• Difference Between Electric and Hybrid Cars

    There are various types of cars available in the market to cater to the varying needs of the customers. From luxury sedans and compact SUVs to hatchbacks and MUVs, you can choose a car that will suit the needs of you and your family. Every year, there are new models of cars launched by the top carmakers in the automotive industry. Given the government's concern over the air pollution in the capital city of the country, the automotive industry is gradually transitioning from petrol and diesel cars to hybrid and electric cars.

    The toxic emissions from cars that run on petrol and diesel are harmful to the human body. Therefore, to reduce the toxic gas emission and protect the environment, the Indian government has proposed to phase out petrol and diesel cars, and have an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030. The government offers subsidies to customers who purchase electric cars. In an effort to facilitate this ambitious target set by the government, many auto manufacturing companies have invested in the production of hybrid and electric cars. You can also choose to be environmentally-friendly and purchase an eco-friendly car like a hybrid or an all-electric car.

    Electric Cars in India

    Although electric cars have been in the market since the 20th century, there has been a need for several improvements in order to make it mainstream like petrol and diesel cars. The electric cars that are produced now have no tailpipe emissions, look stylish, are easier to operate, and require low maintenance. Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) run on electric motors. PEVs are energised by rechargeable batteries which can be charged by plugging it at home or a private/public charging station. Electric motors in PEVs give the cars instant torque to create a smooth and strong acceleration.

    Plug-in Hybrid Cars in India

    Hybrid cars are those that are powered by a petrol-electric powertrain wherein the car is propelled by electricity as well as petrol. Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) use both gas engine and rechargeable batteries. The car can be plugged in at home using cables to recharge the battery. A plug-in hybrid vehicle offers more fuel-economy than a standard hybrid vehicle. Yes, a plug-in hybrid car can run solely on gasoline or electricity. However, to get maximum fuel economy, the rechargeable battery has to be fully charged. PHEVs use an electric motor to turn their wheels. The car will run on electricity until the battery drains out. Once the battery needs recharging, the gasoline engine will start and generate electricity to power the electric motor. For short distances, the car may not require gasoline.

    There are different models of PHEVs with varying battery capacities. The 2 types of plug-in hybrid vehicles in the market are Parallel or Blended Plug-in Hybrids and Series Plug-in Hybrids. In the parallel plug-in hybrid car model, the gasoline engine and the electric motor are connected to the car wheels. The electric-only option is reserved for low speeds. In the series plug-in hybrid cars, the electric motor turns the wheels. Only when the battery needs recharging will the gasoline engine kick in and generate electricity for the electric motor. This type of plug-in hybrid vehicles is also known as Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs).

    Top 8 Difference between Electric and Plug-in Hybrid cars

    To help you choose between an all-electric and a plug-in hybrid car, here is a list of the basic differences between the 2 types of cars:

    Electric cars Plug-in hybrid cars
    Electric cars don’t have gasoline engines, they are fully-electric with just rechargeable batteries to power the electric motor. The electric motor of a plug-in hybrid car is powered by both a rechargeable battery and a gasoline engine.
    Once the battery runs out of charge, there is no back-up gasoline engine to power the electric motor in a fully-electric car. Once the battery needs recharging, the gasoline engine kicks in and powers the electric motor in a PHEV.
    As there is more room for batteries in an all-electric car, it offers a longer electric-only range compared to a plug-in hybrid car. The electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery in a plug-in hybrid car offers only 30-40 miles, approximately.
    You can minimise your carbon footprint more efficiently with electric cars as they don’t use fuel. Plug-in hybrid cars aren’t as environmentally friendly as full-electric cars.
    You can save more money on fuel costs when driving an electric car compared to a hybrid car. Once the battery has run of out of charge, you will need petrol or diesel to power the electric motor in a hybrid car. Therefore, you save comparatively less money on fuel costs.
    The total range of an electric car is approximately 60 to 70 miles which is less than a hybrid car. Plug-in hybrid cars can travel approximately 30 to 40 miles on a battery-powered electric motor and additional 200 to 300 miles on gasoline.
    Electric cars are ideal for traveling short distances. Plug-in hybrid cars are ideal for traveling long distances.
    Electric cars push for the need to bring down the cost of batteries. Plug-in hybrid cars drive the need for building several public and private charging stations across the country.

    In conclusion, there are advantages and disadvantages to driving an all-electric car and a plug-in hybrid car. Therefore, choose a car that is best suited to the driving needs of you and your family.

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