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EV choices: Hybrid or electric?

EV choices: Hybrid or electric?

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With the mass arrival of both hybrid and BEVs (battery electric vehicles) in our country, motorists must decide whether to go for a hybrid or a BEV once they are fully convinced to switch from their conventional ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, to a hybrid or a BEV.

The next decision point is whether to get a hybrid or a BEV. A few years back, you always hear of range anxiety when it comes to BEVs. But because of the progressive improvement in battery range and capacity, range anxiety is slowly becoming a thing of the past. It is not unusual for newly launched BEVs to have a battery range of 500km or even up to 1,000km! At this point, getting a hybrid or a BEV depends on the needs of the motorist.

The conservative approach is to go hybrid. With a hybrid vehicle, you eliminate the fear of range anxiety while saving on fuel and lessening air pollution. You can run your hybrid vehicle on electric mode, recharge your batteries while braking, and when your batteries run out, you can switch power to your gasoline engine. There is also such a thing as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). You can charge the batteries of your PHEV just like the normal BEV and have two power sources in your hybrid vehicle. If range anxiety is still a concern, then a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid is the right choice for those who want to save on fuel and still contribute to a cleaner environment.

With the obvious lack of charging stations in our country, does it still make sense to own a BEV? Yes, it does! It all boils down to the needs of a BEV owner. With new BEV models being launched left and right, with battery ranges from 150 up to 1,000 km, who needs a charging station? BEVs can be charged at home or in the office while you are working. With level 2 charging equipment, you can charge your batteries to 80 percent within 4 to 8 hours depending on the size of your battery. Level 2 portable EV chargers are available in the market today and it does not cost an arm and a leg to own one. And you can bring this charger wherever you go just in case you need to recharge your batteries.

Imagine this. You own a BEV with a range of 500km. With your BEV is your portable level 2 EV charger. Wanting to find out what your BEV can do, you decide to bring your family for a weekend vacation in Baguio which is around 225 km from Manila. Strictly speaking you can go roundtrip Manila- Baguio- Manila with your battery range of 500km. But 500-km battery range is based on ideal driving conditions. Considering the traffic conditions along the way and the road conditions going up to Baguio, the efficiency of your battery is reduced by 30percent. This means that your battery is still good for 350km, while your destination is 225km away. You left Manila late in the afternoon and arrived Baguio in the evening. Upon arrival, you bring out your level 2 portable charger and charge you BEV overnight. The following day, you have, at least, 400 km of battery range- more than enough to bring you around Baguio the whole day. After a day of touring the city, you charge again your BEV overnight and after checking out late in the morning, your BEV is ready for its return trip to Manila with a fresh charge of 500 km. With a battery range of 500 km and the availability of a portable level 2 charger, owning a BEV makes a lot of sense. You have more than enough juice to go from home to office and back, or even take your BEV on a long drive for an out-of-town vacation during long weekends.

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But if we are to transition from ICE to BEV, we need a well-planned, strategically located fast-charging infrastructure. Yes, the availability of extended battery range in more recent EV introductions have somewhat erased the fear of range anxiety but the presence of strategically located charging stations will inspire more motorists to switch to BEVs.

But whatever one’s choice is, whether hybrid or electric, our environment will always win!