At this point, it is safe to say that we’ve all heard of electric and hybrid cars.
Talking about E-mobility
We see them in advertisements, in parking lots, on the highway, and maybe some of you even own one already. But what about the subtypes of electric vehicles and how they compare in terms of range and cost, and what brands are there? Let’s get deeper into this topic – if electric vehicles are the future, we ought to gain a better understanding of them.
To start off, we should briefly understand why electric vehicles are booming. They have become a hot topic due to their claimed benefits for the climate and are increasingly popular globally. Advantages include lower emissions and better fuel efficiency, leading to enhanced sustainability and lower costs.
A Rough Start
Naturally, with any kind of new technology and trend, the market supply will be limited at first. On the one hand, only few car manufacturers initially offered electric vehicles to their consumers. On the other hand, options for those owning electric vehicles were limited – from charging stations to the distances these vehicles can go. This limitation in offers also brought along a higher price range, which may still influence the public perception of these cars nowadays. However, both due to government subsidies and to increasing supply of electric cars, it is no longer something reserved for people with high incomes.
Focus: Hybrid Cars
Hybrid cars are, as you can infer from the name, powered by both an electric motor and a combustion engine, the latter often being smaller compared to traditional cars. Among its advantages are tax benefits, less emissions and better fuel economy. But while hybrid cars may seem like one distinct car type, there are different subcategories, namely plug-in hybrids, full hybrids and mild hybrids.
Briefly put, mild hybrids have a small electric motor and a combustion engine, which helps to reduce the fuel consumption and improves the overall efficiency. What’s also interesting is that they receive charge via the combustion engine and through regenerative braking rather than being plugged in, and they are well-suited for larger journeys. Examples of mild hybrid cars include several Audi S models, the MHEV versions of the Mazda 2 and 3, and the Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID.
Full hybrids are similar to mild hybrids in their engine and electrical part, and the batteries are also recharged through generative braking, but the full hybrids have a much stronger electric component. In fact, a full hybrid can typically work using only its electric power, at least over certain distances. Examples of this specific type are Toyota Prius, Peugeot 508 RXH HYbrid4 and Ford models like Escape Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid.
The Hybrid Hypocrisy, a case of greenwashing?
Plug-in hybrids, on the other hand, are not limited to internal equipment for charging, but can also be plugged into an external main. Like the full hybrids, the plug-in hybrids can also solely run in the electric mode. Cars that are plug-in hybrids include Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid, and Jeep Wrangler 4xe.
Focus: Electric Cars
Now moving onto electric vehicles, their main characteristics are that they take electricity from the grid and are plugged in to recharge the batteries, which power the electric motor -no combustion engine. With regard to the range of electric cars, this heavily depends on the battery size. This, of course, is another key consideration when deciding if or which electric car is the right fit. Will you need it mostly in an urban area where there is a solid network of charging stations? Or do you plan to use it for longer trips, in areas with less infrastructure and fewer charging possibilities?
Thus, when using some type of electric or hybrid car in real life, you may question how practical they truly are in terms of the charging networks and the duration of charging, and rightfully so. Moreover, installing your own charger at home may also be infeasible due to costs or logistical circumstances.
Comparisons of Electric Cars
Since there can be limitations to the charging options of electric vehicles, it’s useful to draw comparisons between different brands and models to better understand our options. Based on this information, you can make better decisions depending on your mobility needs.
Auto Express listed the top ten longest range electric cars in 2022, which you can find here. As the top three, they found the Mercedes EQS (485 miles), Mercedes EQE (410 miles), and Tesla Model S (405 miles). Naturally, the various options also differ in terms of the luxury, design, speed, comfort and technology. For more in-depth information and comparisons on all-electric cars, especially in the U.S., you can keep reading here. With the help of this overview, you can also get a feel for the price range of current electric cars. As you can see, there are countless options with different prices and ranges – keep this in mind for your next purchase! Also, maintenance costs and fuel prices should also play a role in your cost estimations.
As a sidenote, let’s still remember that while buying an electric or hybrid car means lower emissions, there is still a long supply chain involved in the process of manufacturing the car in the first place, causing waste and emissions. So, the first question should always be whether you need to own a car yourself. There are many alternatives such as public transport, renting/sharing, among others, which enable your mobility without having to buy your own car.
With that being said, we are curious to know…
- Do you own an electric or hybrid car? Which model do you have and how is your range?
- What would be the key factors in your next car purchasing decisions?
- How is the charging situation where you live?
- What’s your favorite brand of electric or hybrid cars and why?
- Pixabay at Pexel
I really liked this article and I agree.. We don’t necessarily all need to own cars. I love in Berlin and get along fine with public transport
Thank you, Anna!… Yes, the better the public transport, the fewer private vehicles we will need
in my city it seems there are many charging stations, although I haven’t needed them because I don’t own a car. But a friend of mine drives an electric car and she is very happ with it!
TBH, for me, the price is still a major decision point for me. But I care about sustainability too, and my government subsidizes electric and hybrid cars so I plan on making my next car purchase greener 💚
That’s all well and good, however, you may have other options such as -for example- using public transport or carpooling -instead of travelling alone
well explained article, thanks! I am not very good with cars but it’s important to know about these basics I think