In 2021, automakers are producing more plug-in hybrids than ever. With a highly saturated market, there are many options available.

In late 2010, the Chevrolet Volt became the first production plug-in hybrid sold in the United States. GM's marketing team, who massively understated its significance, arguably could have hindered the Volt from reaching its maximum potential. Unlike a traditional hybrid, you could go 35 miles on electric power, and unlike an early EV, you'd be able to travel on a long highway trip without having to pay Tesla money. 

Along with being the U.S.' first PHEV, The Volt was one of the few series hybrids. Unlike most PHEVs using a gasoline engine with a transmission to the wheels (parallel hybrid), a series hybrid would use the gasoline engine as a generator to provide energy to the battery or the electric motor. Series hybrids allow for smooth electric acceleration all the time, and acceleration in "EV" or "gas" mode will feel similar.

Since the Volt was built from the ground-up as a PHEV, very few automakers followed the Volt's formula. Most new PHEVs are parallel hybrids because it's just easier to design on a presently-used ICE platform. In many cases, PHEVs based on ICE cars are actually cheaper than the non-hybrid versions because the PHEVs qualify for tax credits. Every vehicle on this list qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit, aside from the Santa Fe Plug-in and Escape PHEV, which are $6,587 and $6,843, respectively.

For instance, the BMW X5 45e effectively costs $3,800 less than the X5 40i, factoring in the federal tax credit. Over the regular X5, you'd be able to have more sprightly off-the-line acceleration, regen (less wear on brakes), and go 31 miles on the battery alone. Thirty-one miles may not sound incredible, but for grabbing groceries, commuting to work, or just driving around town, that's 31 miles of saving around 50% in would-be gasoline costs (using $3.14 for gasoline and $.13 for each kWh).

Nevertheless, meet the longest range PHEVs available this year. 

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid: Electric Range 31 Miles

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV

Launching sometime later this summer, the 2022 Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid is Hyundai's first midsize SUV with a charge port. While its pricing hasn't yet been announced, it's expected to be a little more costly than the regular hybrid, which is around $34,000. Its EV range is set to be a little over 30 miles, which is above average for PHEV crossovers. While all the specifications appear great, the downside to the Santa Fe Plug-in is that it's only sold in eleven states.

  • Price: TBD (speculatively in the upper 30's) 
  • EV Range: 31 miles
  • Battery size: 13.8kWh
  • Total range: 430 miles 
  • Available Tax Credit: $6,587

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: Electric Range 32 Miles

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Exterior

Stellantis is the only brand that currently offers a plug-in hybrid minivan. A plug-in hybrid minivan is excellent for many reasons, but the most evident is that most in-town driving will be on electric power, and road trips can be on gasoline. However, unlike most other options, there's no way to switch from pure electric to hybrid mode. The car will choose for you, so the only way to keep it in 'EV mode' is if you are light on the pedal. Regardless, with a 520-mile range and the versatility of utilizing both gasoline and electric propulsion, the Pacifica Hybrid may be one of the best new minivan options.

  • Price: $41,995
  • EV Range: 32 miles
  • Battery size: 16kWh
  • Total range: 520 miles 
  • Available Tax Credit: $7,500

2022 Lexus NX450h+: Electric Range 36 Miles

2022-lexus-nx-450h-front-three-quarters

Lexus' second most popular crossover, the NX, is adored by bichon frisé owners and golfers alike. Unlike the regular NX and NX Hybrids, the NX450h+ will be the most efficient and quickest Lexus crossover yet. The NX450h+ can go zero to sixty in under six seconds, and it'll have an 18.1kWh pack, which allows for an impressive 36 miles of electric-only range. Despite sharing the same technological underpinnings as the RAV4 Prime, its range will be slightly less due to the Lexus' extra heft.

  • Price: TBD (speculatively in the low 40’s) 
  • EV Range: 36 miles
  • Battery size: 18.1kWh
  • Total range: TBD (speculatively upper 500s)
  • Available Tax Credit: $7,500

2021 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid: Electric Range 37 Miles

Ford Escape PHEV Lead

The Escape Plug-in Hybrid is Ford's other plug-in crossover. Unlike most other options, the Escape Plug-in only offers a FWD setup, but its price isn't too bad, so it's not a total loss. Its 14.4kWh pack gets the Escape Plug-in 37 gas-free miles, which is great, but other than that, there's nothing too notable. If you're looking for a very efficient crossover, the Escape Plug-in is a good option.

  • Price: $33,075
  • EV Range: 37 miles
  • Battery size: 14.4kWh
  • Total range: 520 miles
  • Available Tax Credit: $6,843

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime: Electric Range 42 Miles

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime: Review

The Toyota RAV4 is everywhere; it's the omnipresent specter haunting the streets of suburbia. Most RAV4s typically have pretty average specifications, but not the RAV4 Prime. The Prime can go 42 miles on a single charge, making it the longest range PHEV crossover. It also has a 302 horsepower total output, which can get the Prime to sixty 5.7 seconds. Plus, it's AWD as standard, and overall, the RAV4 Prime is the most solid option for plug-in hybrid crossovers.

