So what’s it really like to own a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)? Read on as we share the responses from a recent survey of over 600 PHEV owners. 

Firstly, a little background. A PHEV uses both a petrol engine and an electric motor which is powered by a plug-in battery. You can drive a certain distance using the electric motor and when the battery is depleted, the car will switch to the petrol engine. You can also control the switch-over yourself. The battery is charged by both the petrol engine, and through regenerative braking – and of course through plugging it into a charger. The beauty of a PHEV is with petrol as a backup, there’s no range anxiety. And with its fuel economy so low, anxiety at the pump is diminished too. 

So how do most people charge their PHEV? 

When it is time to charge, 95% of the over 600 respondents said they charge their PHEV at home, and 94% of respondents had not installed a 3rd party wall mounted charger. In other words almost every PHEV owner has managed without any changes to their existing power setup, and charges their vehicle using their domestic power retailer.  

Charging at home is obviously convenient, and more than half of those who responded have never used a public charging station. 

Who buys a PHEV?  

The survey reported that most PHEV buyers are people without prior ownership of an EV/PHEV or hybrid (only 13% were repeat buyers), and only 17% of them have solar panels.

Recent statistics from Waka Kōtahi and EECA, which show that most NZ drivers travel less than 30km per day, support the idea that a PHEV is a very practical motoring solution for much of the driving population. This distance is well inside the electric range of most, if not all, PHEVs in New Zealand. Based on these figures, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross or Outlander will get you everywhere you need to go for two to three days on a single charge – and with no CO2 emissions.  

“Thanks, great car”  

Buying a PHEV isn’t as big a life change as people might think. It doesn’t require a change to your electrical setup or retailer. Most daily commutes can be done only using the electric motor, and being a PHEV there’s no range anxiety as it switches to petrol when it needs to. 

Here’s what one of the respondents said about their Mitsubishi Outlander: 

“Home charging works as expected, good to have the fast charge option but will not use it often as the 80+ EV kms is ok for 90% of our driving. Thanks, great car.” 

And if you’re still interested in more information about owning a PHEV, check out A PHEV that exceeds expectations