The auto industry is seeing the arrival of many eco-friendly vehicles, with record-breaking sales each year. With so many hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, you’ve got plenty of options to drive greener. But what’s the difference between EVs, PHEVs and hybrid? Read on to find out how these eco-friendly cars differ.
Hybrid Vehicles: A Slightly Greener Step
Hybrid vehicles combine gasoline and electricity. Battery powered, they have both a gasoline engine and an electric motor.
Hybrids run purely on electric power only during start-up and at lower speeds. Then at higher speeds, the gas engine kicks in. Once this happens, the engine sends power to a generator that recharges the electric motor battery. This helps reduce fuel consumption.
Additionally, while braking and coasting the systems takes the energy from the turning wheels and brakes, and converts it into electrical energy. The battery then stores this energy for future use.
From a general performance point of view, hybrid vehicles are similar to the traditional internal combustion engine vehicle. The main difference is that they reduce fuel consumption from the energy that is generated at lower speeds and while braking.
Hybrid vehicles are a first step towards reducing fuel consumption and therefore considered a more environmentally friendly car.
Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs): The Best of Both Worlds
Plug-in hybrids have two engines: one for gasoline and another for electricity. Just like the name, they can be plugged-in to recharge the electric battery. They can also be refilled at a normal gas station. PHEVs can run purely on electricity over short distances without using gasoline. Then the gas engine kicks in once all the electric power has been used.
A logical evolution of the hybrid vehicle, the plug-in hybrid compromises between gasoline and electricity, making it a greener choice.
Electric Vehicles (EVs): The Greenest Option
With more electric vehicles arriving on the market every year, they’re considered the greenest option available. This is because they emit zero carbon emissions and don’t require any gasoline for fuel. Electric cars have a single engine: an electric motor powered by a battery, charged fully by electricity.
Automakers and scientists are constantly innovating to improve electric vehicles and their batteries. EVs currently offer an average range around 183 km (114 mi). This is plenty for most day to day trips, as Canadians drive on average 60 km or less per day.
Driving a green vehicle is one thing you can do today to reduce your carbon footprint. With plenty of options available on the market, there’s something to suit everyone’s preferences. Now you know more about the differences between EVs, PHEVs and hybrids.
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