GreenCars 101
Plug-In Hybrids

Plug-In Hybrid Best Practices

Dave Nichols
Jul 2023
Plug-in hybrids are popular for their ability to drive you around town on electric-only power and take you on long road tips with their gasoline hybrid drivetrains. How do you keep them in tip top shape? Let’s find out.
Woman charging car

Plug-In Hybrid Best Practices

A best practice can be described as a standard or set of guidelines that produce good outcomes if followed. In using best practices in relation to an all-electric vehicle, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid car, we’re talking about common sense guidelines and tips that will help you improve fuel economy and optimum performance for your PHEV.

Couple reading car information

Read the Owner’s Manual

Before you do anything else, read the Owner’s Manual for your plug-in hybrid from cover to cover. The automaker has gone to great lengths to explain in detail every aspect of your new car. The manufacturer has put forth standards for the maintenance of your vehicle. You’ll find out how to operate and maintain your PHEV, how to maximize fuel economy, driving range, and battery life. The best way to get to know your plug-in hybrid is to read all about it in the Owner’s Manual.

Driving modes in plugin hybrid car

Plug-In Hybrids: Utilize Eco Mode

Many PHEVs come with “economy mode” that allows you to improve fuel economy just by pressing the Eco Mode button. Using Eco Mode may limit vehicle performance in order to save fuel. This mode fine-tunes the fuel and air mixture to optimize fuel economy.

Man plugging in EV vehicle covered in snow

Keep It Charged

Keeping your PHEV’s battery pack charged helps you use the most electricity possible and use the least amount of gasoline. You will maximize your driving range, lower your fuel costs, and help clean up the environment. You’ll find best charging advice in your Owner’s Manual.

Man driving a car

Avoid Hard Braking

Brake gently and use the regenerative braking feature to slow your car down. Anticipate stops whenever possible, take your foot off the accelerator, and let the regenerative braking help bring your car to a stop. One pedal driving mode allows drivers to use the regenerative braking power to the max to recover energy for your PHEV.

Family unloading charging car

Use of Accessories

You get the best fuel economy when you use accessories less. Air conditioning and heating sucks electricity. Pre-cooling or pre-heating the cabin of the car while it is plugged in can extend electric range.

Couple talking to car salesman

Plug-In Hybrid FAQ

Which plug-in hybrid has the longest range?

As of this writing, the BMW i3 REx has an EPA-estimated range of 72 all-electric miles before gasoline is used.

Which plug-in hybrid has the longest total range?

The Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid has the most total EPA-estimated range of 600 miles with a full charge and a full tank of gas.

What is the cheapest plug-in hybrid?

The Toyota Prius Prime has an MSRP of just $29,695, beating the Hyundai Ioniq’s MSRP of $34,345.

Which plug-in hybrids include Level 3 DC Fast Charging?

The BMW i3 REx, the Karma GR-6, and the Polestar 1 all have DC Fast Charging.

A young couple admiring the forest and trees next to their RAV4 Hybrid

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