How Inadequate Charging Infrastructure May Make Hybrids a Better Option than Electric Cars?

How Inadequate Charging Infrastructure May Make Hybrids a Better Option than Electric Cars?

Published Nov 22 



Before we move to the various advantages of hybrid electric cars, let’s first understand their mechanism. A hybrid vehicle comprises both the internal combustion engine and electric motor. The batteries provide power to the motor, facilitating the rotation of the wheels either on their own or by supplementing the engine while accelerating.

The main components of HEVs are the engine, battery pack with controller and inverter, electric motor, control module, and fuel tank. The fuel tank delivers energy to the car’s transmission, like in conventional fuel vehicles, while the batteries provide electric charge to the motor. The transmission can be provided by both an electric motor and an engine at the same time.


Why Is It Hybrid before Electric?


Since hybrid electric cars are a stepping stone for the complete transformation of conventional fuel vehicles to fully electrified vehicles, they have already been experiencing road traction for years in emerging as well as advanced economies. This trend might continue for a long time as it could take long to build the infrastructure to charge EVs.


Moreover, residents can experience the advantages of both conventional fuel and battery cars with hybrid models, as it will allow them to adjust themselves to the new transmission technology before adopting fully electrified cars.


Moreover, electric cars cannot keep up with conventional vehicles due to their shorter driving range, expensive batteries, and high prices of the vehicles themselves, apart from the inadequacy of charging stations. In such a case, hybrid vehicles become a solution due to the integration of both an internal combustion system and an electric drive system. This means that hybrids also consume less fuel than conventional vehicles and run faster and longer than the fully electric cars.


Moreover, the electric motor of hybrid vehicles either supports or replaces the internal combustion engine, usually when it becomes inefficient in certain situations, or improves the performance.


It might sound fascinating that hybrid vehicles generate energy themselves to charge the batteries as they are driven. In addition, the electric motor also serves as a generator. In simpler words, when the vehicle is braked, the kinetic energy gets converted back to electrical energy, in a process known as recuperation. Moreover, in hybrid cars, the internal combustion engine is also connected to the alternator, thus serving as a generator.


What Global Statistics Say in the Hybrid vs Electric Debate?


Because of all such advantages, hybrid electric vehicle continue to gain ground with the steady electrification of passenger cars. For instance, as per the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, they held a 25.1% share of the total car sales in Europe, with 563,030 units bought, from January to March 2022.


Leaders of the automotive industry argue that the infrastructure in most countries is still not ready for fully electrified vehicles due to the inadequacy of charging stations, and hence, give their support to hybrid vehicles, which comprise both the battery and fuel engine technologies. For instance, for the more than 270 million automobiles, the U.S. has almost 150,000 fuel stations and only about 46,000 EV charging stations.


Therefore, hybrid electric cars might still be a better option in the short run despite the subsidies governments are offering on full electrics, due to the inadequate charging infrastructure and hybrids’ lower fuel consumption, which results in fewer emissions compared to conventional fuel vehicles.

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