The Growth Prospect for Plug-In HybridsA plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), is a hybrid electric vehicle utilizing rechargeable batteries/energy storage device to restore the charge by linking a plug to an outside electric power source (electric wall socket). A PHEV displays the features of both a conventional hybrid electric vehicle - electric motor/an internal combustion engine (ICE) and a complete electric vehicle consisting of a plug to interface with an electrical grid. Automobiles form the bulk of PHEV’s. There are PHEV versions of commercial vehicles - trucks, buses, trains, motorcycles, scooters and military vehicles.
The electricity cost to operate plug-in hybrids has been projected to be comparatively less than gasoline. They also decrease environmental pollution and contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Again, they remove the issue of variety concern related to all-electric vehicles, since the combustion engine operates as a substitute when the batteries are exhausted. This enhances PHEV’s driving efficiency in comparison to other vehicles with gasoline tanks. Currently, plug-in hybrids do not utilize fossil fuels.
Greenhouse gas emissions related to functioning of plug-in hybrids at the time of their all-electric scope rely on the power plant type to cater to supplementary demand on the electrical grid when the batteries are charged. In case, the batteries are powered from renewable sources off the electrical grid, the greenhouse gas emissions would be zero.
Plug-in Hybrid Cars result in improved mileage/fuel savings. They also provide comprehensive electric-only propulsion. Automobile users can utilize the electric mode for short distance and convert to blended mode - if the battery is running low or better engine efficiency is required. Globally, all the major automobile manufacturers are focusing on developing hybrid/electric automobiles. Hence, the future of plug-in automobiles is secure. The basic infrastructure for charging stations is also improving.
The demand for electric cars at present is gradually improving. According to data provided by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), “512 pure electric cars were sold in the UK in January 2015, a 58 per cent rise from the 325 sold in January 2014. But by far the biggest rise came in sales of plug-in hybrids, which shot up 1,035 per cent from 106 in January 2014 to 1,203 sales in January 2015. Demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles continued its surge with registrations rising by 60.8 per cent. Registrations of plug-in vehicles were particularly strong as consumers responded to a greater choice of makes and models delivering lower running costs”.