Best New Hybrid Cars Under 20k – The Toyota RAV4 Prime is as good as a plug-in: 42 miles on battery, then another 560 miles on gas. An 18.1 kilowatt-hour battery is $7,500 for a full federal tax credit. It’s also a four-door Toyota (only the Supra Sport is faster).
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, also known as plug-in vehicles or PHEVs, were the right choice for many drivers until the number of public charging stations increased, the cost performance of batteries improved, and “in general, the prices of battery-powered electric vehicles fell.” .
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According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, half of our favorite plug-ins are at least 30 miles, about the length of the average US trip. Others take you home from work. None of them will get stuck because they have a gasoline engine and a tank.
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Sometimes the statistics on “electric cars” can be complicated. Will they be hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or battery electric vehicles (BEVs)? It works both ways. According to Pew Research, 64,300 plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold in the U.S. last year, compared to 213,000 battery vehicles. According to MotorIntelligence, electric cars accounted for a fifth of all car sales last year.
PHEV sales have halved since 2018, but Covid-19 played a role and it’s hard to pin down – the entire car market is down 23% in 2020. as technology improves. For example, General Motors hasn’t offered a PHEV since the Volt was discontinued in 2019 – investing in pure electric vehicles and the new Ultium modular battery system. The fully electrified segment, including PHEVs, accounts for 2% of new car sales in the US, but 10 million of them are now on the world’s roads.
Toyota and Lexus, its luxury division, account for the majority of alternative fuel cell sales: 16 of the 30 vehicles are offered as hybrids or plug-ins, including the Mirai, the only hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle. These vehicles also accounted for 24% of Toyota’s sales in the first nine months of 2021. Toyota has two models that offer hybrid and plug-in options: the Prius and the RAV4. Almost half of Prius sales are plug-ins, and about a fifth of RAV4s are plug-ins.
Most cars today can be purchased in PHEV versions, eliminating the worry and legitimate concerns about public charging. A short plug-in electric range of 18 to 42 miles is acceptable if the gas engine still has 300 to 600 miles more. For those with short commutes, the gasoline engine can be used for longer weekend trips.
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All plug-ins are eligible for at least $7,500 in available federal tax credits. The credit is based on battery size and varies considerably for PHEVs. A car with a 16.0 kilowatt-hour battery gets $7,500 in full credit.
The electric motor in the BMW X5 xDrive45e Plug-In accelerates to 100 km/h in 4 seconds. Most plug-ins are faster, if not more efficient, than the gasoline version.
An electric motor develops maximum power (torque) at a much lower rpm than a gas engine. Even when the car switches to gasoline mode, the battery has enough energy to run the electric motor as a supercharger, essentially a turbocharger. While the electric motor and lithium-ion battery are designed to improve mpg, it also pulls from 60 mph a second or two faster. The Toyota RAV4 Prime (called the PHEV version) takes 5.7 seconds, 2 seconds less than the RAV4’s gasoline engine.
Below are 10 relatively well-selling PHEV models, from entry-level to full luxury. They vary by battery range. Drivers who want the bridge car to become the all-electric car of the future need to do their daily driving without igniting the gasoline engine. This means that battery range should be a big part of your purchasing decision.
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Three of our favorites have a range of at least 500 miles with a battery engine and a gasoline engine. Unless otherwise noted, the vehicles below are 2021 models. For more information on plug-ins, check out the best plug-in hybrid wheels for 2021.
The battery version of the Clarity (discontinued last year) was an electric vehicle, but the PHEV has a lot to offer, including 48 electric miles from a 17-kilowatt-hour battery. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (which rarely turns the wheels) paired with a powerful electric motor produces 212 horsepower and a respectable 0-60 time of 8.1 seconds. Owners praise the comfort and ride quality, even though the back seat is larger. Clearing $33,400 gives you a full $7,500 credit.
What the plug-in should be: With an 18.1-kilowatt-hour battery, the $38,500 version of the RAV4 PHEV has a range of 42 EV miles and a total range of 600 miles. It’s a wonderful journey. Some reviewers say the real range is better. The RAV4 also has 302 horsepower, making it a four-door Toyota. Only the Supra accelerates faster. The RAV4 Prime gets a full tax credit of $7,500. The exclusive XSE model ($41,675) offers a host of useful features, including 19-inch wheels, manual shifters and some safety features. There have also been upgrades to the $28,220 Prius Prime sedan, which now has a 25-mile EV range. But it is a powerful beast with 121 horsepower. The $28,220 Prius Prime has a $4,502 federal tax credit. If you want a plug-in replacement, let it be the RAV4 Prime.
Toyota produced the first hybrids that Americans could afford, and Ford was the first to enter America in 2004 with the Escape. They then pretended to be taxi drivers on the seedy streets of New York. The Escape PHEV ($34,755, $6,843 credit) uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for a total of 221 horsepower. Electric range is 37 miles (530 total) with a 14.4 kWh battery. No all-wheel drive version. It’s worth upgrading to the $38,000 SEL trim, which adds heated leatherette front seats with driver assistance controls, comfort and low-temperature packages, parking sensors, and fog lights. Co-Pilot360 Assist+ Pack adds adaptive cruise control.
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Available in hybrid form. Electric range is 32 miles (566 total) on a 16-kilowatt-hour battery. The downside of the PHEV version is that it doesn’t have the famous Stow ‘n Go seats in the second row (it’s equipped with captain’s seats. It’s a big car and needs 260 horsepower from a 3.6-liter V-6 (it’s only standard on the Pacifica) with two electric motors. 7.4 seconds from zero to 60 isn’t bad for a grocer.Critical cargo space in the van is 87.5 cubic feet with the third row down;
Good news for Santa Fe buyers: The 2022 model has a 13.8-kilowatt-hour battery that gives it a $6,587 tax credit. Use it and it means the PHEV is cheaper than the hybrid version. The 2022 Santa Fe starts at $40,535, though shoppers may want to jump to the Limited. A 1.6-liter, 177-horsepower, four-cylinder PHEV engine is paired with a 90-horsepower electric motor for a total of 260 horsepower. Electric range is 30 miles, with a total of 440. The Limited trim brings the price up to $46,545, but adds leather seats, a 360-degree camera and an eight-inch infotainment screen with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. .
Starting at $30,765 (with a $4,543 credit), the Niro is one of the most affordable PHEVs out there. The EV’s range is 26 miles on 8.9 kWh, a great total of 560 miles. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor deliver 139 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission. Kia also makes the Optima PHEV in EX trim for $37,315 (with a $4,919 credit). With a 10-kilowatt-hour battery, electric range is slightly longer, at 28 miles, and you get plenty of oomph-202 power. But you have to choose between them. This is a problem for some people who like to sit tall. Charging the Nero is a quick 2.5 hours; Optima may take a little longer.
The A7 PHEV allows buyers to own a large, luxurious, premium Audi and still claim green credentials. The Sportback offers a two-liter four-liter turbo engine that sits between an electric motor and a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission. It produces a net power of 362 horsepower and accelerates to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. But remember, this is a PHEV, so its 14.1 kilowatt-hour battery gives it a 24-mile range in all-electric mode (440 in total). The S-Line exterior package is standard, including LED headlights with High Beam Assist, four-zone automatic climate control and 20-inch wheels. It’s a $74,900 car with $6,712 in federal rebates.
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It was one of the first plug-in hybrids. Now he has a lot of competition. Priced at $37,490, the PHEV loses three rows of seats from the regular model