Are you planning to change your car soon and don't know where to start between hybrid, plug-in hybrid and an electric car? Just keep rea...
Are you planning to change your car soon and don't know where to start between hybrid, plug-in hybrid and an electric car? Just keep reading we will clear it up for you and help you decide which one suites your needs best
The electrification of the automotive sector is on the move, pushed in particular by the legislator who is encouraging, via government aid, to turn to these supposedly more virtuous cars. The offers concerning these electrified vehicles are more and more numerous and can sometimes make you dizzy. Hybrid cars, plug-in hybrids, electric cars... It is difficult to understand, especially since the use of some of these models can lead to a different use compared to a traditional thermal car.
We will therefore, Through this article, summarize as simply as possible the main differences between electric cars and hybrid cars, targeting the advantages and defects on both sides, elements that can obviously vary depending on your use since it is this criterion that will determine which is the best solution to meet your needs.
Hybrid Vs Electric Cars: Differences, Pros and Cons
The term "hybrid car" has become ultra-generic, partly because of the marketing departments of some car manufacturers who do not hesitate to use these terms to sell a hybrid car, without it being a hybrid one indeed. Today, we can classify hybridization into three very distinct categories, and you will quickly see that one of them can be confusing.
There are three main families of hybrid cars: micro-hybrids, "conventional" hybrids, and plug-in hybrids. Micro-hybridized vehicles (also called mild-hybrids or light hybrids) are those affected by the overly broad use of the term "hybrid". In reality, these micro-hybrid vehicles do not benefit from a real electric motor as in a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, but from an electric component of modest power that is not designed to provide traction. In other words, to turn the wheels.
This system only provides extra thrust to the main engine, especially during acceleration. It saves a few grams of CO2 and a little bit of fuel, but under no circumstances does it allow you to drive for even 100 meters in electric mode. It can also restart the engine, assist it during the descent or climb phase, or even power certain comfort-related elements. This system is now fairly widespread and is fitted to vehicles such as the Renault Scénic, Suzuki Ignis, the Audi A6, A7 and A8 and the Kia Sportage.
Micro-hybrids: pros and cons
Apart from the small gains in terms of consumption and CO2 emissions, there are not really any particular advantages for the user, just as there are not really any disadvantages for conventional use. However, this still adds electronic components, which can multiply the risks of breakdown even if, for the moment, we do not have the necessary hindsight to draw the first conclusions, as the technology is still relatively recent.
The hybrid car, which could be described as a "classic" car since there is no special name behind it, is equipped with a combustion engine, diesel or petrol, and an electric motor that can provide the vehicle with independent traction. This motor is powered by a battery which is recharged mainly by the kinetic energy recovered during braking or deceleration. This is the only way to recharge the batteries, since you cannot plug the engine in.
This system generally allows you to drive a few kilometers in electric mode and is appreciated for its controlled consumption, especially in urban areas. Toyota is one of the pioneers in the sector and benefits from an already outdated technology. The Toyota Yaris is without doubt the best example we could give you in terms of "classic" hybrid cars, even if other models are available on the market. Renault is also coming up with two interesting offers on its Clio and Captur, both of which are now available as hybrids.
Hybrid cars: pros and cons
The number one advantage is obviously fuel consumption, especially in the city where, at low revs and during re-starts, the electric motor intervenes and takes over from the combustion engine. The other advantage is that you don't have to worry about recharging, which brings us to the number one disadvantage of a hybrid car: its short all-electric range, only a few kilometers depending on how you use it. The other disadvantage is the additional cost at the time of purchase, even though the difference between a conventional thermal and a conventional hybrid tends to be smaller.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is a segment that has been booming in recent years. It differs from the conventional hybrid in that it allows the user to plug in the vehicle to recharge the battery. The battery, which is larger than that of a "conventional" hybrid, also powers an electric motor and allows these vehicles to travel longer distances in electric mode since more energy can be stored in it.
At the time of this writing, the range of all-electric plug-in hybrids ranges from 40 to 60 kilometers, depending on the WLTP certification cycle, for the most part. Some high-end models, such as the new Mercedes GLE Plug-In Hybrid, achieve higher figures, with the latter being certified to 99 kilometers of range according to the WLTP standard.
Plug-in Hybrids: pros and cons
The advantage is the all-electric range, allowing regular short daily trips to be made without using the combustion engine. You don't necessarily have to worry about recharging either if you plan to make long journeys as there will always be the combustion engine to get back on top. On the other hand, the battery needs to be recharged regularly enough to be able to enjoy the benefits of a plug-in hybrid car.
On motorways, plug-in hybrids often consume more fuel than internal combustion vehicles.
Using a rechargeable hybrid car without ever recharging it, or only partially recharging it thanks to regeneration during braking, does not really make sense, especially on long motorway journeys, since the car will consume more fuel overall than a traditional combustion vehicle. Why is this? For the simple and good reason that once empty, the battery and the electric motor no longer assist the traction of the vehicle. It is therefore up to the internal combustion engine to take over and propel a heavier vehicle because of the additional components due to hybridization.
A heavier car means higher fuel consumption. This is particularly the case on motorways, where plug-in hybrids often consume more fuel than internal combustion vehicles, since their batteries run down at high speed and the combustion engine quickly takes over.
In fact, electric cars are much simpler to operate and maintain than thermal cars, and even simpler than hybrids. Here, there is no combustion engine, only an electric motor powered by a large battery that needs to be recharged regularly. Here too, the battery can be recharged via kinetic energy recovery, but this is not enough to recharge it in its entirety. Most electric cars today claim a range of around 300 to 400 kilometers, depending on the WLTP cycle. Here too, this range can varyaccording to use, just like the fuel consumption of a combustion engine car.
Electric cars: pros and cons
The undeniable advantage of an electric car is its driving pleasure, with a very appreciable operating silence in conventional use and vigorous acceleration thanks to instantly available torque. The advantage can also be financial in use since you will no longer need to go to the pump, but to recharge stations, where filling up with electronics is cheaper than a full tank of petrol.
Today, the main obstacle for electric vehicles is the occasional long journey, which can nowadays be complicated on certain routes, as the network in terms of charging stations is not yet optimal.
Some networks, such as Tesla's Supercharger network, allow electric cars to cross huge territories, without any particular problems. Unfortunately this network only applies to Tesla. Ionity is also setting up a rapid recharging network on motorways, but it will really be financially advantageous for the members of the consortium, namely Daimler, Ford, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen or Hyundai to name but a few, since the customers of these cars will be entitled to special pricing.
Finally, the use of an electric car must above all be determined by your needs. At least before it is imposed by the legislator for its announced virtues as being more environmentally friendly. If you only use your car for short daily journeys, you will certainly only see advantages over a combustion car. If you have to make long journeys, on the motorway for example, you will have to recharge more regularly as your electric car will consume more fuel.
Like internal combustion vehicles, some electric vehicles are better suited to long journeys, thanks in particular to their range, consumption and the network of charging stations. For the time being. Everything will therefore depend on your use and your budget.