Plug-in Hybrid Revolution Round the Bend

August 19, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It’s now time the replace your conventional motor cars. And, the alternatives available belong in the ‘Plug in Hybrid’ territory.

Major car manufacturers are now looking for a revolution in the market which they think would get rolling with the advent of more plug-in versions. The low pollution, low maintenance engines compared to the internal combustion engines are expected to make the plug in versions popular among buyers also.

The reduced green house gas emissions and snipped down dependence on petroleum products will make them environmentally friendly too. Let us look how the major manufacturers are contributing to this revolution with their car models.

BMW-i3

BMW recently revealed its interest in plug in cars with its upcoming model, i3. The company estimates that its model will go up to 100 miles between charges, like some other hybrid cars in the market now.

The car is meant to handle daily travel needs around your city. The company has also confirmed that the car is an urban vehicle. It is a premium 5 door hatchback, driven by a 34 horse power 650 CC gasoline engine. It also boasts a 125 kilowatt electric motor. The car will go on sale next year.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet is not in the back foot by any count. The company is in the battle field with its model Volt, which is the first among the plug-in hybrid which came out in 2010. The Volt is an 84 horsepower range extender, well equipped four-seater vehicle that operates fully on electricity for its first 35 miles after a full charge and then uses gas to extend the range. The new Chevrolet Volt was out in 2012 offering very good electric efficiency. The power delivery is smooth and effortless.

Ford, in the meantime, is competing with the Volt and i3 with two models, christened C-Max Energy and Fusion Energy. The C-Max Energy is a 141 bhp 4 cylinder car, with an electric range of 21 miles. The vehicle boasts a total range of 620 miles.

The 2013 model car has fuel economy of close to 100mpg. But the wide turning radius of the car makes it a little difficult in curves and tight spaces. Meanwhile, the Fusion Energy is also having the same 141 bhp 2 liter 4 cylinder engine. The performance of both the cars is similar, but they look entirely different in design.

2012-Chevrolet-Volt

Honda is also introducing a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of its mid size sedan, Accord. The car which comes later this year as a 2014 model, will primarily operate as a hybrid gasoline electric vehicle, with its battery allowing extended electric drive time. The electric range of the car is 13 miles and the total range is about 500 miles. The engine is a 137 horsepower, 4 cylinders, and 2 liter one. The vehicle has a 6.7 kilowatt hour battery pack.

The first plug- in hybrid SUV will be launched next year by Mitsubishi. The Outlander PHEV will be a four wheel drive model with two electric motors of 60 kilowatt each. The electric range is 37 miles and the total range of the vehicle is 546 miles. The fuel economy details are not available yet. The vehicle will be launched at the Detroit Auto Show as a four cylinder two liter engine SUV.

mitsubishi-outlander-phev

The first ever popular hybrid car, Toyota Prius is now being converted into a plug- in vehicle. The car will come with a gasoline powered 98 horse power 1.8 liter four cylinder engine. The model vastly improves the flexibility and potential economy than the standard hybrid one. The electric range is 11 miles and the total range of the car is 540 miles. The model also boasts voice command features too.

So which one of these beauties would you want to drive home?

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