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Hybrids vs. Plug-in Hybrids: What's the Difference?

There's something out there for everyone

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  • We get it — not everyone is ready to take the plunge on an EV.
  • Luckily, there are a few alternatives for those who want to dip their toes into electrification.
  • We compare hybrids and plug-in hybrids to help you figure out which is best for you.

Like a lot of folks, I live in an apartment and I don't have a regular place to charge up overnight. So an EV isn't for me. But that doesn't mean gas-only is my sole option. For a lot of people, hybrids and plug-in hybrids make a lot of sense.

Though these two powertrain setups might share a bit of nomenclature, they're actually rather different. Hybrids dont need to be plugged in to charge their relatively small batteries. Plug-ins, on the other hand, have much larger-capacity batteries that can be charged at Level 2 charging stations, and some even have Level 3 capability now. Plug-in hybrids also have much longer electric-only driving ranges, meaning you might be able to run your entire daily commute on electric power alone. Of course, these vehicles also cost more as a result.

To get all the details and see our top three recommendations when it comes to which hybrids and plug-ins we think you should buy, check out the video below.