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Old 21st January 2022, 18:14   #16
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

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Originally Posted by Yodakank View Post
Folks- I wanted to revive this thread- this is an apt discussion now as many PHEVs have reached a range of 60-70KM on pure electric charge where you can plug in and charge at home almost every day if need be. Only for highways and other long drives we can switch to fossil fuels until the charging infrastructure in India reaches a scale where range anxiety is a thing of past for EV led long drives. I heard great reviews on 2022 Hyundai Tucson's PHEV model. I really hope they launch that model in India. Are they are other PHEVs SUV models that BHPians can recommend?
Had it been the teens (2013-17) PHEVs would have been the ideal stop gap for gettting people ready for EVs. But now with EVs on the cusp of going mainstream, it would actually be a step backward, as it would give the car makers an easy way out, rather than putting the effort required to get the charging infrastructure in place (granted, they are not the main drivers of infrastructure build up).
Nor would they invest in getting better at an improved BMS and other related battery tech, if they could just get by with slapping a smallish battery and calling their vehicle a hybrid.
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Old 21st January 2022, 20:21   #17
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

[QUOTE
Nor would they invest in getting better at an improved BMS and other related battery tech, if they could just get by with slapping a smallish battery and calling their vehicle a hybrid.[/quote]


Very helpful perspective . Agree it is important to push car builders on EV innovation. What would be your reco for consumers who do bulk of city driving but less frequent long rides and are in range anxiety all the time when it comes to pure EV for long drives- the infra is just getting built up and as more cars hit the market am not sure the fledgling infra will scale linearly. Isn't PHEV (with decent pure EV range like 70 km) a good option for consumers (not car builders) to leverage better of both worlds? It is a good in between before the inevitable shift to pure EVs. Eventually consumers will shift to long range pure EVs not just for convenience but for economics as well where EVs are beating the fossil fuels hands down and till then enjoy both with PHEV.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 08:47   #18
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

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Originally Posted by Yodakank View Post
What would be your reco for consumers who do bulk of city driving but less frequent long rides and are in range anxiety all the time when it comes to pure EV for long drives- the infra is just getting built up and as more cars hit the market am not sure the fledgling infra will scale linearly. Isn't PHEV (with decent pure EV range like 70 km) a good option for consumers (not car builders) to leverage better of both worlds? It is a good in between before the inevitable shift to pure EVs. Eventually consumers will shift to long range pure EVs not just for convenience but for economics as well where EVs are beating the fossil fuels hands down and till then enjoy both with PHEV.
Well, if you can afford it, the best combo is having 2 cars, the BEV for city runs and an ICE for the long rides. But even if you dont want two cars, and you do not have very frequent long rides, any EV out there today, including the Nexon, is more than adequate for doing city runs, and small long rides (with range anxiety) but if planned properly, it is doable. Plenty of fellow BHPians have done it (elsewhere on the forum). The infrequent long distance rides can be handled by Zoomcar or the like.

Coming to the second part of your question. Yes, it would definitely be a good stopgap for customers, but bear in mind, with both technologies in the vehicle, the cost of such a vehicle would be the same as a competent BEV in the first place, and secondly, the infra for vehicle charging is picking up in a big way, with IOC and others leading the way, not to mention plenty of private startups. It is like the early 2010-12 when my car was the only private vehicle in a CNG station. But now most of the time, the private cars dominate the cng pump. Agreed its not a like for like comparison, but what im trying to imply is that the BEV scene is quite nascent in India, but its poised to grow by leaps and bounds with the current government actively promoting EVs.

We humans tend to think of solution timelines on the basis of our lives, 5 years is a significant chunk of life, for instance. But on a country wide level, 5 years isnt that big a time line, comparatively. So while we might think that the infrastructure growth is happening at a glacial pace, it actually is blisteringly fast, taken on the level of a country. For example, what we see as progress wrt Tesla in the USA, its journey started in 2009 with the roadster, and it took atleast 8 years with Model 3 coming out in 2017, for Tesla to be called mainstream.

