Buyers Guide: Know your PHEVs
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A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) combines the best of both worlds with electric and hybrid powertrains — both of which can drive the wheels.
There’s an electric motor that enables drivers to travel a certain distance based on the capacity of the batteries and there’s a normal petrol engine that kicks in once the electric battery is depleted.
Plug-in hybrids are perfect for those who want the environmental and fuel-saving benefits of an EV, but still require more range for those weekend getaways.
We’ve assembled a list of the four top-selling PHEV vehicles (in order of 2018 sales figures).
In 2014, Mitsubishi introduced the world’s first mass-production plug-in hybrid SUV whereas by 2017, six out of every 10 PHEVs sold in NZ were Outlanders.
Though the Outlander PHEV has had upgrades since its introduction four years ago, including the ability to recharge on a fast-charging station (20 minutes), the vehicle retains the same powertrain, transmission and main features as the first model introduced.
The 5-star Ancap rated SUV has an electric range of around 54km and retails from $60,990 plus on road costs.
The Ioniq can reach a range of up to 63km on pure electric power- while creating zero emissions — and more than 1000km in hybrid mode. For maximum convenience, the Ioniq can be charged in three hours using a home fast-charging wallbox or a regular 3-pin wall socket can be used for overnight charging.
The Ioniq has an Ancap rating of five stars and retails from $53,990 plus on-road costs.
Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota has always been known for its hybrid vehicles. The Prius Prime offers enviable environmental credentials, including an electric vehicle range of up to 63km, a weighted combined fuel consumption of only 1litre/100km and CO2 emissions of just 22g/km. One feature that sets the Prius Prime apart is its world-first gas-injection heat pump air conditioning.
The heat pump can efficiently warm the interior using heat absorbed from the outside air.
The Prius Prime is 5-star Ancap rated and is priced from $48,490 — on-road costs included.
The Niro is the company’s first dedicated hybrid model designed specifically with advanced fuel-saving powertrain technology in mind.
The Niro can travel up to 57km on battery power — and when the petrol and electric motors are used together, the combined fuel economy is 1.3litre/100km.
The Niro comes with a 3.3KWh onboard charger that is fitted with a three-pin plug so it can be charged at home using special power adapters.
A full charge takes about four hours using the standard system, whereas an upgraded Type 2 charger can charge the battery pack in less than two hours.
The Niro has a 5-star Ancap rating. It is priced from $55,990 plus on-road costs.