EVs Versus PHEVs, Which Will Be Smarter To Own?...
Yes, I'm talking about electric and... electric cars. As many of you know, currently there are two rather different types of electric-powered cars, EV (Electric Vehicles) and PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle). I know what some of you may say, PHEVs are actually hybrids that still use fuel and deliver harmful emissions, right? Well, that's somewhat true, but most EVs aren't exactly emission-less either. They do not have tailpipe emissions, like PHEVs, but electricity has to come from somewhere, right?
Currently, a staggering 80%+ of the energy usage in the world comes from oil, coal and gas. So that's three rather major polluting fossil fuels, the majority of which are used to create the "clean" electric energy that will power up most EVs. PHEVs too, for that matter.
In order to have an idea of which has the most potential to take over ICE-powered cars, let's first take a look at the actual differences between the two types of electric vehicles. Both somewhat mainstream EVs and PHEVs first appeared over a century ago, with a number of Viennese Lohner-Porsches that were powered strictly by batteries.
Currently, EVs have three major disadvantages. They take forever to be charged, there's an obvious lack of charging stations around the world and their range is way too small. PHEVS on the other hand do not depend on having a charging station near you at all times, since they can create the electric energy on board, using the auxiliary ICE (Internal Combustion Engine).
Their main disadvantage relies on the fact that currently they're expensive as hell to manufacture. After all, they are cars using a completely new technology and have two engines on board, of which only one is used to actually power the wheels.
Given the present world situation and rate of battery technology development, I find it a bit unusual that almost everyone's attention is captivated by EVs instead of PHEVs. Let's take a look at two examples, since both vehicles are very near to their start of production.
The Nissan Leaf is an "old-school" electric car, which needs to be recharged in order to keep moving. The upcoming Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid vehicle, whose range doesn't necessarily depend on finding a power outlet for recharging its batteries.
Some would say that the price is the main detail to be considered when putting the two cars head to head. The Chevrolet Volt will cost $33,500 (with the $7,500 US federal tax included), so that's exactly $8,220 more than the Nissan Leaf. Quite a hefty amount of moolah, but you also get the freedom that comes with a 340 miles (547 kilometers) range instead of the 100 miles (160 km) the Nissan Leaf provides.
Not only that, but the cost difference between the two pretty much disappears considering the Volt can be yours in leasing with $350 a month/$2,500 down payment, while the Leaf is $349 a month with a $1,999 down payment. By the way, both cars have an eight years or 100,000 miles (162,000 km) battery warranty.
Other would argue that the Leaf will be much cheaper to run, since you can plug it in your own power outlet over night and only pay the electricity bills. Also, the Volt's range while not using a single drop of gasoline is only about 40 miles (64 km).
Both prior statements are correct, but let's look at them from a different perspective. According to some studies, the average American drives around 12,000 miles (about 19300 km) per year. That's about 1,000 miles (1600 km) per month, which in turn translates to about 250 miles (402 km) per week or approximately 40 miles (64 km) per day. What an odd coincidence, that's the same number of miles that you can drive the Volt and not using the gasoline ICE on board!
After that distance is covered (more or less, of course) or the Volt's battery level drops under 30%, the ICE kicks in to "manufacture" the electricity that powers the car on board. That will add another 300 miles (483 km) to the car's range, in case you want to use the Volt for more than just commuting to the office and back. Of course, in the future the internal combustion engines onboard PHEVs might become smaller, more efficient and use alternative, greener fuel.
So, with all this said, I would definitely choose a PHEV over en EV in the blink of an eye, but only after the last inline six, flat 6, V8, V10 or V12-powered cars would have left their factory. Of course, that's just me and I'm highly curious about your choice. Will you be an EV or a PHEV driver in the future?
comments written so far
Well, owning an EV, or the Leaf in our case, would mean being dependent on a charging infrastructure. An infrastructure which, here at least, is sublime and completely absent. Oh, and yes, most of us here (Eastern Europe, that is) live in apartment blocks, so running a cord from the street all the way to the 5th floor is not that appealing to me (because, you know, we'll wait until hell freezes over before we get ground level charging stations for every block).
Then there's the range and charging time. I'd hate to drive around with my eyes stuck to the battery level indicator, maybe just as much as being forced to wait around for hours before the battery gets its mojo back.
The Ampera is a power station on wheels, so it pretty much eliminates these fears of mine. And when it will indeed need charging, I'll charge it from one of the stations Nissan is so badly trying to install.
Personally I don't like contributing to terrorists, unlike Alex Oagana, as much as possible. So "but only after the last inline six, flat 6, V8, V10 or V12-powered cars would have left their factory." is out of the question.
Also, like an average American family, we have more than one ICE car already in the household. All I need to do it to replace one of the ICE cars with the Leaf. 350 days a year the range of Leaf will be sufficient for me. For longer trips - which I always do with my family - we will take our other ICE.
If I had only one car in the family, I'd buy Volt.
Yes, and that is a beautiful description of an engine. Forget PH/EV's, every time we turn around there's another oil discovery; enough to get us through until LENR's become reality.
At that point it will be better to drive a PH/EV, and not before!
Constant explosions... I love it
Just hint on the pollution from getting the batteries charged on any EV or PHEV
If the energy comes from hydroelectric, solar , from nuclear power it will be low.
But when it comes from Coal driven powerplants its is a different story. And for some reason there is a myth that coal powerplant is so effective that it is better to run the car on that power than gasoline
The CO2 a coal powerplant produces pr KWh is high.
some examples this is Grams pr KWh
Coal = 800 to 1050
Natural gas (combined cycle) = 430 (average)
Nuclear = 6
Hydroelectric = 4
Wood = 1500 without planting other biomass
Photovolta?c solar = 60 to 150
Wind Power = 3 to 22
running on Coal power
if you do the math a EV or PHEV running on coal powered batteries the total Co2 closer to 400-500g/Km minimum(modest number)
(nissan leaf ,90KW battery and range of 160km...)
A BMW X5 with a gasoline v8 has CO2 292g/KM .offcourse you will have to add the Total CO2 cost for gasoline (Footprint co2 from drilling ,pumping, refining, deliverey) but still it will be lower or near equal.
Who would belive that a Nissan Leaf can polute the same as SUV with a big v8 engine .-)
Ok it is a statement on the limit , but You get the picture right ?
This will fire up any EV fanatic. but it is simple math.
And better batteries does not help in this picture
And sure You can do math to your own benefit. and prettier pictures ,but bottom point is that EV IS NOT zero CO2.
And it is a valid point when comparing since the Co2 will a sigificant number however you calculate it
zero local co2 does not help aslong You polute globaly.
Im not saying not go green or EV, just think the bigger picture. I think it is good for devlopement of new tech , grener driving and finding alterantive fules
and if You really want to get in trouble You cant go on a week of biking (pedals) and eat Steak and fries every day and then caluclate your carbon footprint(totalt co2 from making food to the cow to you) and you would pollute the same or more as a VW polo or ford fiesta on the same distance :-)
CO2 is an complex peace of math and condtitions..