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Hyundai Toyota Hybrid vs. Plug-in Hybrid

1. Introduction

Hyundai launched the Tucson to fill the gap between the Santa Fe and the Kona in its SUV lineup. Both the hybrids sit at the higher reaches of the range, so either could be a spacious, well-equipped, and more thermally efficient alternative to the current vehicle. Based on what we know so far, they're offered at a price point where time to break even versus a pure ICE model might be a little on the short side, and the value for money could be strong. Step forward a strong dynamic and visual change between the current vehicle and its hybrid cousin. This ensures the hybrid variation is not only cheaper to run, but it also looks and feels like a more modern vehicle. Cost of entry for a hybrid Tucson may be marginally higher than a new petrol model, but likely various levels of fuel savings and emissions-based taxation make it a more financially sound option. As road users and governments move to a more sustainable vehicle fleet, doing this now could future-proof the vehicle. With Hyundai's cost-effective approach to the use of EV technology and a push towards hybrids, it is a possible reality that more Hyundai hybrids and PHEVs may be released in the years to come. This could give the second-hand value of the Tucson hybrid a healthy outlook, with an available variety of used hybrid and PHEV powertrains across the Hyundai range, making a second-hand Tucson hybrid still a relevant and desirable option.

1.1. Overview of Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is one of the greatest vehicles that wants to change the world. This car is not like any other car and it is designed for those who care about the world's future. This is a fuel economic car and an answer to the world's concern about depleting fuel resources. What makes this car unique is that it uses a new method which combines the electric motor and the gasoline engine. The electric motor will drive the vehicle during steady state or light acceleration, and when more power is needed, the gasoline engine also works to provide the extra power. This allows Hyundai to choose a smaller gasoline engine which will be more fuel economic. This car uses a 1.6L Atkinson Cycle GDI engine with a 4-cylinder and a 32kW electric motor. With just those specifications, this car looks underpowered. But it won't feel underpowered because it has two good methods to improve the driving performance. The electric battery will be charged while running on the gasoline engine and it will be used as extra power for the electric motor. And the electric motor will also utilize the power from the engine to provide better acceleration. This will give better driving performance compared to a normal 2.0L gasoline engine. This car also offers another step to save more fuel with the ECO button. When it's pressed, it will change the transmission and the engine to a fuel-saving state. This button allows the user to get better fuel economy, although it will sacrifice the driving performance. With its more advanced method, this car will be more fuel economic compared to the usual hybrid car. This car is estimated to have more than 40% thermal efficiency and with that number, it is almost the same as a diesel engine. Diesel engines have good fuel economy compared to normal gasoline engines. But diesel engines have low thermal efficiency and are not friendly for our environment. This one more step that says this car has a better way to change the world.

1.2. Overview of Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid

The Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected hybrid powertrain that produces an estimated total system output of 261 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. This power is achieved through a quick and responsive 6-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain also includes a 13.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery located under the rear seat, which powers an electric motor mounted to the automatic transmission. The electric motor delivers an estimated 66 horsepower and 224 lb.-ft. of torque, resulting in all-electric operation at lower speeds and a combined hybrid range. The result of this powerful system is a predicted best-in-class fuel economy rating.

The all-new Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid compact SUV has been designed to meet the needs of modern, active lifestyles. It is the latest addition to the successful and established Tucson 2021 model line-up, utilizing the fresh design, advanced technology, and convenience features of the gasoline model. The Tucson Plug-in Hybrid has additional features including exclusive plug-in hybrid design LED headlamps, a charging port near the front wheel, and unique 17-inch wheels. On the inside, drivers are greeted with a fresh interior design complete with a shift-by-wire style push-button selectors for the transmission.

2. Performance and Fuel Efficiency

With its larger battery, the PHEV should offer over 32 miles of all-electric driving. Hyundai estimates that this constitutes about 50 percent of urban trips. Therefore, in theory, the average PHEV owner could simply never use a drop of gasoline for their daily driving. This is compared to an estimated 30 percent of urban trips for the HEV. This means that the PHEV will be the superior option for saving fuel and reducing emissions. Both models have an All-Wheel Drive spec, so the traction motor will be located at the rear axle for occasional four-wheel grip. This allows for additional traction on slippery surfaces, as well as increased agility and low-speed stability. Both systems also feature a driver-selectable AWD lock, ideal for when more grip is needed at higher speed.

The HEV has a combined output of 230 horsepower from the gasoline engine and electric motor, while the PHEV has a combined output of 261 horsepower. Both offer ample power for getting around, whether it's merging onto the highway or simply zipping around town. In fact, the PHEV is predicted to have a 0-60 mph time and top speed that match the Tucson hybrid, and it offers even more electric-only driving power at 93 horsepower compared to 60.

