The best of both worlds, car companies promised when they launched their first plug-in hybrid models. They were supposed to offer a sufficient electric range and at the same time not limit long-distance travel thanks to the internal combustion engine. But in practice it was a bit more complicated – they usually allowed a realistic range of 30-40 electric kilometers with lighter loads (city and districts), after which they did not “hybridize” much (i.e. did not save as much fuel due to the connection of the electric drive) and charging took forever ( although the battery capacities were low, the on-board chargers were usually quite weak).

In the end, these were cars for very limited use (those who commuted daily and only a few tens of kilometers) and a limited destination (with the possibility of charging at home and/or at work), which were significantly more expensive compared to the already quite economical diesels (electric the drive costs something). You didn’t have too much motivation to complicate your life with charging, and brave people interested in electromobility usually jumped straight into the arms of an electric car (when they could already charge at home). But now plug-in hybrids with the second generation drive may be getting new blood in their veins…

Longer range

The capacity of the traction batteries has practically doubled (for example, the hybrid E-class from Mercedes has a battery similar to that of the first Nissan Leaf), so you can no longer drive a measly 30-40 kilometers on a single charge, but rather 70-80, even under ideal conditions (heat, city traffic , sensitive driver) up to 100 kilometers. And that will seriously be enough for almost everyone to cover their daily commute.

Photo: Martin Jánský

You may have a charging station closer than you think. PRE in Prague has installed AC wallboxes at most of its substations, where you can comfortably recharge with a power of up to 22 kW.

Faster charging

And if not, you just need to stand in the shop for half an hour and plug the car into the charger – the new generation is already equipped with DC fast charging (albeit with a power of 40-60 kW). And a more powerful AC charger to go with it (7 or even 11 kW), so you don’t have to wait a whole work shift or a whole night (as with AC 3.7 kW) for a full charge, but maybe just two hours. And that’s great!

Photo: Martin Jánský

Second-generation PHEVs usually already have both an AC and a DC charger, so charging does not take hours, but only tens of minutes. Just enough to do the obligatory weekly family shopping and drive back with a full battery.

Capacity management by navigation

Automatic control of the use of electricity according to the route entered in the navigation is also increasingly common. The system analyzes the profile of the route and accordingly decides where it makes sense to use electricity (typically cities and towns) and where it is more efficient to burn gasoline/diesel (typically highways). Previously, enthusiastic drivers had to do this math themselves by switching drive modes, today lazy users can leave it completely to automatic.

Photo: Martin Jánský

You don’t need a hypercharger to charge a PHEV, an ordinary 50 kW is more than enough, and it’s not even expensive.

Overview thanks to the mobile app

Remote access using a mobile app is also becoming a matter of course in modern cars, so you always know where your car is parked, if you have locked it and other handy details. For this, you can easily find out how much fuel/energy you have left in the tank/battery, or when your car will be charged. The preheating function (air conditioning) is the most pleasant, so in the morning you get into a heated/cooled car with a fully charged battery. Perfectly!

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Remote access to the car using a mobile application is already becoming standard today, but with electrified cars it brings benefits in the form of a perfect overview of the state of charge and easier activation of the car’s preheating/air conditioning before departure.

The second generation PHEV thus advances the game a good bit further, because it has much wider capabilities and, thanks to this, greater possibilities of use, while you are not troubled by the fear of a limited range. Now it truly represents a full-fledged alternative, an intermediate stage between a conventional internal combustion engine and a pure electric car. So, will you try to give them a chance?

How about a second generation PHEV?

Great, it finally makes sense.

I like it but charging is still a problem.

Nothing electrical is allowed in my garage.

A total of 4 readers voted.