Plug-In Hybrid Car Range, Price & More Compared For U.S.

FEB 21 2019 BY MARK KANE 13

All the plug-in hybrids in one place

About 30 plug-in hybrid cars are currently available in the U.S. (sadly,not all of them nationwide). The choice for PHEV is, in theory, broader than BEVs, but the share in overall plug-in car sales in recent months was between one-fourth to over one-third of all plug-suggests suggest that PHEVs would need to bring a better value proposition to be competitive with BEVs.

Let’s check out what’s on offer. All the data/charts are also available at our Compare EVs card here.

This year the plug-in hybrids will lose its first and biggest player in many years – the Chevrolet Volt. However, the general offer seems to be improving as the new PHEVs are typically getting more all-electric range.

It’s too early to think that plug-in hybrids completed their role as the bridge technology to full-electric cars. In fact, many new or upgraded models are coming, especially from European brands.

PHEVs by range

According to the EPA, the majority of PHEVs can go more than 16 miles. The top ones can go around 50 miles (Honda Clarity PHEV and Chevrolet Volt). BMW i3 REx (with range-extender) is kind of separate species, as the 25 kW ICE is kind of an auxiliary device to complete the trip.

In the near future, we expect that we will see more and more 20-30 miles of range, just like we see more 200+ mile BEVs.

PHEVs by price

The prices (MSRP after including destination charge and available federal tax credit) ranges between almost $22,000 to $181,000. The three most popular models – Honda Clarity PHEV, Toyota Prius Prime and Chevrolet Volt starts however below $27,000. Many other PHEVs are premium or sporty models.

*some models estimated

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13 Comments on "Plug-In Hybrid Car Range, Price & More Compared For U.S."

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Just 15 BEV models are beating 34 PHEV models nearly 2:1.
What does this mean?
Just few dedicated players will do.
Those who sell those PHEVs are doing it just for namesake.
These days won’t last long.
Chinese automakers are coming up with their plugins with an aim to sell as much as possible.

It means Ford, GM and Chrysler, even after 20 years, are doing the absolute minimum. This is why I sold my Ford and GM stock.

This is one good measure of the competence if the management of the company. And European manufacturers don’t look good either.

It means Tesla is making up the lion’s share of those BEV sales?

Amazing. Ford Fusion still only 26 miles of range.
And the hybrid electric/gas motor combination has been out for 20 years, and still not broadly implemented by the Auto Industry, not in cars, not in Gas Guzzler Trucks and SUVs.

It’s almost as if the auto industry absolutely needs government regulation to innovate.

But, they’re beating many European brands, like the BMW 5 series.
That’s a bit of a shock.

OEMs have rarely initiated any safety or efficiency improvements to autos without a gun to their heads, but changing the colours or the height if the fins is where they shine.

For Toyota Prius Prime, look at the bright side, there are a handful of cars that are actually worse in range.

Affordability is an advantage most of the higher range offerings lack. And what difference does shorter range make when your commute or errand running is all electric anyway?

As Plugin’s go the BMW i3 actually looks outstanding.
Nothing else breaks 100 miles of range.
Pointing out the genius of the REX engine solution.

Really funny no one on the Seth Rogan podcast could remember that it was the BMW i3 REX that has the range extender engine, although, the concept was popular.

“Genius” or “crutch”?

Consider this, it’s the only real EV on the list with an optional 285 lb scooter engine added on top (REX) that removes the electric leash, enabling cross country travel into the boonies with zero planning. It’s also the only “PHEV” (more accurately: “BEVx”) on the list with adequate range and DCFC capability for all electric road tripping. I’ve done many all electric road trips that I never would have attempted in a non-Tesla BEV. So far only a couple sticky situations that required a few miles on the REX. I did enable the “hold SOC” function. If anything, it’s a “crutch” to get over the inadequate/unpredictable charging infrastructure of today.

If BMW can squeeze about 250 miles of all-electric range and 100kw DCFC into an i3 with the same charging taper profile as the previous model years, I’ll give up my REX.

If you are going to buy a PHEV for your significant other who won’t let you buy them a BEV, I highly recommend the BMW i3 with a REX. The non-EVangalist person will be well taken care of by that car (never be stranded) and will quickly become trained to keep it charged so the annoying series hybrid engine (sounds like a generator) never comes on.

This article really misses the effect of “cash on the hood” for certain models. Comparing MSRPs is about as useless as comparing prices at a department store or Costco when stuff isn’t on sale. Everything goes on sale, and most people wait till that stuff is on sale to buy it. When was the last time anybody paid MSRP (excluding Tesla)? BMW was offering over $10k cash on the hood for i3s just a couple months back. Bolts have cash on the hood right now. It’s not necessarily a bad sign either, plenty of hot selling full size trucks are having a cash on the hood battle right now between manufacturers. It’s just the way the marketing world works (excluding Tesla).

I’d love to see a monthly tracker on insideevs for cash on the hood deals by model and location.