MAN Truck & Bus

Plug-in hybrid drive (PHEV)

Glossar Plug-In-Hybridantrieb
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Plug-in hybrid drive (PHEV)  Schematic diagram of a plug-in hybrid drive with an externally chargeable energy storage unit (ES), power electronics (LE), combustion engine (VM), clutch (K), electric motor (EM), gearbox (G), drive shaft (AW), differential (A) and fuel tank (T).  

The plug-in hybrid drive (or in short PHEV standing plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) is a special type of hybrid drive. The technology is already very popular in Germany, especially in passenger cars – there were over 45,000 plug-in hybrids licensed in Germany in 2019, and this trend is rising strongly. It features the combination of a combustion engine with an electric motor. This involves the energy storage unit (batteries) and electric motor being dimensioned in such a way that PHEVs can also cover longer distances using only electricity, in addition to functions like boosting (assisting the combustion engine during start-up and acceleration) and an automatic start-stop system. 


Charging via recuperation and external connections 

The batteries can in principle be charged by the combustion engine or via recuperation while driving, i.e. recovery of the energy released during coasting and/or continuous braking to generate electricity. The technology is therefore ideal for vehicles that mainly travel in start-stop operation (applies to HEVs more than to PHEVs), for example refuse collection vehicles and public buses in urban traffic. A further characteristic of the plug-in hybrid is the option of charging the batteries from an external energy source, thus extending its electric range. Like with a battery electric vehicle (BEV), this charging can take place via appropriately fused socket outlets, charging points (such as wall boxes) or special charging stations.