How to charge a hybrid car

If you are thinking of investing in a cleaner car, you have several options. Simple hybrid cars are autonomously charged during the braking and deceleration phases using the vehicle’s kinetic energy, but they continue to use a traditional heat engine. Before you think about electric cars themselves, there is a middleman, plug-in hybrid cars for this, the question arises about the charging mode.

Plug-in hybrids

For plug-in hybrid vehicles (or plug-in or even PHEV Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) is an intermediate between simple hybrid vehicles (or for HEVs). Hybrid Electric Vehicles) electric vehicles that are charged while driving and must pass through a terminal or electrical outlet to be able to drive. Indeed, plug-in hybrids are equipped with both a standard combustion engine and a medium-capacity battery (larger than a simple hybrid, but smaller than a 100% electric car), which allows a total range of about fifty kilometers. – electric mode.

As with a simple hybrid, if the plug-in battery is charged while driving, it must be plugged in like an electric vehicle to be fully charged. However, unlike the latter, the plug-in hybrid is not afraid of running out of energy, because the internal combustion engine starts working after the battery is discharged (for example, during strong accelerations, the two can work together) .

Several solutions for plug-in hybrid charging

To charge the battery of a plug-in hybrid, you can use the same solutions as an electric car, i.e. a standard household power outlet or charging point. With a standard power socket, you can connect your car directly to the home network. A special cable (type E cord) that enables this charging is supplied with the vehicle purchase. It reaches a maximum load of 2.2 kW. As the network capacity is limited, this is relatively slow charging. You can also install a boosted socket in your home, which can reach 3.7 kW and is equipped with a suitable differential switch, which charges faster without the risk of overloading.

The systems for charging at the terminal are different. Some terminals have a cable to connect to your car, others don’t and in this case you need your own cable (type 2 cable to be purchased separately). Not all models of electric and plug-in hybrid cars have the same type of connection, so charging stations have several sockets. Depending on the cable used, the charging speed will also vary. With a 16 A single-phase cord, your charge will be limited to 3.7 kW. If you want to charge at 7.4 kW (if your car can), you need a 32 A single-phase charging cable or a 16 A three-phase cable. So you need to consider not only the charging point, but also the cable used and the capacity of your vehicle.

Based on these various parameters, you will be able to determine the charging time of your plug-in hybrid vehicle. To calculate the full charging time at the terminal, take the capacity of the hybrid vehicle (which is stated in the vehicle’s owner’s manual, for example, 13 kWh) and the power of your charging point (7 kW in one phase or 9 to 22 kW in three phases).

Thus, for a car with a capacity of 9 kWh (about 50 km of autonomy), it takes four hours to charge in a 10 A household socket, and less than three hours in a reinforced 14 A socket. . The cost is relatively low, as it rarely exceeds three or four euros, especially if you charge during peak hours. Estimate two and a half hours to charge on a 3.7 kW terminal, and half as long on a 7.4 kW terminal. Attention, fast charging stations intended for 100% electric cars only.

Wallboxes, home terminal

You also have the option of installing a terminal at home: Wallbox. As the name suggests, this is a charging box that is attached to the wall and connected to your electrical panel with a specific circuit. Charging an electric or hybrid car with this type of setup is both faster and safer than using a standard outlet. An average power terminal can charge the equivalent of 50 kilometers per hour. Indeed, Wallboxes can provide up to 22 kW for the most efficient. However, choosing this type of high-performance model (intended for 100% electric vehicles) is not useful, as hybrid cars do not tolerate more than 3.7 or even 7.4 kW. Estimate around 700 euros for breaking terminals ranging from 2.3 to 7 kW.

by the editorial staff of the hREF agency

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