What Happens If You Don’t Plug-In Your Hybrid Car?

It can confuse many people how Plug-In Hybrid VehiclesOpens in a new tab. have similar features to Electric and Hybrid cars but different requirements. The ability to plug in a vehicle and choose between running it on fuel or electricity differentiates plug-in hybrid cars from electric and hybrid ones. But what happens when you don’t plug in your hybrid car?

If you don’t plug-In your hybrid car, it will result in lower mileage and inefficiency in the car’s performance. Since plug-in hybrid vehicles were not designed to be run on empty or low batteries, having them charged ensures fuel efficiency, a well-maintained battery, and overall higher MPG. 

If you’re forgetful or don’t understand the benefit of charging your hybrid car and fear causing damage, this article will ease your nerves and explain why you should plug in your hybrid vehicle.

Why Must You Plug In Your Hybrid Car?

A car that can run on fossil fuel and electricity is like having the best of both worlds. You can turn your Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle into an EV or an HEV anywhere and at any time, for free. 

However, regardless of your driving mode, your car battery should never be out of charge.

1. Why You Should Charge Your PHEV

The advantage of having a chargeable hybrid car which manufacturers rave about is saving money on fuel costs. But more importantly, using your plug-in hybrid the way it was meant to perform gives it the optimum mileage and MPG. Otherwise, these big-build cars can rack up poor mileage with high fossil fuel consumption.

Another reason people choose to use the plug-in feature is because it’s better for the environment. Running on electric power lowers fuel emissions from the car, lowering your carbon footprint. It may seem like a small effort, but it adds up over time and is a win-win situation.

Users maximize the benefit of having a plug-in hybrid car by using the electrical setting for short travel and fossil fuel for longer distances. So, if your daily commute to work, the grocery shops, etc. isn’t too far, you can do it on your electric power alone. For longer trips, every once in a while, you can switch to traditional fuel.

Here are the outcomes of Plugging In VS Not Plugging In your PHEV:

Using Plug-In Without Using Plug-In
Higher MPGLower mileage
Reach advertised efficiency Not at max efficiency potential
Well maintained batteryDrained battery (could malfunction)
Optimum car performance Poor car performance 

2. Why People Don’t Charge Their PHEVs

Generally, users confuse their plug-in hybrid cars with other hybrids. Although it’s a harmless confusion, it gives owners the wrong expectations from their vehicles. 

Most users who neglect to charge their PHEVs defend themselves by saying they don’t see the need for it; Their car runs fine on fuel, and they don’t want to get into the hassle of maintaining something a feature they don’t need. However, this could get back at them in the long run.

Plugging in your PHEV allows it to perform at its best, keeping the battery healthy and MPG up. That helps you save up on fuel costs, maintenance charges, and, worst case scenario, a new battery. Long-term neglect can cause battery deterioration, so keeping it plugged in is ideal.

Hence, if you’re leaning towards switching to hybrid cars, consider which mode you’d need to travel in the most. Because if you’re sure you won’t be plugging in your car too often, go for standard hybrid vehicles because a PHEV will need regular charging to perform optimally.

The Big Question: Can Your Hybrid Car Be Plugged-In?

Now that we’ve explained the benefits of plugging in your hybrid car, we move to another common question: whether your hybrid vehicle can even be charged or not. Although this seems like something a buyer would learn at the time of purchase, many people misunderstand it or forget about it later.

Hybrid Vehicles (HEV)

If you drive the standard hybrid vehicle and understand its mechanism, you should know there is no way to ‘charge’ your car battery externally. 

This is because of the system inside HEV engines. Fossil fuel plays the role of charging the small battery present in the car as you drive. So there is no need or the possibility of charging the battery before your travel since the vehicle doesn’t allow it

So, you don’t have the ability to make your car run like an EV.

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV)

PHEVs are cars that can work using both fossil fuel and electricity. 

You have the choice of fully charging your car beforehand and driving about 40-60 miles without needing a recharge, essentially like a short-distance EV. This is possible because PHEV car batteries are considerably larger with higher capacity than HEV car batteries.

On the other hand, if you forget to charge your battery or don’t have the option to do so, you can simply run on fuel as long as the tank lasts. And then go for a refueling like any conventional car. 

Note: The car battery must charge at least 20% to run properly on fuel.


Q. Where Can You Recharge Your PHEV Battery?

You can use any nearby charging station if you don’t have a residential power source. Just be sure that the power source is compatible with your battery.

Q. Can You Convert Your HEV To A PHEV?

No, your car can’t undergo such extensive customization. It would also be more economical to simply purchase a new PHEV. 

Q. Do You Need To Regularly Plug In Your PHEV?

Yes, if you intend to use it daily. If you choose not to, it doesn’t necessarily damage your car, but it takes away the advantage of buying a PHEV over an HEV.

Final Thoughts

It’s highly recommended to plug in your PHEV and keep the battery charged more than 20%. It also removes the specialty of buying a PHEV over an HEV if you don’t use the electrical power feature.

So if you want to save money on your fuel consumption and get the most out of your PHEV, consider plugging it in overnight whenever possible!

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