Each type of car powertrains has weak and strong points. Most motorists drive gasoline/petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles with an internal-combustion engine (ICE). Environmentally friendly green cars (hybrid, fuel-cell, electric-only) gain popularity, while automakers electrify their model ranges.
What are the pros and cons of electrified vehicles and regular ones driven by ICEs? Let’s briefly consider
Powertrains On Sale
Internal-combustion Engine (ICE)
ICE cars are still the most in-demand. Despite diesel motors’ negative image due to Dieselgate, emission restrictions and national tax policies, diesel-powered vehicles have economy advantages and remain the choice of drivers who cover long distances.
Modern diesel engines are much cleaner than their predecessors. Diesels have more torque and are better at towing than gasoline cars, that’s why diesel motors suit better for full-size SUVs and off-road conditions.
Gasoline models are cheaper and more suitable for urban use that diesel cars. Gasoline motor efficiency improved considerably over recent years.
Pros: Range, familiarity, variety of offers.
Cons: fueling cost, low-emission zones (LEZ) in cities.
A mild hybrid powertrain comprises a belt alternator starter (BAS). It recoups energy not to lose it when the car brakes by feeding into the battery. This helps power the wheels in conjunction with the engine, though the battery seldom drives the wheels on its own.
Pros: such cars have better economy, performance and emission level than conventional vehicles.
Cons: efficiency and performance gains are little.
A fully hybrid powertrain comprises an electric motor, a battery pack and, more often, a gasoline engine. The wheels are powered by the both or by only one of them. Electric driving range is short (1-2 miles). The gasoline engine and regenerative braking are sources of battery charging.
Pros: economy and emission level are rather good.
Cons: higher priced than regular fossil fuelled cars; emissions are not low enough.
Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
A plug-in hybrid powertrain is similar to the fully hybrid one, but has a larger battery pack charged via a plug. Batteries and an engine can drive the wheels together or separately, electric-only range is typically about 30 miles.
Pros: much lower emissions than hybrids have, very good economy possible.
Cons: expensive enough; home or work charging points ideally required.
EV (Electric Vehicle)
In case with an electric powertrain a car is powered only from an on-board rechargeable battery. Driving range depends on the battery weight, size and capacity as well as on external conditions (road, temperature). Charging times vary.
Pros: minimal running costs, zero emissions, incentives.
Cons: high purchase price, unavailability of charging stations in some areas; for fairness we should add that automakers are constantly expanding charging networks.
FCEVs or fuel cell electric vehicles get power from fuel cells (usually hydrogen, rarely oxygen). They react and produce electricity. Such cars emit only water. Filling process is as quick as with a gasoline or diesel vehicle.
FCEVs are environmentally friendly, of course, if to drive them, but production of hydrogen is energy-consuming and not clean. Not to mention the shortage of refueling stations. They are really few.
FCEVs are expensive and not widely spread.
Source: Auto Express