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What journey to take, self-charging Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrids or Electric vehicles

We used to think of either taking the rural route, motorways and urban routes or the way the crow flies.With car sales up in the air, diesel sales slowing down and the general public still unsure with what route to take, here’s a TomTom to help choose your route

You have 3 types of AFV, (Alternative fuelled vehicles) 

1.Self-Charging Hybrids, also known as Hybrids 
2.Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) 
3.Electric Vehicles (EV) 

Mild hybrids aren’t covered on here as they use advanced starter generator to offer minimal electrification, so they never run on electric only.

Self-Charging Hybrids

Also known as Series-parallel Hybrids, pair a normal traditional (ICE) Internal combustion engine with an electric motor and a small battery. 

Both engine and motor can work together, use energy from the engine or regenerative braking to charge the battery. Known as self-charging hybrids as the battery is replenished by the Hybrid system without plugging in. 

Some EV enthusiasts aren’t impressed with this statement because the battery is charged by an engine that burns petrol. The electric motor is mostly designed to support the engine with more performance but lower emissions. When using the electric mode, this barely lasts with very low mileage. 

The self-charging Hybrids can benefit the company car drivers due to tax purposes with low Co2 emissions and the driver won’t be hesitant to find a charging point. 

What’s not so good is the very low range the vehicle has on the electric motor.

Plug-in Hybrids PHEVs

Plug-in Hybrids can cover 30 miles or more and cover motorway speeds on EV mode. Whereas the self-charging hybrids cover as few as 5 miles on electric. PHEV’s also charge the same as normal Hybrids, using regenerative braking and power diverted from the engine itself. You can also plug-in using a home charger or public plug-in points. The battery can be fully recharged from 25 minutes to 5 hours dependant on the rate of charge. 

The home charging point is usually a 7Kw fast charger where contributions can be given by the government for installation. The PHEVs benefit from how they’re tested, showing 170mpg which you won’t witness, but the figures do allow them to fall into a low tax bracket for businesses. Giving better economy against the ICE due to electric mode. 

PHEVs offer the benefits of a better range compared with Hybrids, Great for a user who wants the low environmental impact offering the mid-range but have the option to have the output of using the ICE when required and not having the worry of charging due to ICE. But the downside to this is more technology on the vehicle, the more chance things can go wrong. This could potentially be expensive.

Electric Vehicles EVs

Electric vehicles use one or more electric motors to drive the wheels, Using power from the large electric battery. Electric Vehicles offer many benefits over a normal ICE.The vehicles are quieter, having zero emissions out the exhaust, fewer moving parts on the vehicle making it less likely to go wrong, while servicing is cheaper. 

Many of the new EVs offer a good range on EV mode, but there’s still the issue for the drivers, judging where to stop and charge their vehicle. The average driver commutes 30 miles per day so this is perfect for an EV.The concerns are with the longer journeys, covering a broader mileage per day. The infrastructure is still growing but it’s the case of locating a charging point if there’s not one at the selected destination. 

The charging costs do vary in price, fully charging a 40Kw battery at home will cost around £5.00 with a 120 mile range, whereas charging at public charging points can cost around £16.00.The biggest issue is the charging time of 7Kw with a 40Kw battery, this can take up to 7.5 hours to fully charge a Nissan Leaf. A 64Kw Hyundai Kona will take approximately 9 hours to fully charge. 

The rapid 50Kw chargers take 60 minutes to charge the Nissan Leaf to 80% of it’s charge whereas the Hyundai Kona takes 75 minutes. Drivers are having to bear this in mind when travelling long distances as this increases the journey time. 

These EVs are more suitable as a commuter vehicle, providing you charging points are available. Long distance drivers may reconsider due to the range on the vehicle and the charging time.

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25th of March 2020

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