An increasing number of auto manufacturers are releasing plug-in hybrid versions of their most popular cars. In 2014, there will be at least eight plug-in cars available, up from six in 2013. These vary in terms of powertrain. While some are fully electric, the majority have petrol engines to serve as a backup source of power. This can increase the vehicle’s range and power. The following is a quick rundown of the plug-in options to watch for this upcoming year, both in hybrid and fully electric models.
What are the Advantages of Plug-in Cars?
Generally, plug-in vehicles are becoming preferred over other electric models because they provide extra battery capacity and range. A plug-in car can run in all-electric mode for a longer period of time, and can often make small trips around town without any need to ever burn any fuel. The mileage can be quite impressive on plug-in hybrids. For example, the Chevrolet Volt offers 150 miles to the gallon. Plug-in cars also offer reduced emissions, with levels even lower than regular hybrids. The battery capacity allows these cars to have ranges of approximately 50 miles, allowing drivers to drive around town without stopping for gas. Electricity costs far less than fuel, making them cheaper to run. Furthermore, they can be charged anywhere with an electrical outlet.
Disadvantages of Plug-Ins
Despite all of these advantages, plug-ins may not be right for everyone. Plug in hybrid batteries still cost more than regular hybrid batteries, so your upfront costs will be higher. If you plan on driving your car for several years, this cost will balance out when you save on gas and have an extended range. However, on longer trips you’ll still need to factor in the cost of fuel. This means that you may not always hit the high mileage reported by many top plug-in vehicles.
2014 Plug-In Models
If you’re interested in the latest range of plug-in hybrids, you’ll have plenty to choose from next year. Some of the best SUVs according to motoring.com.au are available in plug-in hybrid versions, including the new Mitsubishi Outlander. While Mitsubishi already offers the fully electric i-MiEV car, this hybrid crossover could win over the family market with its extended range and all-wheel drive. The BMW i3 ReX will also be a new model offered in 2014, available as a battery-electric car or with a small range extending engine. This extra engine could double the existing battery range of 80 miles.
Popular plug-ins like the Chevrolet Volt and Ford C-Max Energi will be available again in 2014 with a few updates. The Volt has been particularly successful, comfortably seating five passengers and offering 38 miles of fully-electric range, while the C-Max Energi can hit 85 mph even in all-electric mode. You can compare cars with motoring.com.au to learn more about how the range and features measure up of these various models.
Because of the design advantages that a plug-in model offers, many other hybrids could soon be available in this mode. This means greater choice for consumers interested in driving green cars over the next few years.