Our latest blog explains the difference between conventional, hybrids and electric cars, read on to find out more…
The popularity of hybrids is on the increase and the future of electric cars is fast approaching, but what exactly is the difference between all of the alternative fuel vehicles which are available today? We’ve gathered the top types below explaining the main differences, pros and cons.
These are the most popular types of cars that we currently see on the road today. A conventional car is a car which uses an internal combustion engine for power without any assistance from an electric motor or other mechanism. A conventional car operates on a variety of fuels and most cars today will run on either petrol or diesel gasolines.
Pros: greater mileage range presently, greater range of available makes and models, more cost-effective to purchase
Cons: higher fuel, running costs and road tax, releasing toxic emissions and greenhouse emissions into the environment
In a hybrid car, also known as a HEV, both the electric motor and combustion engine work together to provide forward motion. Usually in a HEV it starts off using the electric motor, then as the load or the speed of the car increases, the gasoline engine starts.
The combustion engine is also used to recharge the cars batteries. The term ‘regenerative braking’ is widely seen and is a process where the electric motor helps to slow down the car and uses some of the energy which is normally converted to heat by the brakes.
Pros: lower CO2 emissions, no road tax (emit less than 100g/km of CO2)
Cons: offers less electric range than a PHEV
Coming soon to Pulman: to be announced.
Plug-in hybrids, also more commonly known as PHEVs, are cars which can be plugged in to charge its batteries. A PHEV is built the same way as a hybrid featuring an electric motor (supplied by a battery pack) and a combustion engine. The difference between a PHEV and a hybrid vehicle is that a PHEV offers a greater electric range until the combustion engine needs to kick in. The electric motor powers the car for some of its journey and in some instances the full journey, if it’s a short one; once this power runs out the combustion engine starts to run too.
A PHEV can be charged through both regenerative brake (as explained under the hybrid section) and plug in charges; a conventional three pin plug, a wall charger or a fast charger. A wall charger usually takes between 6 and 8 hours so this option would be best overnight at home or if your place of work offers this option, during work hours. Fast chargers which are becoming increasingly popular, can charge the battery to 80% in around 3 to 4 hours. Rapid chargers which are starting to be introduced more commonly at service stations can charge the battery to 80% charge in around 30 to 45 minutes.
Pros: lower CO2 emissions, increased fuel economy, greater electric range than a hybrid, no road tax (emit less than 100g/km of CO2)
Cons: can be slightly higher priced than a hybrid due to the larger battery size
Coming soon to Pulman: Volkswagen Passat GTE, CUPRA Formentor, SEAT Tarraco PHEV, SKODA Superb iV
A fully electric car is what it says on the tin; its forward motion is provided by an electric motor with no gasoline engine. The car must be plugged in to a socket to recharge its batteries, if not, the car will not run once the battery loses its charge. Sometimes you may see electric vehicles written as EV or Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV).
Many of the fully electric cars which are currently on the UK roads offer ranges of over 160 miles on a single charge, this will only increase in time as the technology develops for future electric cars. As electric cars are on the rise, there are more charging points being installed. As of 18th September there were 9,578 locations in the UK with charging points (Zap-Map).
Like the plug-in hybrid, there are three ways to charge fully electric cars. The first is from a standard household (120v) outlet which can take around 8 hours to charge. You usually find these at home or at your workplace. The next charging outlet provides 240v which can take up to 4 hours to charge; again, these can be found at your workplace or public charging stations. Finally, DC fast charging is currently the fastest charging solution on the market which can be found at dedicated charging stations at some supermarkets and service stations on the motorway; the battery can be charged to 80% in around 30 minutes.
Pros: do not emit any harmful emissions, cost-effective to run, pay no road tax
Cons: higher priced than hybrid and plug-in hybrids
Available models from Pulman: Volkswagen e-Golf