In the real world, PHEVs need more electrical power from the motor in order to actually go farther without starting the engine. A new study done by General Motors using real world data recorded from over 600 cars analyzed how standard and plug-in hybrids would perform in the hands of real drivers. What they found was that to get a real benefit the vehicle needs to be designed to perform at all speeds on electrical power alone. With that much electrical power on board, having a full engine to drive becomes redundant. A small engine to charge the battery however makes sense. An extended range EV (like the Volt) would actually eliminate 70-percent of the engine starts at any time during a drive. AutoblogGreen talked to GM's Pete Savagian about the study and the results.
[Source: General Motors, AutoblogGreen]