• 1600 & 1650 N. Kolb Rd.
  • 10831 N. Mavinee Dr., Oro Valley

While most fuel-saving gas/electric-powered hybrid cars carry a substantial price premium over their conventionally powered counterparts, a recent analysis determined that a surprising number of them can indeed prove to be cost effective over time.

There are three distinct types of plug-in electric cars:

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

PriusThe plug-in hybrid electric vehicles a dual-fuel car (both the electric motor and the internal combustion engine can make the car go). It has a small battery for emergency starting of the combustion engine and a large battery pack that is charged when the car decelerates or when plugged into the electric grid, increasing the share of electric power used by the car.

Both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid combine the internal combustion engine with a battery and electric motor to increase fuel efficiency. The difference is that plug-ins have the added feature of plugging in to an electric outlet to extend the use of electricity as a fuel.

The plug-in hybrid can run on electric power only up to about 40 mph, at which time the internal combustion engine takes over. It is possible to use only the electric system to commute around a city and not engage the internal combustion engine.

Plug-in Hybrid cars are not subject to being “Range Bound” but may take advantage of charging stations to prolong the electric range.

Extended-Range Electric Vehicle 

 VoltAn extended-range electric vehicle uses an internal combustion engine to power an electric generator that charges the battery system in a linear process — the engine powers a generator, which in turn charges the battery.

Unlike the plug-in hybrids, the electric motor is the only system to directly turn the wheels and make the car go. The internal combustion engine only charges the battery system.

The Chevrolet Volt, built by General Motors, is being categorized as an extended-range (not “Range Bound”) electric vehicle. Marketed for an electric-only range of 40 miles, the Volt will extend its range with a small battery-charging internal combustion engine. The Volt is not “Range Bound” but may take advantage of charging stations to prolong the electric range.

All Electric Vehicle 

All electric vehicles have no internal combustion engine and are totally dependent on plugging into the electric power grid. This vehicle is “Range Bound” and is the most likely of the three to need to recharge its battery at electric charging stations away from home. Their large batteries  accommodate a range of 80-plus miles per charge, and must take advantage of charging stations to “top-off” and not run out of fuel. In order to accommodate electric and plug-in hybrids, Anthem Equity Group has installed Blink EV charging stations at all of its properties.