Available from Renault since 2020, plug-in hybrid technology is inspired by all-electric vehicles, using batteries which can be recharged from power outlets or on electric charging stations. On these PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles), like the Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in hybrid or the Renault Mégane E-TECH Plug-in hybrid, the existence of a connecting cable, which can be plugged in to a domestic socket or on a public station, enables 100% electric driving over several dozen kilometers.
The rechargeable battery recovers its full range from the power supply in just a few hours, thus reducing its fuel consumption. With daily journeys of around 30 kilometers, for example, a driver of a plug-in hybrid vehicle can travel without having to stop at a service station — one charge is easily enough to cover their everyday needs. On the Renault E-TECH Plug-in range, total fuel consumption is therefore reduced by 75% compared to an equivalent combustion-powered car when charged once a day.
The Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in hybrid is equipped with a 9.8 kWh battery. This is recharged via a hatch located on the side of the car (with fuel tank access on the other side.)
Charging time depends on the power of the sockets available. Owners of plug-in hybrid cars who choose to charge at home can install a dedicated charging appliance. So, for faster charges, a “secure” socket like Green’upTM or professionally-installed device like a Wallbox deliver at least one and a half times more intensity than a standard socket. The charging time of the Captur E-TECH Plug-in hybrid is around five hours from a standard socket, and three hours from a secure socket or Wallbox.
The Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in hybrid and Mégane E-TECH Plug-in hybrid are equipped with a charger compatible with public charging stations of 3.7 kW, 7.4 kW, 11 kW and 22kW — with the 22 kW stations being the most common on urban and intercity electric charging networks.
Depending on the specifications of the plug-in hybrid vehicle’s battery, range varies. Taking the Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in hybrid as an example, the WLTP* range can reach up to 50 kilometers on a mixed cycle.
Three hours are enough to recover 80% of this range using a secure socket or a Wallbox of 3.7 kW, and around five hours using a standard domestic plug socket.
Once recharged, a plug-in hybrid vehicle can carry out essential everyday trips (such as the commute to and from work) in all-electric mode only. During the week, powered exclusively by electricity — thanks to daily charging at home, for example — the plug-in hybrid vehicle is a particularly low-carbon mobility solution.
On the weekend and during the holidays, a vehicle such as the Renault Mégane E-TECH Plug-in hybrid is used as a means of transport for the whole family over long distances thanks to its hybrid mode, which alternates engine and motor driving as soon as the battery is sufficiently charged.
In all cases, whether the battery is full or not, plug-in hybrid cars benefit from regenerative braking and a 100% electric start-up, like all of the E-TECH hybrid range from Renault.
During a time of transition to low-emission vehicles, the plug-in hybrid therefore represents an attractive compromise that uses the best of two now complementary technologies!
* WLTP = Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, normalized cycle: 57% urban driving, 25% suburban driving, 18% highway driving.
Copyrights : Jean-Brice Lemal (Planimonteur)