What is a plug-in hybrid?

How does a plug-in hybrid car work?

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) works in a similar way to a self-charging hybrid– there is a petrol engine that works with an electric motor and a battery. In a plug-in hybrid, the battery is much larger than in a self-charging hybrid. This means the car is able to travel around 30 miles on battery power alone – more than enough for the UK average daily commute – but it can also call on the petrol engine for longer trips. Like a self-charging hybrid, the battery can be charged a little while driving, but for the full benefit, you will need to plug in. Charging a PHEV should take less than three hours. Put this all together and you can enjoy miles of low-cost, all-electric driving while still having a petrol engine for those rare long distance trips. Perfect.

What are the benefits of a plug-in hybrid?

Flexibility - a plug-in hybrid is the perfect compromise if you aren't ready to go fully electric. You get around 30 miles of electric driving, which should be enough for most journeys, and have the petrol engine to fall back on for longer journeys.

Zero emissions driving - most of the driving will be done using battery power

Cheap to run - electricity is much cheaper than diesel or petrol. Your journey could cost less than a third of what it would in a combustion-engined car, when running on battery power. VED is lower for PHEV drivers and company car BIK tax is also reduced.

Charge at home - this is a major perk. An OLEV grant of £500 can help you pay for your home charger too.

Relaxing drive - PHEV's are very quiet inside when running on battery power. Acceleration is instant as the electric motor produces maximum torque at all revs.

What's it like to drive a PHEV?

Relaxing and rather fun! When running on battery power, PHEVs are very responsive, because unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce maximum torque at any rpm. Acceleration is instant.

Most charging in the UK is done at home, but if you want to top up on the go, there are more than 7,000 public charging locations in the UK.

The Kia Niro PHEV

The Kia Niro PHEV offers a roomy, premium interior that’s brimming with technology, all in the body of a stylish crossover.

It has an electric range of 36 miles – more than enough for most journeys – and achieves 201.8mpg, while producing just 29g/km CO2.

Style and substance.