advanse

Hybrid vs. Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles: What's the Difference?

Ferrari SF90 Stradale steering wheel and dashboard

Electric Ferrari sports cars are on the way, and today’s lineup already includes several staggeringly powerful plug-in hybrid vehicles—including the SF90 Stradale and the 296 GTB. But what is a plug-in hybrid, exactly, and is the setup a fitting one for the one and only Prancing Horse? We think that the specs speak for themselves, but if you really want to know if a PHEV is right for you, you’ll need to understand the difference between hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. 

Let’s get the basics out of the way:

  • The batteries in hybrid vehicles are charged as you drive; those in plug-in hybrid vehicles need to be connected to an external charging unit.
  • Plug-in hybrids have larger batteries than conventional hybrids, and this allows PHEVs to drive for short distances using nothing but electric power.
  • Since electric motors deliver instantaneous torque, they perform exceptionally well on the track—and thanks to their larger batteries, PHEVs have an advantage here as well.

Ready to compare hybrid vs. plug-In hybrid vehicles in greater detail? We’ve got you covered.

Hybrid vs. Plug-In Hybrid: Benefits of Hybrid Models

Conventional hybrids have been around for a while, and they’ve been designed to do one thing in particular: maximize fuel economy without requiring any lifestyle changes. Since the battery that powers the motor is charged automatically as you drive, you’ll refuel a hybrid in the same way that you’d refuel a gas-powered vehicle—at the pump.

If you’re not using your PHEV’s electric range, you’ll likely find that a conventional hybrid is the more efficient option. However, if you primarily drive short distances or want to minimize your time spent refueling, you’ll find that a PHEV is more versatile.

Hybrid vs. Plug-In Hybrid: Benefits of Plug-In Hybrid Models

Plug-in hybrid models serve as a middle ground between gas-powered vehicles and EVs to an even greater extent than traditional hybrids. If you’re looking for a taste of what it’s like to own an EV, taking home a plug-in hybrid can give you a pretty good lay of the land.

We’ve already touched on the performance advantages offered by PHEVs: with a large battery and a potent electric motor, you can accelerate exceptionally on the highways between Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

Anyone comparing hybrid vs. plug-in hybrid vehicles should also keep in mind that PHEVs offer more flexibility:

  • You can start in electric mode, run the battery until empty, and then switch to gas. If you charge up at the end of every day, you’ll most likely use very little gas as the days and weeks go by.
  • To maximize your range or your average gas mileage, switch into hybrid mode! Here, a PHEV functions almost exactly like a traditional hybrid. (However, thanks to its larger battery, a PHEV can travel further than an otherwise-comparable hybrid on a single tank of gas.)

Find a Ferrari Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car at Continental AutoSports Ferrari

If you’re ready to upgrade your drives with one of the plug-in hybrid Ferrari models currently offered by the brand, all you have to do is let us know. We can help you place an order for a new model or find the perfect pre-owned option in our inventory. Still exploring your options? You’ll find even more to get excited about when you explore our other Ferrari feature guides from home.

More From Continental AutoSports Ferrari

  • Ferrari Purosangue Specs

    The unveiling of Ferrari Purosangue brings plenty of reasons to celebrate. After all, it isn’t every day that Maranello unveils an all-new vehicle with a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine. Explore the factors that set this model apart with our comprehensive guide to the Ferrari Purosangue specs—and then stop in to experience its unmistakable roar first-hand. Preview Interior Compare to Lamborghini Urus Ferrari Purosangue Engine Although Ferrari is in the process of electrifying its lineup, it doesn’t have any plans to phase out internal combustion engines completely. The Purosangue’s interior design may be pushing the Italian automaker in exciting new directions,…

  • Ferrari 296 GT3 Race Car Revealed

      Ferrari’s race cars and production cars have always been in intimate dialogue with one another, and the latest effort from the Prancing Horse’s Competizioni GT team is a case in point. The Ferrari 296 GT3 is an incredible development in the racing segment that has always been closest to the manufacturer’s heart. This Ferrari race car’s design picks up where the 296 GTB leaves off—but the GT3 achieves a lower center of gravity with a unique 120-degree V6 configuration, which houses the turbochargers within the mid-rear-mounted V. The aluminum frame and braking system are likewise all-new. Although the 296…

  • Ferrari Teases 2023 Le Mans Hypercar

    Relatively little is known about the vehicle that Ferrari will enter into next year’s 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans, referred to as the Ferrari 499P, but its full debut is right around the corner. It’s been 50 years since the Prancing Horse’s last entry as a works team into the race’s top category, so enthusiasts everywhere are understandably waiting at the edges of their seats for clear details. Here’s what we know so far: What is a Hypercar? Ferrari Returns to Le Mans 499P: A Genuine Ferrari —Hypercar The “Le Mans Hypercar” (or LMH) category replaces the LMP1 class,…

Continental AutoSports Ferrari 41.8171624, -87.9196139.