Are Plug-In Hybrid Cars Better than Pure Electric in the Real World?

While Australia ranks very low internationally when comparing the amount of electric cars in use, by the end of 2021, it is estimated that there will be a surge in the amount of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or pure electric (EV) vehicles on Australian roads. With almost every major car manufacturer offering at least one PHEV or EV (or both) model and with the growing concerns about the environmental impact of petrol or diesel powered vehicles, more Australian drivers are willing to venture into the electric car market than ever before. At Roadbend Motors, we have the largest range of pre-owned Jaguars for sale in Perth. As passionate car enthusiasts, we thought we would take a look at the cars of the future to help you determine which ‘clean’ car type would be better for you.

Pure Electronic Vehicles (EVs)

EVs have no combustion engine, only an on-board battery which provides energy to an electric motor. Charged from an external electricity supply by plugging in to an EV charge point, energy is drawn from the electric-cells and converted to motive power by the use of one or more electric motors.


ü  Longer EV range

ü  Lowest running costs

ü  Zero-tailpipe emissions

ü  High equipment levels

ü  Near-silent running

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)

These cars have an electric-charged battery together with a small- to medium-sized combustion engine, which enables operation in full electric mode, using conventional fuel, or a combination of both. The ideal solution for people who want to move away from petrol and diesel cars, but can’t quite convince themselves to go for pure electric. For short trips, you can be 100% electric in a PHEV. For longer trips, you will start off electric, but convert to traditional fuel to finish the journey.


ü  Reduced running costs when compared to conventional vehicles

ü  Ultra-low CO2 emissions

ü  Good refinement

ü  Electric drive for short trips

PHEV vs EV – The Comparison

Driving Performance

The driving performance of PHEVs is very similar to a pure EV, depending on which vehicle mode is selected. PHEVs typically offer two driving modes:

ü  zero-emission - which forces the vehicle to run on electricity (if charge is available)

ü  eco - during which the car decides how to most efficiently use conventional and/or electric power.

As PHEVs can accept two fuels, they can either be charged directly, or refuelled with petrol or diesel in exactly the same way as conventional vehicles.

In many respects, driving an EV or PHEV is a different experience to using a conventional car. On pressing the accelerator, an EV initially moves in almost total silence, though for safety purposes pure-EVs are fitted with noise generators for low speeds.


The majority of EVs available have a real-world driving range of 200-400km on a single charge, depending on the model. Fully electric vehicles are perfect for city driving, commuting, regular delivery routes, and all short-to-medium-distance trips. With a smaller battery pack, most PHEVs have a battery-only range of 20-80km. The longer the range, the greater proportion of daily driving that can be done with zero tailpipe emissions. The most important consideration is how you drive a car most of the time. If your PHEV has a 20 km range but you use it primarily to commute to work 5 km a day and back, you could drive weeks or even months on battery power alone. However, if you regularly drive longer distances, or more than 20-80km per day, your PHEV will be acting like a normal petrol/diesel car for all of those kilometres after the battery runs out, and be polluting the environment.


Running out of battery power is a concern for many. PHEVs give peace of mind as you simply drive until the battery is depleted and then the petrol engine takes over. In most cases, the transition is seamless and barely noticeable from the driver’s seat. Charging is less of an issue for PHEV drivers because if it is too far to the next charger or the charger is being used by another vehicle, you can continue along on the engine until you get where you are going or find another charger. It’s important to remember that fast charging and PHEVs don’t go well together. Their small battery size means they cannot charge as fast as a car with a larger battery, making charging times for both about the same.

In today’s world where we are shifting towards greener energy and zero emissions transportation, it’s almost certain that within the next few years electric powered vehicles will become the norm around the world. PHEVs will play an important role in the transition to 100% zero emissions transportation if for no other reason than they will help overcome the fear so many people have of running out of battery power. If you are considering going electric and are choosing between the two, it’s important to think about what is right for you and your driving needs, but keep in mind that both will significantly reduce your emissions which is a great outcome for the environment.

Roadbend Motors are Perth’s experts in Jaguar sales and servicing. If you are looking for Jaguars for sale in Perth or if you are in need of highly skilled professionals to service and maintain your vehicle, get in touch with us today on (08) 9362 1366 or contact us online.