Plug-in hybrids: How do they work and are they right for you?By Kijiji Autos
The market for electric and hybrid cars is getting bigger every year in Canada. In 2019, there were over 50 fully electric (BEV, for "battery electric vehicle") or plug-in hybrid (PHEV, for "plug-in hybrid electric vehicle") options available. With so many choices on the market, more people are going the PHEV route. But is it the right choice for you?
BEV vs PHEV: What’s the difference?
It’s important to know what separates BEV and PHEV vehicles. A BEV has no traditional combustion engine, which means fewer moving parts, no tailpipe and no changing oil. “Fill up” the batteries via an electrical outlet or charging station. Most can use a standard 110-volt plug, or a faster 240-volt charger (the same as a clothes dryer). Some BEVs even offer a 400-volt DC fast-charger port capable of recharging around 80% of a battery in 30 minutes.
PHEVs use both batteries and an internal combustion engine. Most can operate for a short distance on electric power alone, only turning on the engine for maximum acceleration or if the battery is depleted. They can use the same outlets as BEVs, and the second engine they have on-board means they aren’t limited to only charging stations when covering long distances.
There are other differences between the two options, as well. Read our in-depth comparison between BEVs and PHEVs for more info.
Depending on where you are in Canada, you should always check for any current provincial or national incentives for buying an EV. Check out four more things to consider when buying any an electric vehicle.
The benefits of choosing PHEV
There are a few key advantages of going PHEV.
First is the gradual changeover. If you’re coming from a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) car, a PHEV like Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric Plus will feel largely similar. The biggest difference between it and regular ol’ ICE cars in daily operation comes down to the brakes: Hybrids use regenerative braking, which results in quicker deceleration when you’re off the throttle. This helps extend the battery’s range.
The second important benefit is no range anxiety. A PHEV can still use a gas station if it’s running low on juice, something its all-battery competition can’t do. This makes it a better choice for those prone to taking longer trips. There may be more public charging stations than ever before, but they can’t match the speed of the classic gas station fill-up.
There’s also the matter of shape. PHEVs come in a variety of them, from small hatchbacks to sports cars and SUVs. BEVs tend to stick to just the former, outside of a few exceptions like the Tesla Model S and X.
It isn’t a PHEV knockout victory over BEVs. There are certain situations where a BEV is the better option for you.
If your commutes are exclusively short-distance, a BEV makes more sense. Even if you’re plugged in during the highest-cost part of the day, fully charging an electric car is cheaper than filling up a fuel tank.
The other benefit is the pollution, or lack thereof. Every time a PHEV has to make use of its regular engine, it’s contributing to air pollution, no matter how little.
Speaking of the environment, regardless of whether you’re buying an electric vehicle, here’s the ecological impact of buying used versus new cars.
Now that you know what advantages PHEVs offer, check out Kijiji Auto’s full selection of hybrid cars.
Easily find your next ride on Kijiji AutosSearch now
How to buy your next car online in Canada
As manufacturers and dealers recognize that the global pandemic is a long-term reality, the auto industry is rolling out more services to buy a car online in Canada. From the comfort of your own home, you can easily browse the latest models, apply for financing, make a purchase and get your brand...
10 popular SUVs and crossovers in Canada
There's no doubt that Canadians navigate a wide variety of weather and lifestyle conditions every day. This makes a fun, practical and comfortable SUV or crossover a solid vehicle choice, from coast to coast. Listed in no particular order, check out these 10 popular SUV and crossover models to...
The best features of 10 popular hatchbacks
If you are in the market for a hatchback, you'll want to check out this overview of these 10 models and the features that make them so popular. Kijiji Autos will help you confidently choose between the best hatchbacks, including used, sporty and hybrid models – whatever is a priority for you.
10 popular vans in Canada
Cargo vans and minivans can meet the needs of many drivers. There are plenty of models to choose from at various price points, which can make it difficult to pick the van that's right for you. Whether it's passenger capacity or cargo space you're after, Kijiji Autos is here to help with your search.
Top 10 popular pickup trucks in Canada
The pickup truck has always been a symbol of utility and strength, and lately, many models have become luxury family vehicles that leave nothing to be desired. In no particular order, these popular brands represent a range of available features, engine types and towing capacities. Check out the...
10 popular sedans in Canada
Sedans are versatile vehicles that meet a variety of driving needs. Are you looking for a sedan in your area? With so many different styles, sizes and price points to choose from, it can be difficult to pick a model from such a long list of award-winning vehicles. In no particular order, these...
What you should know about these 10 popular wagons
If you are looking to buy a wagon, explore Kijiji Autos list of these popular models, and the features that make them a great choice for your next car. This list is in no particular order and will help you easily choose between great wagons, whether you’re looking for luxury, affordable, small...
9 popular coupes in Canada
Sporty and sleek, the coupe is a popular two- or four-door car that puts the fun back into driving. Fuel-efficient and compact, this body style is designed for performance. Are you looking for a coupe for sale near you? In no particular order, here is a list of 9 popular coupes in Canada...
7 popular convertible cars in Canada
Convertibles are fun and adventurous cars that are perfect for cruising around when the weather is great. Are you looking to buy a convertible? From roadsters to off-roaders, convertibles (or cabriolets) are a great choice for those who love driving for its own sake. Can't decide which...
Things first-time car owners should know
A car can seem like a complicated machine, and most maintenance jobs are best left to a mechanic, but if you’re a first-time car owner about to buy that perfect first car on Kijiji Autos, here are some things you should know. Editor’s note: This article has been newly updated. However, there...