Hyundai has mentioned that both Tucson hybrids have the same goals in mind: offering fuel economy that's the best in its class and a comfortable drive, overall. For that reason, the traditional hybrid and plug-in models will boast a number of key similarities in terms of how they get around.

2.1. Engine Specifications

Both vehicles have the same 1.6-liter GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) 4-cylinder engine. Their horsepower is also the same at 180 hp. After this, the engines change along with the motor type. The traditional hybrid comes with a 1.49 kWh lithium polymer battery and a 44.2 kW electric motor. The PHEV has a larger 13.8 kWh battery which is nearly 10 times the size of the traditional hybrid battery. With the larger battery, the PHEV also has a more powerful electric motor coming in at 66.9 kW. This results in a larger system output for the PHEV at 265 hp with the combined gas and electric power. Thanks to the more powerful motor and larger battery, the PHEV can achieve an all-electric top speed of 120 km/h compared to the traditional hybrid's 40 km/h. In terms of drive modes, the traditional hybrid has a driver-selectable mode for different acceleration and regenerative braking levels. The PHEV has 4 different drive modes which include an all-electric, hybrid, sport, and eco mode. Both models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission and the HTRAC All Wheel Drive system available in either FWD (Front Wheel Drive) or AWD (All Wheel Drive) depending on the region and the customer's needs.

2.2. Electric Motor Power and Range

The Plug-in Hybrid variant has a more powerful 66.9 kW electric motor and a much larger 13.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The larger battery can make use of the electric motor for a longer time, which enhances fuel economy and provides all-electric driving up to a range of approximately 28 miles. Doing it in an eco-friendly manner, the plug-in hybrid has a pure electric driving mode that will allow the vehicle to be driven in a fully eco-friendly manner. This can be changed to a hybrid mode at any time if the driver feels the need for more power or forgets to charge the battery.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is equipped with a 44.2 kW electric motor powered by a 1.49 kWh lithium polymer battery. The electric motor works in cooperation with the 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI engine to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The system places an emphasis on the electric motor to provide responsive performance at lower speeds and when accelerating, and the result is that the engine is used less frequently, which improves fuel economy and provides the driver with more responsive performance.

2.3. Fuel Economy and Efficiency

The plug-in hybrid will use the might of Hyundai's 1.6 litre turbocharged 'Smartstream' 4-cylinder petrol engine, which is best for a total power output of 265 horsepower. This engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and whilst no acceleration figures have been given, the mere differing in the number of gears is a pointer to the Tucson Hybrid being more of a precursor of efficiency and electrified driving than in involving a sporty drive. A parallel hybrid layout allows the engine to directly power the wheels or to act as another source of electric generation, so it remains to be seen how the PHEV's exact drivetrain operates in motion. The non-plug-in hybrid featured a 230V electric motor and Hyundai state that the plug-in variant has an even more powerful 66.9kW motor. The nature of a plug-in hybrid means it is possible to travel without the engine being powered on at all, and the Tucson PHEV claims to offer an electric range of 28 miles. This is no small offer for many European consumers who work in city centres, have low daily mileage or simply desire to reduce emissions and costs from short journeys. A greater reliance on battery and motor power also led to the PHEV's CO2 emissions rate bettering that of a standard Tucson Hybrid, with the PHEV rated at 36g/km and the hybrid at 112g/km. The 38.3 litre fuel tank makes for a combined driving range of 476 miles.

3. Features and Technology

3.2. Advanced safety systems All hybrid versions of the Tucson also come as standard with the Hyundai SmartSense safety Package. This includes a range of advanced features and options including front collision avoidance assist, which detects upcoming collisions with vehicles or pedestrians and applies emergency braking to avoid or mitigate the impact. Other safety systems like blind spot collision avoidance, which prevents collisions during a lane change maneuver and rear-cross traffic collision avoidance are also included. All these features are automatically activated and require drivers to turn them off if they wish to, making it an easier choice for safety-conscious buyers. Step up the plug-in version of the Tucson and another plethora of additional features are included to improve the quality of safety that includes parking collision avoidance and remote smart parking assist.

3.1. Standard features The powertrain also appears with an active shift control system which is designed to control the electric motor's transmission to aid acceleration in addition to fuel economy. Hyundai states that this ends in smoother gear changes and is proficient to connect the 44.2 hp electric motor to the wheels 'more often and for longer' ensuing in better fuel economy.

Hyundai’s very first hybrid version of the Tucson is available both with a gasoline or diesel engine. In every instance, the powertrain 'leverages two electric motors' which Hyundai says 'act in tandem with the engine to reduce fuel consumption'. The hybrid is detailed with a 1.49 kWh lithium polymer battery which is said to be good for a 1.1-mile commute run off pure electricity. The plug-in model offers a more powerful 66.9 kW electric motor and a more sizable 13.8 kWh battery, with claimed pure electrical efficiency run of 28 miles. All hybrid versions of the Tucson are available with Hyundai's HTRAC all-wheel drive system.

