Both types are equipped with a socket for charging, but otherwise they’re fundamentally different. The plug-in hybrid, sometimes referred to as PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), combines a classic internal combustion engine with an electric motor which can be recharged from an electrical outlet as well as energy recovery while driving. Even the PHEV can be driven in pure electric mode, but the range is limited to 30 to 50 kilometers.
Today’s leading-edge plug-in hybrids, however, manage their energy so efficiently that they can utilize the topography of route navigation to choose the best sections for driving with the internal combustion engine, in electric mode, and a combination of both. The result is low fuel consumption and a quiet electric drive, especially around the city. Electric cars, on the other hand, are powered by electric motors only. Their batteries have a much higher capacity, which means that the range is up to ten times longer on electric power in contrast to the PHEV.