Battle of the electrics

With the global carbon emissions for 2019 matching that of 2018 (which were the highest ever recorded in human history), a cause for necessary change has fallen upon the motoring industry. Although it may not be the next few years or even in this decade, never the less a ban on the conventional petrol and diesel run cars will eventually happen, and this will mean consumers educating themselves on the newer available options for the cars of the future. Figures are already emerging showing an increase in the sale of hybrid, plug in hybrid and even electric battery powered cars in the U.K.

With trends of electric vehicles taking over the market, drivers are now increasingly looking to find the best option to suit their needs. Detailed below you’ll find a simple guide of the various options manufacturers are selling to help explain vehicles of the future.

Beginning with the current most popular choice among consumers – The Hybrid!

Although there are various types of hybrid’s available, a simple way of understanding the mechanics behind it is to remember that the term ‘hybrid’ literally means a combination of two, therefore when it comes to the hybrid, these vehicles use two different power sources to create motion. The two sources are generally petrol and electricity, or diesel and electricity.  The current three types of hybrids available are the following;

A full hybrid- these will run on just the combustion engine (petrol/diesel) or just the electric engine, and the battery of the car is charged when running the combustion engine.

A mild hybrid- these vehicles have an electric motor as well as a combustion engine that continuously work together.

A Plug-In- Hybrid- as is written in the name, these vehicles require to be plugged in to charge the battery and can run in just the electric mode.


The next up and coming environmentally friendly vehicle are the battery electric vehicles (BEV). These, as the name suggests are fully electric vehicles that run using re-chargeable batteries. As there is no combustion engine these BEV’s do not release any harmful emissions and therefore are fast becoming popular among car manufacturers, with examples such as the new Honda – e soon to be released this year!


The last type of vehicle that is still not as popular as the hybrid but slowly and surely making its way into the market is fuel cell powered vehicles (FCEV). In the simplest way, fuel cell powered motors can be thought of as a mixture between a combustion engine and battery power. Similar to the way an internal combustion creates power using the fuel in the tank, instead of being gasoline or diesel, a fuel cell vehicle has pressurised hydrogen gas in the tank. Instead of burning this fuel the hydrogen is fused chemically with oxygen in the air to produce water. During this process electricity is released and used to power the electric vehicle. Apart from the waste product of water, fuel cells as batteries never truly run flat and simply slowly deplete the chemicals inside them just like a normal battery. These vehicles will continue to run on a steady supply of hydrogen and continue to create electricity as long as there is fuel (hydrogen) in the tank.


With these options in mind, consumers now need to begin to educate themselves and decide on what route best suites them, their lifestyle, and their family needs.


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