  • Price: $38,100
  • EV Range: 42 miles
  • Battery size: 18.1kWh
  • Total range: 600 miles
  • Available Tax Credit: $7,500

2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: Electric Range 47 Miles

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: First Drive

*Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid production will end in August 2021.

Honda produced three vehicles in the Clarity lineup: a fuel cell, fully-electric, and plug-in hybrid variant. The fully electric one was the first to go, but the plug-in and fuel cell are still available at select dealerships. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is similar to the Volt because it's a series hybrid, which is a significant benefit. Its range is more than ample at 47 miles, but the 2016 Volt could achieve 53. The Clarity is a decent option, but you're probably better off looking at a used Volt and saving the extra cash.

  • Price: $33,400
  • EV Range: 47 miles
  • Battery size: 17.0kWh
  • Total range: 340 miles
  • Available Tax Credit: $7,500

2021 Polestar 1: Electric Range 52 Miles

2020 Polestar 1

*Worldwide Polestar 1 production will end later this year.

Polestar's first car was also its halo car. The Polestar 1 ticks pretty much all the boxes when it comes to craziness. Its 2.0L engine is not only turbocharged, but it's supercharged too. Its battery is 34kWh, which is larger than that of the Mini Cooper Electric. The total power output is 600 horsepower, and it can make 738 lb-ft of torque. Accompanying all these specs is a pricey $155,000 tag though.

  • Price: $155,000
  • EV Range: 52 miles
  • Battery size: 34kWh
  • Total range: 470 miles
  • Available Tax Credit: $7,500

2021 Karma GS-6: Electric Range 61 Miles

Karma GS-6 And GSe-6 Are Put For Sale Respectively For $83,900 And $79,900

The Karma GS-6 is Karma Automotive's least expensive car yet. Despite what most believe, Karma Automotive has no current relation with Fisker Automotive or Fisker Incorporated. When an investment firm purchased then bankrupted Fisker Automotive in 2014, the new team pulled an HGTV to create Karma Automotive. Unlike Fisker Automotive, Karma ditched the outsourced production plan and built its own factory in Southern California near its headquarters to ensure higher stability.

Despite the design appearing similar to the 2018 Karma Revero and 2012 Fisker Karma, the GS-6 has numerous upgrades. Ever since the Revero GT, Karma ditched the GM four-cylinder for a quieter, more efficient I-3 sourced from BMW. Karma also equipped higher power electric motors, making 536 horsepower and allowing for a sub-4 second 0-60 time. The interior is also a massive upgrade with new displays and a surprisingly well-optimized infotainment screen. 

Its electric-only range is rated at 61 miles, but it's important to note that this is a series hybrid, so you'd have the benefits of an EV even when the generator is on. Plus, its price is far lower than the Revero's, coming in at a shade over $80,000.

  • Price: $83,900
  • EV Range: 61 miles
  • Battery size: 28kWh
  • Total range: 360 miles 
  • Available Tax Credit: $7,500

2021 BMW i3 REx: Electric Range 126 Miles

2018 BMW i3

*U.S. i3 deliveries will end in July 2021.

The BMW i3 REx is the 'PHEV' with the longest EV range on this list. Take it with a grain of salt because its status as a plug-in hybrid is debated. Some insurance groups classify it as an "EV," but some states consider it a "hybrid." BMW makes no mention of it being a PHEV on the i3 site, but instead calls it a "compact, fully electric sedan." That's correct; BMW calls the i3 a "sedan" for the American market (marketing at its finest). 

Technically, it is a series plug-in hybrid, but it does not offer any ability to engage the gasoline engine in U.S.-sold vehicles without having to code it. So, if you're about to go on a long stretch of road at 75 mph, you will have to use the battery first until it's in the single digits percent-wise, and the generator will fire up automatically. 

It also has an electronically limited 2.5-gallon gas tank (1.9 useable), which provides around an additional 70 miles depending on driving. Despite the minimal gasoline range, it has the longest EV range on this list at 126 miles. Regardless of your opinion on the i3, it's important to note that it's the cheekiest option on this list.

  • Price: $48,300
  • EV Range: 126 miles
  • Battery size: 42.2kWh
  • Total range: 200 miles
  • Available Tax Credit: $7,500

FAQs

Which PHEV has the longest EV range I can buy today?

The longest range PHEV available for purchase today is the BMW i3 REx with a 126-mile electric range.

What PHEV has the longest total range?

The Toyota RAV4 Prime has the longest total range at 600 miles on a full charge and a full gasoline tank. 

What is the quickest PHEV available now?

The Karma GS-6 Sport is the quickest PHEV currently available; it sprints from zero to sixty miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds when in launch mode.

What is the cheapest PHEV on this list?

The cheapest PHEV on this list is the 2021 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid. It starts at just $33,075 and has a 37-mile electric-only range.

Do any PHEVs have fast charging on this list?

The BMW i3 REx, Karma GS-6, and the Polestar 1 all offer DC fast charging.

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