What Is a Plug In Car?

The difference between a plug in car (Electric Car) and a Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) isn't so much in what you get with the electric plug in car, but what you don't get with it. The electric car doesn't have a gas-powered motor; it gets all of its power from an electric motor, which is powered by a battery.

Electric cars are becoming more appealing due to the rising price of gas and the focus on global warming and the affect that the combustion engine is having on our environment. The vast majority of pollution plaguing our environment today is from gas combustion engines. In the United States the most carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide air pollution stems from our automobiles.

Plug in cars using electricity derived from clean sources such as wind and solar have little effect on the environment which will cause a decrease in global warming concerns.

Plug in cars cost about .03 -.05 cents per mile so although the initial investment is anywhere from $2,000 - $10,000 more than a conventional car, you can get your money back through the fuel savings and, on some models, tax savings.

In addition, plug-in cars require very little maintenance. There is much less wear and tear on the brakes and there are less moving parts than the typical car.

Electric cars don't use mufflers, spark plugs, air filters or oil filters. Your only maintenance concerns and costs will be shocks, windshield wipers and tires. That's even more savings to help offset the higher initial investment.

The manufactures are stepping in to help with longer warranties the most common manufacturers; Toyota, Honda and Ford all provide 8-10 year warranties on their electric vehicles. This will also help keep your maintenance cost down.

Electric cars are charged with a battery pack, will last approximately 100 miles and will take approximately 10-20 hours to completely charge.

With the plug in car (PHEV) and a 240 outlet in your garage, you can cut the charge time in half. This allows you to simply plug the vehicle in over-night and you have a constant source of energy to run your vehicle.

The greatest advantage the plug in car has over the electric vehicle is that the plug in car has a fuel tank as a back-up. This way you don't have to worry about getting stranded.

With the PHEV you have the best of both worlds in one vehicle. On one hand you have the electric option for in-town usage, and the gas tank choice for longer distances. The engine will recharge the battery as the car is in motion. Imagine comparing it to a generator.

A fascinating bonus, the PHEV can provide enough electricity for your complete house should you have a power outage. That's good to know if you ever find yourself in the dark.

By the way, do you want to learn more about how I show my clients to save money on their vehicles?

What's Up with Hybrid Vehicles?

If the price of gasoline has got you scared, and you're thinking about maybe trading in your car for a moped, you've got half the solution right. It might be time to trade in your car, but forget the moped - get a hybrid car instead.

The dictionary defines the word hybrid as: Offspring resulting from breeding between parents of two different species, and that's a good definition for our purposes. That's because a hybrid car has a power plant that's a cross between a gasoline powered engine and an electric motor.

What's the big deal about hybrid cars?

The automobile industry claims that a hybrid car can give you as much as 20 to 30 miles per gallon more performance than a standard gasoline engine. That means that you buy less gasoline, and buying less gasoline leaves more money in your pocket. You'll need that extra money, however, because hybrid cars are still relatively expensive compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars. As more hybrid cars are sold, manufacturing prices will drop, and that drop will be seen in the selling price.

How does a hybrid car save gasoline?

In a typical automobile, the engine is connected to the transmission via a mechanical link called the drive train. When the engine's sparkplugs fire, they ignite gasoline vapor which pushes a piston up and down. This piston movement gets transferred to the transmission via the drive train. The transmission turns the wheels and the car goes down the road.

Well, the hybrid car is almost exactly the same except that in addition to the engine being connected to the transmission, an electric motor is also connected to the transmission. Actually, there are two different versions of hybrid cars. The one that was just described is called a parallel hybrid, because there are two different energy sources connected in parallel to the transmission.

The other type of hybrid car is called a series hybrid because the gasoline engine works in series with the electric motor to power the car. This is accomplished by having the gasoline engine either charge the car's batteries, or power the electric motor. The gasoline engine doesn't actually turn the car's wheels at all.

The parallel hybrid operates off of the electric motor when the car is being driven below a certain speed, and the gasoline engine kicks in when that speed is exceeded, or when sensors in the car indicate that the driver has accelerated suddenly as if to pass or to avoid an emergency situation.

Of course, the gasoline engine is always running even when the electric motor is powering the car, so some gasoline is always being used.

The series hybrid is always running off of the electric motor, which restricts the top speed of the car, and the gasoline engine only kicks in when the batteries need to be charged.

Like all automotive claims, your mileage may vary. Even so, if you're looking to spend less money at the gas station, and avoid much of the effect of rising gas prices, you might want to park a hybrid car in your garage.