HybridCars.com offers four important factors to consider when buying a plug-in hybrid: (1) Go with the highest all-electric range; (2) Study your likely driving and charging patterns; (3) Consider the efficiency after the battery pack is depleted; and (4) Choose a plug-in hybrid just like any other car you might buy.
The article notes that if you plan to plug in every night at home, and have a daily commute of fewer than 50 miles, you could drive the Chevy Volt for weeks without using a drop of gas. If you have access to a charging station at your office, you might be able to drive on electricity to and from work with a plug-in hybrid that has a more limited range.
The article closes with this advice: “At the end of the day, your car’s powertrain is only one of many considerations. There’s also price, comfort, handling, cargo capacity and the number of passengers that fit. So shop for the way you would buy any vehicle. For many buyers, that means starting with cost—so check out the list of plug-in hybrids sorted by price from lowest to highest.”