Electric vs Plug In Hybrid Cars Which Is Greener?


electric versus plug-in hybrid cars which is greener depending on the driving you do a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle phev can be more environmentally friendly than a gasoline-powered vehicle and sometimes more than a battery electric vehicle bev or just ev but the reverse is also true in most instances a plug-in hybrid is less environmentally friendly than an ev and in many instances worse than the gasoline vehicles it was meant to replace in the coming years there will be less and less of an incentive to buy a phev for either its convenience or its price charging convenience one of the main reasons people choose plug-in hybrids over evs is the fact that hybrids usually have a greater range potential buyers may want to reduce their carbon footprint but they also want the convenience of being able to easily refuel their vehicle on a road trip currently charging infrastructure for electric vehicles can be spotty leaving potential ev drivers with worries that they won’t be able to get from point a to point b while tesla has installed a network of over 1 000 supercharger locations in the united states and over 25 000 stations worldwide currently only tesla vehicles can use them that situation is soon about to change however ceo elon musk recently announced that tesla will gradually open up its network to other vehicles in 2021 and the us government has plans to rapidly install an ev charging network of 500 000 charging stations with the political will this can be done quickly in the month of december 2020 china installed 112 000 ev charging stations more than existed in the entire united states at the time what about plug less hybrids this article does not consider plug less hybrid electric vehicles hevs while they have greater fuel efficiency and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles they are essentially that more efficient gasoline-powered vehicles since their batteries cannot be charged from an electric outlet the case for the environmental superiority of electric vehicles over all gasoline-powered vehicles is quite clear over the entire life cycle of a vehicle from raw materials to final disposal driving an ev produces fewer pollutants and less greenhouse gas emissions than a comparable gasoline vehicle only in a few regions around the world today in places where the vast majority of electricity is generated by coal do hevs produce fewer lifetime emissions than evs but this applies to no more than five percent of the world’s transport environmental benefits under almost all circumstances driving an electric vehicle is more environmentally beneficial than driving a plug-in hybrid while electric vehicles provide the highest co-benefits of any vehicles in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions across the united states in specific regions phevs provide greater environmental benefits than both gas-powered and electric vehicles this depends on two main factors the amount of fossil fuel burned in order to produce the electricity that charges evs and the type of driving that a phev owner does in short the dirtier the electricity the less environmental advantage electricity has over gasoline or as one study stated in the inverse the more the electricity sector is decarbonized the greater the benefit of electrifying passenger vehicles driving habits also matter the batteries of 2021 model plug-in hybrids have an average range of 29 miles according to the us epa’s fuel economy guide model year 2021.

run the battery down or run it at high speeds and a phev runs on gasoline and its emissions increase correspondingly a 2020 study from the international council on clean transportation icct found that the majority of miles driven in a phev is not city driving but extra urban driving where the gasoline engine is more often used moreover the same study found that phev owners do not charge their vehicles often enough to take advantage of their greater fuel efficiency as a result in real-world driving fev’s electric motors are used for only half the amount of time that they are assumed to run their co2 emissions are thus two to four times higher than they are approved for by regulators a separate 2020 study from transport and environment finding similar disparities also determined that because phevs are heavier than gasoline cars they consume more fuel julia poliskinova a researcher at transport and environment concluded that from the perspective of environment and climate today’s plug-in hybrid technology is worse than what it is replacing the dilemma for potential plug-in hybrid buyers is that they want to reduce their carbon footprint while retaining the ability to drive longer distances than an ev allows on a single charge but it’s precisely long-distance driving that reduces the environmental benefits of plug-in hybrids financial considerations in making green purchasing decisions people also frequently have to weigh the environmental benefits against the potentially higher financial costs the more expensive the purchase the more those financial concerns can win out over environmental ones so if evs are greener do they come at a higher financial cost depending on the use case a plug-in hybrid can be more economical to own than an electric vehicle or vice versa that is likely to change in the future since the current reasons for preferring a phev are areas where evs are improving the fastest according to a 2021 study from the u.s department of energy’s argonne national laboratory maintenance costs of an electric vehicle are lower than a plug-in hybrid 0.061 dollars per mile for an evee versus 0.090 for a phev the latter being closer in price to vehicles solely powered by gasoline at 0.

101 than to an ev which makes sense considering that phevs still have internal combustion engines and battery technology that need to be maintained the study also determined that an ev had on average better fuel economy than a phev the equivalent of 91.9 miles per gallon for an ev compared to 62.96 mpg for a phev yet because of the higher purchasing cost of evs due largely to the price of their batteries the study concluded that phevs on average have a lower total cost of ownership than electric vehicles once again however much of this depends on driving habits as noted phevs are driven on gasoline in real world studies far more often than has been previously estimated this increases their fuel costs which are already more than double those of an ev according to the epa’s fuel economy guide model year 2021 the average annual estimated fuel cost of a 2021 model ev was 667 dollars and 50 cents while that of a phev was 1481.73 by comparison a 2021 model gasoline car owner spends an average of 2077.2 cents per year on fuel electricity is also far cheaper than gasoline in august 2021 the average price of a gallon of gas was three dollars and eighteen cents while the price of an equivalent amount of electricity was one dollar and sixteen cents and as the icct study cited above observed phevs real fuel consumption is two to three times higher than the test cycle values the epa’s average annual fuel costs for phevs may be underestimated outlook for the future colin mccarricher the lead author of bloomberg new energy finance bnef s electric vehicle outlook 2021 states that plug-in hybrids more and more look like a compliance strategy which has allowed automakers to comply with emission standards set by the european union as electric vehicles increasingly become the focus of auto manufacturers and as emission standards are toughened phevs could be phased out as too expensive and unable to compete with cleaner and lower cost evs because they have two fuel sources and two modes of propulsion they can never be cheaper on an upfront basis than gasoline vehicles and can never proportionally profit as much from the continued drop in lithium-ion battery prices as evs can once electric vehicles reach price parity with both phevs and fossil fuel vehicles and one cv charging infrastructure is built out enough to make car buyers comfortable it is likely that phevs will increasingly appear as a necessary but transitory shift to a cleaner greener driving technology some automakers have already seen the writing on the showroom walls in 2019 facing declining sales in phevs volkswagen and general motors announced plans to cut their development of phevs and turn their attention to evs in 2021 ford announced that it would sell only evs and phevs in europe by 2026 and phase out phevs by 2030.

Electric vs Plug In Hybrid Cars  Which Is Greener?

it seems increasingly clear that the future of transportation is fully electric in the most mature electric vehicle markets such as california and norway where robust charging networks and government incentives exist that future is already here how soon that future comes to you may depend on where you live.

What do you think?

Written by minimarque

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