PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

More and more people are purchasing hybrid vehicles for reasons such as interest in eco-friendly vehicles and reduction in fuel costs.

Unlike electric vehicles driven only by a motor, hybrid vehicles that use both an internal combustion engine and a motor are evaluated as a good alternative for those who hesitate to purchase an electric vehicle due to charging problems. After reading the related articles, there is one point that confuses me. Hybrid vehicles are called different names depending on the driving method, such as HEV, MHEV, and PHEV. Various hybrid cars, how to distinguish them?

Types of Hybrid Cars

1. HEV (Hybrid)

- Battery capacity: 0.98~1.8kWh

- Feature: Battery charging with regenerative braking; Using a battery (motor) as an auxiliary means

2. MHEV (Mild Hybrid)

- Battery capacity: 0.3~05kWh

- Feature: boots The battery (motor) shares the engine power and workload consumed when starting; Simple structure and easy design

3. PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid)

- Battery capacity: 4~16kWh

- Feature: Short-distance driving is electric; Long-distance driving uses the engine; Charging the battery like an electric car 

*Regenerative braking: A technology that converts kinetic energy generated when the vehicle decelerates or brakes into electrical energy to charge the battery

A more simplified hybrid vehicle is the Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV). It is characterized by adding a higher voltage 48V battery system and a small electric motor to an internal combustion engine vehicle using a conventional 12V battery system. Recently released automobiles are equipped with various electronic parts. This has significantly increased the vehicle's electrical usage and increased the involvement of engine power. MHEV uses a high-voltage 48V battery to help start and start the car and operate electric components. As a result, the engine has less work to do, which can improve fuel economy by about 10% compared to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Unlike other hybrid vehicles, motor driving is impossible, but it has a similar structure to an internal combustion engine vehicle and has the advantage of low development cost.

Lastly, PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) stands for plug-in hybrid vehicle and is the most advanced hybrid. It is equipped with a battery that is 4 to 10 times larger than conventional hybrid vehicles, so the distance that can be driven using only the motor is relatively long. PHEVs, like electric vehicles, can be charged externally. It is also mainly driven by motor power. When the battery drops below a certain level or when driving long distances, the internal combustion engine assists the movement.

What is the seat of PHEV?

PHEV sales volume declining along with eco-friendly trends

- More expensive than internal combustion engine cars

- End of subsidy support for PHEV vehicles

- Significant increase in EV mileage

; Discontinuation of domestic PHEV models due to decrease in sales volume

Despite being evaluated as the most advanced hybrid vehicle, PHEV seems to be declining in its position.

In fact, PHEVs have a complex design among hybrid vehicles. Like an electric car, it needs to be externally charged, and the production cost is high because it uses a large-capacity battery. Compared to comparable internal combustion engine or hybrid vehicles, price competitiveness is low. Therefore, purchase subsidy support is necessary, but in Korea, the purchase subsidy for PHEV vehicles has been abolished since 2021. It also decided to exclude hybrid cars from low-emission vehicles from 2025. In addition, the rapid development of EV mileage is also one of the reasons for the weakness of PHEV. As long-distance driving has become possible with electric vehicles, there are fewer reasons to choose PHEVs for charging stations or mileage.

For this reason, it has become difficult to find domestic PHEVs in the domestic market since 2020. Both Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors have discontinued PHEV models for domestic use and are producing only models for export.

But the situation abroad is also changing. As Europe's eco-friendly car policy changes significantly, the position of PHEVs in the global market continues to decline. As a result, more and more brands are adopting a strategy of putting power directly into electric vehicles rather than dramatically increasing sales of PHEVs. What will be the fate of hybrid vehicles, including PHEVs? Attention is focusing on whether it will become a technology that has gone through an era or survive as a sustainable technology.

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