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Old 7th November 2010, 00:43   #1
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Thumbs up Which is better for India - Hybrid or Full Electric?

We are seeing nowadays that two options are in front of us, The hybrid car and the full electric. Which do you think suits India best, considering its infrastructure limitations and feasibility.

In other words, will we be seeing the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt in India?
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Old 7th November 2010, 00:55   #2
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Hybrids - always.
It's always possible that you go to a far off place where there is intermittent supply of electricity, but a petrol pump is almost always within reach (or someone on a bicycle can always get 5 liters of petrol for you / you can carry 5 liters of petrol in a jerry can). Inside the city you can potter along on the electric motor and charge at your home.
Unless some spectacular innovation in battery technology occurs, hybrids should be the norm - atleast for India.
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Old 7th November 2010, 13:12   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Hybrids - always.
It's always possible that you go to a far off place where there is intermittent supply of electricity, but a petrol pump is almost always within reach (or someone on a bicycle can always get 5 liters of petrol for you / you can carry 5 liters of petrol in a jerry can). Inside the city you can potter along on the electric motor and charge at your home.
Unless some spectacular innovation in battery technology occurs, hybrids should be the norm - atleast for India.
True. My vote for the hybrid. If only I could afford one!!

But, the Reva electric car has been in India for long. I guess the owners mange with our erratic power supply! There are a couple of ownership reviews on Team-BHP:

Reva-i 2007 ownership report (Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1) by pachchu

Reva - owner's experiences shared (Reva - owner's experiences shared) by brilliantlights

Last edited by Abes : 7th November 2010 at 13:14.
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Old 7th November 2010, 15:39   #4
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it depends on usage, for City driving I think Electric is better especially in the bumper to bumper traffic. Not sure how long the hybrid batteries can run on the bumper to bumper slow moving traffic.
On the other hand for highway/long journeys hybrid will be better option.
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Old 7th November 2010, 16:15   #5
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Default Hybrid is my choice

Different perspectives for buying Hybrid. I am assuming by Hybrid we just do not mean Hybrid Electric Cars.

1. India scores low on electric energy transmission efficiency, that means if you are buying electric car to leave greener foot then think again the foot is not green enough
2. Charging Facilities are not widely available, so infrastructural constraints for driving longer distances/durations with electric cars
3. Environmental damage while disposing used batteries (the similar damage will happen in electric hybrid cars but lesser than pure electric car)
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Old 7th November 2010, 16:54   #6
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A hybrid would be better similar to Volt. Use the engine at its peak efficiency to charge the batteries and motor to drive the wheels.
It would be easier to upgrade either the engine, the motor or the batteries.
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Old 12th November 2010, 18:17   #7
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Default Hybrid cars

Generally, the hybrid cars are considered better option than the electric ones.These are designed with a technology to decrease the gasoline fuel use for powering car engines.
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Old 16th November 2010, 13:20   #8
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Default Hybrid + Charge Option

I vote for Hybrid + Battery Charge option more suited for India and more economic.

Hybrid also should have manual over-ride option. i.e. to run only on battery.

when you know your battery can run only 20 KM, and your house is just 10 KM away, so you don't want the Engine to start to charging the battery. Once reached home, it can be charged using electric charging point.
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Old 16th November 2010, 13:59   #9
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I think full hybrid will be the better choice here in India, as there is on-going power crisis in many parts of India will make charging the huge battery pack very difficult & hybrid cars are designed such that there will be a reduced use of fossil fuels (Petrol) for powering the cars.
Other point is that, you can use the battery pack till its maximum use is permitted & then you can use petrol or can have your fuel tank filled with Petrol as petrol pumps are now easily accessible in our country & while running the car on petrol, your batteries will get automatically charged.
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Old 16th November 2010, 15:09   #10
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Hybrids, running on diesel, kerosene, bio-gas, whatever. We have a severe shortage of electricity in many states, and it would be "criminal" (borrowing a term from our hon'ble minister) to use it for transporting tax-paying citizens. In any case, household electricity is subsidized, so full electric vehicles would only be ok for our babus, netas, and the odd gangster.
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Old 16th November 2010, 16:09   #11
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Full Electrics would get my vote, but they need to reach a full charge milage of 200 kms. We need to reach that level soon. these would by default be cheaper than hybrids which need to keep both engines.

