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The 'Plug-in' hybrids

These are hybrid cars that feature a regular internal combustion engine and a battery pack. Is that new? Well, the concept of a “Plug-in” hybrid is rather new, at least from a commercial availability point of view.

     Print Edition: March 22, 2009

What are they?
These are hybrid cars that feature a regular internal combustion engine and a battery pack. Is that new? Well, the concept of a “Plug-in” hybrid is rather new, at least from a commercial availability point of view.

How are they different from regular hybrid cars?
Unlike a regular hybrid whose battery charges only when you brake, “Plugin” hybrids can be charged from a power point, which means the batteries are always fully charged.

How does that help?
It improves the fuel efficiency dramatically since a “Plug-in” hybrid can use its electric motor for everything other than highspeed cruising.

It’s an electric car?
The “Plug-in” hybrid is more of an electric car and less a petrol car, unlike regular hybrid cars.

Who is making them?
Toyota will be launching a “Plug-in” version of its popular Prius later this year.

How much mileage?
The “Plug-in” Prius might get over 30 km/ litre. Will it cost a bomb? You bet!

Kushan Mitra

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