A Car Comparison of the Different Types of Eco-Friendly Vehicles
Today, consumers have more options than ever when it comes to purchasing eco-friendly vehicles. However, with such an overwhelming market, we know you must have more than a few questions. Below we’re going to break down some of the available options, but don’t hesitate to contact us and speak to a car buying consultant to determine the best fit for you!
When it comes to eco-friendly cars, hybrids have become a staple for consumers looking to save money on gas and wanting to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the most well-known and recognizable hybrids on the market today is the Toyota Prius, but there are certainly other high-quality options available like the Honda Accord Hybrid or the Ford Fusion Hybrid. These cars are unique because they use a gasoline engine and an electric motor.
However, it’s important to note that the electric battery isn’t charged by simply plugging it in like other electric vehicles (discussed below). Instead, the battery is charged by capturing kinetic energy produced from actions like braking. This energy is stored and can be used independently of the gasoline-powered engine or alongside it depending on how much power the vehicle requires for any given action (like passing another car on the highway). In this regard, certain hybrids have more of a “kick” than standard cars.
Known as Battery Electric Vehicles (or BEVs), these cars are powered entirely by on-board batteries. That means no combustion engine and no tailpipe emission of any kind. These vehicles have become a popular trend just within the last five years, with brands like BMW, Nissan, and Tesla manufacturing stylish and practical rides for a variety of consumers. While the vehicles have a limited maximum range, they can benefit consumers who regularly have a shorter commute.
However, many of the major manufacturers are working with cities around the world to install public “fast charging stations” to alleviate range anxiety and improve car value. That being said, most consumers will usually charge their vehicles overnight for the daily commute. As battery technology has improved over the last few years, so have the available options when it comes to these unique vehicles.
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
When looking for a way to describe how PHEVs compare to other vehicles, think of them as the Yang to the standard hybrid vehicle’s Yin. While they still possess a usable combustion engine, the biggest selling point is having a rechargeable electric battery like you would find on a Tesla Model S. A plug-in hybrid (like the Chevy Volt) can operate in different modes depending on the need of the driver.
For example, the car can be used in what is known as a “charge depleting mode” that will only utilize electricity until the battery is exhausted, then switch to the standard combustion engine. Depending on the specific car, there is also some type of “mixed mode” that, as the name suggests, switches between the two forms of power to accommodate a variety of situations for the driver. Like the all-electric vehicles, these cars do require overnight charging to really utilize their full potential.
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