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A Brief Overview of Hybrid vs. Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

With the recent release of the Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid (PHEV) some emergency responders have asked how their response tactics would differ from the standard Prius or other hybrids. The answer is basically…not much. As with other plugin hybrids, this Prius model is essentially a traditional hybrid vehicle designed with the ability to be plugged into a level I or II charging station. These vehicles are designed with a higher capacity high-voltage battery than traditional hybrids in order to more effectively store the charge they receive. This allows for a greater use of the high voltage system to propel the vehicle and a reduction in the use of the gasoline engine. In the event the driver doesn’t plug the vehicle in, it will continue to function in the same manner as a regular hybrid.

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