A Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) offers the best of both worlds, with an electric motor for short runs and inner-city trips, plus a conventional engine for longer journeys.
Like their hybrid counterparts, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles offer significant reductions in CO2 and much improved fuel economy.
Furthermore, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle can – as its name suggests – be plugged into the mains to recharge the onboard batteries.
The battery on a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle can be recharged using a standard household current, or via one of the increasing number of charging points throughout the country.
Depending on the vehicle, it could be possible to complete your entire commute in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle under electric power.
But should the battery run out, the diesel or petrol engine will takeover, providing a range comparable, if not better, than a standard petrol or diesel-engined car.
What’s more, the combination of a traditional engine with the electric motor can provide a performance boost.
For example, with a combined 285hp and 440Nm of torque – the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the most powerful V60 in the range – not bad for a 48g/km estate car. Take note business buyers!
Then there’s the tax-dodging Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, which is not only London Congestion Charge exempt, but also offers the delicious combination of 71g/km CO2 and a 0-62mph time of 5.5 seconds.
Also look out for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which offers 44g/km CO2 for the same price as its diesel equivalent.