by Toyota, uses its electric motor to drive around town at low speeds and then, when more power is needed, switches to its second, conventional fuel motor, to drive at higher speeds on motorways or for overtaking.
The advantage of a hybrid vehicle is that it recharges its own battery ‘on the move’ – as it’s being driven by its conventional engine - it even recharges itself when you brake, too. So, issues such as: ‘how to charge a hybrid car’, ‘where are the hybrid charging points located’, or ‘where is my nearest hybrid charging station?’ do not apply.
Because you don’t have to plug in a hybrid to recharge the battery, you aren’t restricted by range. That means no overnight charging, finding power points, waiting or wires. A Toyota hybrid vehicle is electrically self-sufficient and switches automatically between its electric and petrol powered engines as and when it needs to. Obviously, you do need to fill up your tank, as you have a conventional petrol engine – but hybrid efficiency means your fuel lasts that much longer.
Having the advantage of both electric and petrol power doesn’t mean that you can run your hybrid without fuel. The electric and conventional engines in a hybrid are designed to work together. So even though a hybrid can operate in an electric-only mode, it must have fuel in the tank – even if only a little. Trying to run a hybrid purely on the electric engine without having the fuel to power the conventional engine will result in damage.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid has all the benefits of being a hybrid, but also has a hybrid charge point so you can give the larger battery an extra charge, at home or at any of the network of PHEV charging points.
Now with an increased electric range of up to 39 miles with a top speed of 83mph in electric mode as well as taking only 2 hours* to fully charge.
*Based on 16 Amp charging capability
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