What are the differences between electric and hybrid vehicles?
- The key difference between hybrid and all-EVs is in the sources of fuel and locomotion available to them.
- Hybrid vehicles have two sources available to them— a battery that powers an electric motor and a fuel tank that powers a normal petrol engine.
- Once the battery is depleted, the hybrid car switches over to the petrol engine, which then functions like any other normal car engine.
Electric vehicle (EV):
- An all-EV does not have this advantage. Once its battery is depleted, it has no backup source of fuel.
- However, electric cars have the benefit of larger batteries since they do not have to share space with a petrol engine or fuel tank.
- So, typically, an EV can travel a much longer distance than a hybrid car running on its battery.
How do you refuel them?
- A normal plug-in hybrid vehicle can be refuelled by plugging the car into a wall socket or a charging point, and refilling the petrol tank.
- However, there are some hybrid variants that can recharge the electric battery through a technology called regenerative braking, where the vehicle converts the force of the car when it breaks into electrical energy.
- In these models, only the fuel tank needs to be filled.
- All EVs need to be charged from a charging point. Charging time depends on the size of the battery and the source of electricity.
- A DC charging point can fully charge a car battery in a fraction of the time taken using an AC charging point, which is 6-8 hours.
- The main difference is in their tax treatment under the Goods and Services Tax. While EVs are taxed at 12%, hybrid vehicles are taxed on par with the luxury vehicles at 28% plus 15% cess.
Improvement in battery life:
- Typically, the battery can power the electric motor for only about 60-70 km, but there are constant improvements being made in the efficiency and capacity of lithium-ion batteries.
- And so, this is expected to improve as more carmakers choose to roll out hybrid or electric variants.