Going Electric

Atualizado: 26 de out.

In a necessary leap towards monitoring climate control, we all need to contribute to effective collaboration. One thing we can do now is phase out fossil fuel vehicles to hybrid versions. In this light, what is a hybrid car?

Hybrids are everywhere, however, with mild hybrids, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids all available, understanding the technology can be difficult. Hybrid cars are increasing in large numbers on the market these days, from simple hatchbacks to SUVs, and more and more buyers are making the switch from conventional petrol and diesel cars to a hybrid of one sort or another. Acting as a halfway house between traditional internal combustion engines – ICE cars and fully electric models, a hybrid will offer greater economy, tax benefits, and fewer emissions than conventional cars by assisting their petrol (or sometimes diesel) engines with electric power. Brazil is contributing to the growth of this market.

Mild Hybrid – at the very least, people should contribute by buying a car with mild hybrid power. For a start, they are less complex than other hybrids, so in many cases they're cheaper to buy. As they have an internal combustion engine, they're easier to live with than plug-in hybrids that need to be plugged in regularly in order to gain the full benefit of them (one motor/generator in a parallel hybrid configuration).

This model allows the engine to be turned off whenever the car is coasting, braking, or stopped, yet restart quickly. Mild hybrids may employ regenerative braking and some level of power assist to the internal combustion engine (ICE), but mild hybrids do not have an electric-only mode of propulsion. The electric motor provides greater efficiency by replacing the starter and alternator with a single device that assists the powertrain. Mild hybrids do not require the same level of battery power and do not achieve the same levels of fuel economy improvement as compared to full hybrid models.

Full Hybrid or ‘parallel hybrid’ uses both the combustion engine and electric motors to drive the car, either simultaneously or independently. It can run on just the engine, the batteries, or a combination. There are already a range of manufacturers such as Toyota, Ford, and General Motors 2-mode hybrid trucks and SUVs, as well as other examples of this type of hybridization as they can operate on battery power alone. A large, high-capacity battery provides battery-only operation. These vehicles have a split power path that allows more flexibility in the drivetrain by inter-converting mechanical and electrical power. To balance the forces from each portion, the vehicles use a differential-style linkage between the engine and motor connected to the head end of the transmission.

Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are able to run on battery power. They offer greater battery capacity and the ability to recharge from the grid. They can be either parallel or series designs. They are also called gas-optional, or griddable hybrids. Their main benefit is that they can be gasoline-independent for significant distances, but contrary to full hybrids, they need to be plugged in and charged like electric vehicles.

PHEVs offer the best of two worlds -- the economy of an electric vehicle and the mph of a gas engine. More importantly the car can shift between the two fuel sources, gas and electric as needed, or as wanted. It's this last ability, the "as wanted" part, where PHEVs really shine. The owner can choose between the least expensive fuel, or a combination of the two, and save money in the long run.

Charging an electric car can be done at home or at any public charging stations. Fully charging a car can be done in just 30 minutes, or it may take as long as half a day. How big a battery is, or how fast a charging point is may change the time required. However, now with niobium powered batteries it will be a thing of the past. Nyobolt’s intellectual property covers a niobium anode for lithium ion batteries invented at the University of Cambridge by Professor Clare Grey.

With the above information in mind, it might very well be the right time for everyone to consider upgrading their vehicle. Unquestionably, it will help contribute towards climate change.

Take care!

Prof. Carl Boniface

Vocabulary builder:

ICE = Internal Combustion Engine. Combustion, also known as burning, is the basic chemical process of releasing energy from a fuel and air mixture. In an ‘internal combustion engine’, the ignition and combustion of the fuel occurs within the engine itself. The engine then partially converts the energy from the combustion to work.

Powertrain (n) = The powertrain includes the engine. If the term powertrain is used, it should refer to the power going to the wheels. The drivetrain includes the kinetic parts, but not the engine.

Drivetrain (n) = the system in a motor vehicle which connects the transmission to the drive axles.

The grid = Electric power transmission is the bulk movement of electrical energy from a generating site, such as a power plant, to an electrical substation.

Grid (n) = network, net, web, framework, trellis, grill, fence

Unquestionably (adv) = indisputably, undeniably, incontrovertibly, undeniably, (ant) arguably

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