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The Difference Between a Plugin Hybrid and a Regular Hybrid: Car Shopping in Ontario’s Inland Empire 

charging an plug in hybrid car

As hybrid cars increasingly gain popularity among eco-conscious drivers, car shoppers frequently encounter the terms ‘plugin hybrid’ and ‘regular hybrid’. But what really distinguishes these two types of vehicles? If you’re among the many residents of the Inland Empire looking to learn more about driving eco-friendly vehicles keep reading!  

Understanding the Basics: What is a Hybrid? 

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, let’s start with the basics. A hybrid vehicle combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor. This dual approach aims to offer the best of both worlds: the long-range capability of gasoline and the efficiency and low emissions of electricity. This combination ensures drivers can enjoy fuel efficiency, resulting in fewer trips to the pump and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. They have become a popular choice for those in Ontario and beyond, wanting to minimize their carbon footprint and increase efficiency while still enjoying the convenience of traditional vehicles. 

Regular Hybrids: The Pioneers of the Hybrid World 

Regular hybrids have been around for a while. When car shopping, models like the Toyota Prius might come to mind. These vehicles possess both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The magic of these cars lies in their ability to switch seamlessly between the two. They self-charge using processes like regenerative braking, where the energy typically wasted during braking is converted into electricity and stored in the vehicle’s battery. 

In a regular hybrid, you don’t plug it into an external power source; it’s all managed internally. They’re perfect for those looking to gain fuel efficiency benefits without changing their driving or fueling habits drastically. 


Plugin Hybrids: A Step Towards Full Electrification 

Plugin hybrids (often abbreviated as PHEVs) represent the evolutionary step between regular hybrids and fully electric vehicles. They are equipped with larger batteries than regular hybrids, which allows them to drive on electric power alone for extended periods. This battery can be charged by plugging it into an external power source, like a home charger or a public charging station. 

For shorter trips around California, say a quick trip within Ontario or a brief tour of the Inland Empire, a PHEV can often operate solely on electric power, thereby reducing emissions and gasoline consumption. But for longer journeys, once the battery depletes, the gasoline engine takes over, ensuring that the vehicle can continue to run smoothly. 

The primary advantage of a plugin hybrid lies in its flexibility. Drivers can enjoy the benefits of an electric car without any ‘range anxiety’ – the fear that their vehicle’s battery will run out before reaching their destination.  

Car Shopping in Ontario: Which Hybrid is Right for You? 

Choosing between a regular hybrid and a plugin hybrid boils down to individual needs, preferences, and habits. 

If your daily commute is short and you have access to a charging station (either at home or work), a PHEV might suit you best. With this setup, you might find that you rarely use gasoline, benefiting both your wallet and the environment. 

However, if you often drive longer distances and don’t have easy access to a charging station, a regular hybrid could be more convenient. These vehicles still offer increased fuel efficiency compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars. For those in Ontario and surrounding areas, we have available hybrid models to aid in your car shopping experience. 


As the world moves towards more sustainable modes of transportation, understanding the options available becomes crucial. Whether you opt for a regular hybrid or a plugin hybrid, you are making an environmentally friendly choice that aligns with the future of driving. 

If you are in Ontario or the wider Inland Empire region and are considering making the switch to a hybrid, visit us to explore options that best suit your needs. Or, if you currently own a hybrid and need expert service, schedule a service with our trained technicians. 



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