3.1. Standard Features

Other in-demand features popular with fuel misers, such as keyless entry/start, an eco display, and dual-zone climate control, are also standard on hybrids while being either optional or not available on more basic gas-powered Tucsons. This is because keyless entry/start can only be had on Sport and Limited models, and dual-zone climate control is only available on the Limited in the gas lineup. A power driver's seat with power lumbar support has been a popular choice for Tucson trim levels in the past, and Hyundai has made it standard on both these fuel sippers.

Like their gas-powered counterparts, the Hyundai Tucson PHEV and HEV share nearly all of their standard features. Mainstream features such as full power accessories and a tilt/telescope steering wheel are standard, as are a folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, heated side mirrors, privacy glass, and a rear spoiler (hybrids only). All 2016 Tucsons also get aluminum alloy wheels, but PHEV and HEV models get special low rolling resistance tires. This is important because selecting tires with low rolling resistance is a simple and effective way to improve fuel economy, and tire development has come so far that it's now possible to get good handling and ride quality from low rolling resistance rubber. A temporary spare tire is optional on HEVs and PHEVs.

3.2. Advanced Safety Systems

Lane departure warning (LDW) is a system that lets the driver know that the car is about to unintentionally depart from a lane. LDW helps prevent accidents caused by the driver being distracted or drowsy at the wheel, in turn contributing to a lower rate of traffic accidents.

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is a system that automatically stops the car if it detects that the vehicle in front has come to a sudden stop, and the driver does not apply the brakes. AEB provides additional safety that works to prevent a collision or reduce damage by minimizing the impact speed. This is a technology that aims to prevent the danger of accidents - also helpful in the event where the driver is unable to respond.

The key to activating these systems is the ability to accurately perceive the driving environment. For this reason, the development team placed a strong focus on identifying the specific situations where drivers would feel the need for extra driver assistance and determining which details are perceived as dangerous. This approach has led to the development of active safety technologies that are some of the best in the industry. These technologies help assist drivers in dangerous driving situations by providing accurate information and operating effective and precise control.

The advanced safety system on the 2016 Hyundai Tucson is designed to add an extra level of safety and protection for all occupants. The advanced safety system includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, and smart cruise control. High-performance cameras and radar mounted at the front and rear of the vehicle provide the advanced safety system with an accurate view of the vehicle's surroundings and the distance to other objects and vehicles.

3.3. Infotainment and Connectivity Options

Overall, Hyundai offers a wide range of infotainment options for its customers and does a great job including this within their eco-friendly vehicle options. This can make for an easier transition into eco-friendly driving, as it is not as drastic of a change as it used to be 10 years ago. Technology is ever advancing and it is great to see that some more of this is now being integrated into vehicles that are better for the environment.

This standard infotainment system is packed and the infotainment journey ends there for the hybrid Tucson, but not for the Hybrid Sonata. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is next in line for infotainment and connectivity options, offering a richer audio and technology experience to help you enjoy your drive. This model features a 9.2-inch touch screen system and includes all of the aforementioned features in addition to an upgraded Infinity premium audio system with 12 speakers including subwoofer and external amp. This system also includes SiriusXM Travel Link (3-year complimentary subscription) and Data/Map upgrades.

The hybrid models continue to share similarities in their infotainment and connectivity features with each of their non-hybrid counterparts, each offering an 8-inch color touchscreen with radio and smartphone compatibility through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This allows for intuitive use of audio sources, including popular and actionable smartphone usage options that ensure safety for the road. Available Hyundai Blue Link serves to provide the next level in automotive connectivity offering 3 years of complimentary service with access through smartphone, smartwatch, Amazon Echo, and Google Home. Car Care and Remote Package allow for great convenience as users can start their vehicle, set climate controls, and defrost the window all from a remote location, while the Car Care offers automatic diagnostic checks and maintenance alerts. Guidance Package is perfect for Tucson owners allowing perks such as remote navigation, which will integrate directions into your vehicle’s navigation system and car finder which will pinpoint the location of your Tucson no matter where it is.

3.4. Hybrid-specific Features

The PHEV has a few extra features compared to the Hybrid. The most notable difference is the larger capacity 13.8-kWh battery. It also includes a feature called "Smart Air Suspension" that utilizes a new Multi-Load Path Frame to house the battery under the rear seats and keeps the same suspension to store various cargo. This is paired with a rear and electric motor-driven AWD system to maintain improved AWD performance at all times. Last but not least, the PHEV vehicle includes a 7.2 kW onboard charger with the ability to charge using a 6-pin charging cable. This enables customers to use a standard household electrical outlet, public station, or personal charger at home and allows for quick charging times. In summary, the PHEV mainly focused on providing a higher level of AWD performance and the ability to drive more sessions in EV mode, while keeping a good balance of fuel economy and performance.

