Everything You Need to Know About Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)

Everything You Need to Know

Like HEVs, Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are powered by both gasoline and a rechargeable battery. But unlike a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid can be driven powered by the battery only, and the gasoline engine will come on only as needed.

Another difference is that you will need to recharge its larger mid-capacity battery by plugging into an external electricity source, such as a Level 1 or 2 charger. Like an HEV, it also uses regenerative braking to store power in the battery.

Essentially, PHEVs ride the line between HEVs and battery only EVs. PHEVs provide the same flexibility and range of a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle, but with added fuel cost savings, increased range on a single tank, and a smaller environmental footprint.

  • Charging using a Level 2 charger typically takes a PHEV anywhere from 1-3 hours. Using a home wall outlet (Level 1), charging will take upwards of 8 hours or more.
  • A typical electric-only range of a PHEV is 25-50 km, more than enough for most commutes and errands in and around the city, leaving the gasoline engine for long road trips.
  • Some PHEVs can get upwards of 1000+ kms per tank with the help of the battery.

Let’s break it down:


  • Most PHEVs are eligible for up to $4000 in federal and provincial rebates in British Columbia.
  • You will save about $1750-$2000 in gas costs per year depending on your model chosen, based on 2019 gas prices. While figures haven’t been updated for 2022 gas prices, we’re feeling pretty good about your likely savings now that gas is $2/litre.
  • Exceptional on gas
  • No range limitations on how far you can drive – you can drive it like a regular gas-powered car
  • No charging station required, but recommended
  • Not as expensive as an EV
  • HEVs come in all sizes, up to 8 seats
  • Many HEVs have towing capabilities


  • Still paying for gas
  • Environmental impact is higher than an EV
  • Charging can take upwards of 8 hours with a regular household plug; a charging station is recommended for ease of use.


Most PHEVs are eligible for up to $4,000 in rebates if you live in British Columbia.


Drive your PHEV like a regular gas car if you need to on long trips. Or keep charged and only use the battery for trips near your home.


A PHEV will save you about $1750-$2000 in gas costs per year depending on your model chosen, based on 2019 gas prices.


Many larger PHEVs come equipped to tow your trailer or camper making them a great all around great option with terrific flexibility.

Who should buy a PHEV?

Plug-in hybrids are ideal for those who need flexibility: drivers who want an electric vehicle for most of their day-to-day commuting and errands, but also a vehicle that can take them on extended long road trips. They are also ideal for drivers who can’t install a charging station at home and are only able to charge at work, for example.

TIP:  Most PHEVs are eligible for up to $4,000 in rebates and can save the average driver about $2000 per year in fuel costs.

Check out the info you need on Hybrids (HEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (EV).

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