If you’re the environmentally conscious sort, or if you’d just like to cut your fuel budget, switching to a partially or wholly-electric vehicle could be a great way to take the strain off the planet and your wallet.
But which one to pick? It’ll largely depend on a few factors, namely your budget, your preferred features and the infrastructure around you. Each configuration is also serviced by a number of different brands, with names such as Toyota and Lexus dominating the hybrid market, and Nissan,BMW and Tesla both being big players in the pure electric vehicle market. Let the A Grade Automotive Network highlight the differences and help you find the perfect eco-friendly vehicle for you.
Different charging methods
Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids are united by one design feature – the presence of a battery. But how they charge it and how they use it are very different. EVs are the simplest in operation – they function similar to your phone, and once the battery is depleted, it shuts down.
Hybrids are a slightly more complicated system, using both an internal combustion engine and an electric propulsion system. In this case, the electric propulsion system plays a supporting role in the operation of the vehicle – most of the power for the car still comes from the internal combustion engine, and the electric propulsion system is used to offset and reduce fuel consumption. This is achieved by features such as shutting down the internal combustion engine during idling and restarting it when needed, or only engaging the internal combustion engine at highway speeds and relying on the electric propulsion system at lower speeds.
Your emissions bill
What does all of this mean for your environmental impact? As hybrid cars burn fuel, they do create emissions, but just not as much as conventional cars. Assuming an average of 2.4 kg of carbon dioxide per litre of petrol, the enhanced fuel efficiency provided by the electric propulsion system cuts carbon dioxide emissions by as much as a third over that of a conventional car.
Electric vehicles make a complete break with fuel-burning engines, so the only emissions created are those used in the burning of coal and natural gas as part of feeding power to the electricity grid and ultimately to your car.
Whichever you choose, you need to be aware of the unique servicing needs of your electric or hybrid vehicle. A hybrid car still requires the normal servicing of an internal combustion engine as well as the required maintenance for the electric propulsion aspect. With an EV, there are no engine oils and filters, but the rest of the vehicle still needs to be inspected and serviced- brakes, steering, suspension and lights. Speak to the experts at your nearest AGAN member business and get the help you need.