Now let's go into the hybrid-specific vehicle features for both the hybrid and PHEV to see how these products actually differ. The HEV includes a 1.49-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that is 13% more efficient and 22% more powerful than the previous nickel-metal hydride battery. It also includes a feature called Active Shift Control that utilizes the electric motor to change gears of the 6-speed automatic transmission. This is a feature to increase acceleration and fuel economy as this is the most inefficient period of fuel usage for a hybrid. The HEV also includes a feature called "Electronic A/C Compressor" to maximize fuel economy and EV range. This electric compressor allows cooling in the cabin and defrosting at idle, in engine off EV mode, or during an ISG off condition. For the AWD HEV vehicle, Hyundai uses the HTRAC with a variable tractive system to help the driver in challenging conditions such as snow or sand. HTRAC is an electronic, variable AWD system that controls the power from front to rear wheels and left to right rear wheels to increase vehicle stability and control. Lastly, the HEV includes an increased regeneration capability so the various battery levels can achieve the highest level of fuel economy and an easy-to-read hybrid gauge cluster that educates the driver to drive more efficiently. All things considered, the HEV vehicle had fuel economy and acceleration in mind.

4. Pricing and Availability

As far as availability is concerned, the already readily available full hybrid is easier to get in states that are zero-emission car friendly (primarily CARB states). The plug-in is expected to introduce nationwide, but supply will likely be tight for a long time. This is no surprise as Hyundai still has actually not had the ability to meet demand for the Nexo first carrier and is presently the only Baccarat brand with a fuel cell vehicle readily available for purchase; this car is also just readily available in California.

Hybrid vehicles are perceived by many potential consumers as costing more than their fuel-only equals. Where this is not always true, the upgraded technology associated with the hybrid powertrain and the inescapable initial expense of purchasing a second source of power (electric) can frequently result in a price well beyond an equivalent fuel-only car. Nevertheless, the Tucson plug-in hybrid makes a cogent dispute for itself. The $35,000 sticker price is greater than the approximated $28,000 base expense of a fuel-only Tucson, but the hybrid carries a greater trim grade and is loaded with more features. It is also just $3,000 more than a likewise geared up fuel-only Limited model. The fuel cell Tucson is offered just under a lease arrangement that is essentially $13 less monthly than a regally geared up fuel-only Tucson Limited at present rates, with $2,999 all due at signing.

4.1. Price Comparison

The suggested retail prices for the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid are notably close at the lower end of the range and diverge as you add packages. The difference in price is $1,350 (including the $1,175 freight charge) with the Hybrid starting at $30,275 and the Plug-in Hybrid at $31,625. The range-topping Limited with the Convenience package and all-wheel drive will run you $39,905 for the Hybrid and $38,535 for the Plug-in Hybrid. Pricing differences are likely based on the additional features and differing powertrains, but this is not one of those cases where the more expensive hybrid gets you access to federal tax incentives for a greater discount later on. All things considered, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is priced low enough to compete with its hybrid variant and offers added fuel efficiency and driving performance without breaking the bank. Assuming you have the ability to charge at home overnight and put the vehicle's electric range to use, it is safe to say that you're getting quite a lot of value for the money spent; so long as Hyundai is able to keep up with initial demand supply issues may drive the price of these PHEVs even higher. The trouble is that it may be difficult to find the 2022 Tucson Plug-in Hybrid due to the massive number of Tucsons being sold. The Tucson Hybrid will be overlapping with the outgoing 2021 Tucson as the latter continues to be sold through the rest of the year; these two different generation models will likely be sold alongside one another at Hyundai dealerships which could cause some confusion for customers.

4.2. Availability and Release Dates

As of January 2021, the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is expected to hit showroom floors in the summer of 2021 as a 2022 model. Hyundai representatives were unable to specify a more exact time frame or month of release, but they did confirm that the PHEV Tucson will follow the hybrid's launch by approximately six months. Because of this, the PHEV model should be available in late spring or summer of 2021. Orders for the Hybrid began on December 23, 2020, but these vehicles are not expected to start arriving on lots until March 2021. This makes it highly likely that the PHEV model will be a 2022 model upon release. Buyers interested in the Hybrid should note that it will only be available in select states, and it is likely the same will be true for the PHEV model. It is currently unknown if there will be a delay in PHEV model availability in comparison to the Hybrid's release. Market availability will depend on emissions regulations and the results of feedback from the pre-release launch.