Hybrids tend to use petrol as the primary fuel and if one takes the example of the civic hybrid this coupled with the electric motor lets milage go up by 30% - which is not that signficant as diesel as a fuel by default tends to give 30% more kmpl compared to equivalently sized engines.

Also there is the option of alternative fuels and stull like Biodiesel / Ethanol, which also are better options compared to conventional petrol - electric hybrids, so for me its ranked as below

1) Pure Electrics with 200+ km range - mainly city usage.
2) Alternative Fuels - Bio Diesels / Ethanol
3) Diesel Hybirds
4) Pure Diesels
5) Petrol Hybrids
6) Petrols
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Old 16th November 2010, 16:13   #12
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I think I pressed the back button on posting so will repost.

Desels give 30% better fuel effeciency than Petrols of equivalent size and Hybrid petrols like the honda civic just match this figure but are 30% more expensive so between these it would be a pure diesel that makes sense.

My preference in order of ranking are:
1) Pure electrics - that give 200 kmp charge
2) Alternative Fuel cars that run on Bio Diesel / Ethanol
3) Deisel Hybrids
4) Diesels
5) Petrol Hybrids
6) Petrols
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Old 16th November 2010, 16:37   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycardude198 View Post
We are seeing nowadays that two options are in front of us, The hybrid car and the full electric. Which do you think suits India best, considering its infrastructure limitations and feasibility.

In other words, will we be seeing the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt in India?
The answer is there in your post itself. Till such time that we remain a power deficient country, hybrid is the way to go.

Come to think of it even if we had sufficient power generating capability, in order to generate electric power to charge the electric cars we will still be dependent on burning fossil fuel since the Nuclear power capacities slated to come up in the next 20 years will meet only a part of the projected demand.

It seems then that 'fuel cell technology' or 'Hydrogen power' may be the way to go.
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Old 16th November 2010, 17:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khoj View Post
The answer is there in your post itself. Till such time that we remain a power deficient country, hybrid is the way to go.

Come to think of it even if we had sufficient power generating capability, in order to generate electric power to charge the electric cars we will still be dependent on burning fossil fuel since the Nuclear power capacities slated to come up in the next 20 years will meet only a part of the projected demand.

It seems then that 'fuel cell technology' or 'Hydrogen power' may be the way to go.
I completely agree with you Khoj , Electric vehicles or even hybrid vehicles use power from Electricity which again depends on fossil fuels for production.
Even with these power sources still technology is not able to create a vehicle which is economical in its costs or having a range which can match for a persons travel . Recharging time also is very high for these vehicles .
Li-ion batteries that serve the purpose in most of these vehicles are also not eco-friendly .

Its time that we concentrate our infra-structure modeling or technology towards 'hydrogen fuel cells' to power vehicles . Honda FCX in US is a good example to start with .
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Old 22nd November 2010, 22:31   #15
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There are a couple of issues involved here:

[] The chemistry of electricity. It has not yet been mastered to an extent that long distance capability can be built into automobiles - due to storage technology of electricity not being not upto speed. Check out the following links for interesting developments:

HOME

There are battery packs for sure based on Lithium Cobalt such as those powering the Tesla Roadster or the increasingly being preferred Lithium Iron Phosphate based ones. They are providing the juice for running upto 250 odd miles or so on a single recharge.

EEStor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The second company EEstor's claim has been rubbished widely by several people. However if true that will completely revolutionize electricity storage and hence change the way cars are built. The fact that it is a contractor to several reputed organisation lends a modicum of credibility to them.

The point being if electricity storage technology evolves to some level of maturity pure electrics are the way to go.

[] The inability ,as yet, of even the most developed economies to create a hydrogen infrastructure makes the whole fuel cell thing essentially non viable. It could well change tomorrow . also there is the lack of viable technology to go for onboard hydrogn generation to fuel the fuel cells. So fuel cell based hybrids are basically a good talking point, no more no less.

[] The issue of carbon taxes which India and China are dead set against, almost. The OECD block countries will do their best to impose a global regime of carbon taxes even on stuff like fuel for personal vehicles. Leave alone the gas/oil guzzling monsters even hybrids where a small onboard genset (petrol/diesel/kerosense) generates electricity to recharge the batteries could become quite expensive to run.

So my vote is basically on the all-electrics. Hybrids where an onboard generator recharges the battery are essentially mid-way kind of solution till the electricity storage technolgy evolves to an acceptable level of maturity/viability.
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