First of all, the most important part for me in labeling a car an “electric car” is whether or not the car can drive purely on electricity, if/when the driver wishes it to. Furthermore, the driver must be able to plug the car in and charge it up using electricity. Naturally, this includes plug-in hybrid electric cars (as implied by the name of this subset of motor vehicle). An EV Obsession reader and Bob Wallace have both made an excellent analogy that really captures things well, imho. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is like a bike with training wheels. A bike with training wheels is still a bike — it just has training wheels. Similarly, a PHEV is still an EV — it just has a gas tank and engine that can extend the range if the driver needs a bit of help driving further.