Patience is the keyword. Thats all it takes

Last edited by kosjam : 22nd January 2022 at 08:48. Reason: forgot to add zoomcar and the like
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Old 18th March 2022, 12:38   #19
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

I think what many people and players who want EVs to succeed are forgetting some very important things:

1. India neither has lithium nor technology to make Lithium ion batteries and hence, it imports all the batteries from China.

2. The cost of battery in pure EV will be more than 50% and after 8 yrs, there is no clarity on how many more yrs the original battery will continue to run without degradation.

3. The minimum time required to charge an EV on fast charger is 30 mins. When travelling long distances, that's a lot of time majority of Indians don't want to wait out at a charging station. On top of it if there is a queue, then wait more.

4. 50% of fast chargers out there don't work at any given time.

Hence, I think pure electric vehicles will never be the go to solution in India to move away from ICE vehicles. The best solution would be the Hybrids especially PHEVs.

PHEVs will be ideal vehicle to drive in City traffic as well as Highways. A lot of fuel will be saved in city stop and go traffic as well. Apart from that since the batteries will be small, the cost of PHEVs will be much less compared to EVs.

Hence, even though India is developing its charging infrastructure at rapid pace, it should still consider bringing in PHEVs immediately. If majority of vehicles in traffic are PHEVs, imagine the amount of fuel being saved on daily basis.

Last edited by souvikjana83 : 18th March 2022 at 12:39.
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Old 18th March 2022, 13:22   #20
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

We all know Honda has been very lazy in India and even though it is planning to launch the City Hybrid, look at what it is planning to introduce in China:



The Breeze PHEV looks good and if assembled and launched in India, it has the potential to become a runaway success for Honda in India.

However, Honda being Honda we all know, it will be a far cry before Honda plan to bring this in India.
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Old 31st March 2022, 02:34   #21
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

It's rumoured that XUV700 is going to get hybrid option this year. Based on the current 2.0L petrol design, is it possible to make an educated guess if it can go PHEV route or will be just HEV ?
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Old 10th May 2022, 07:38   #22
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Hi All,

The Honda City e:HEV review thread got me thinking - if there are benefits in a hybrid car due to the traction being largely electric in most of the driving scenarios- why not have a larger battery pack in the same setup and increase the EV only range to a few 10s of kilometers?

We can assume that the City e:HEV gets the same powertrain that the European Jazz e:HEV gets, a 0.86 KWh battery pack. This is barely enough to power the car for a few kilometers in EV only mode, which means even in bumper to bumper traffic, the engine still needs to run to charge the battery. Given the small size of the battery- the engine would need to cycle on-off multiple times over a 20 KM city drive, in intense summer (as the aircon will also be drawing electrical load). Not the most efficient way to operate compared to a full EV.

On the other hand, those on the forum (self included) who thought this was a bad attempt by Honda when Tata already has a cheaper EV that can do 200 KM on a single charge, should take a look at this news.

With certain states in the country struggling to meet the existing demand, a huge electrical load imposed by a surge in EVs is going to be a massive nightmare for our power supply networks. For reference: grid load management due to EV revolution is a hot topic in developed countries.

The high cost of buying an EVs aside, the current challenges of installing EV chargers at home has been discussed by a BHPian on this thread. 15A sockets might work (as GTO mentioned), but a practical EV for India would need at-least a 60 KWh battery (delivering a real range of 300-350KM). The thought of fully charging such a vehicle for an impromptu outstation trip using a 15A socket would be a major deterrent for many car owners.

As for public charging, oil cos may be promising a fast charger at every fuel station, supplemented by charging network providers claiming to expand their network quickly. However, none of them can guarantee the power supply.

So EVs are expensive and charging infrastructure might only be ideal in the next 5-10 years. e:HEVs are great but Diesels offer a similar fuel economy and factoring in the cost of purchase, would be on par with e:HEVs. So what could offer the best of both worlds?

Enter the PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. These are hybrids that have bigger batteries (>5KWh), which can be charged easily using a 15A socket. They can go anywhere between 30-50 KM on a full battery and when you run out of it, the engine kicks in to charge the battery and provide (electric) power for traction.

A few possible driving scenarios where a PHEV could be beneficial:
  • Home <--> destination within city <25 KM. Car operates purely on EV. Pug the car into a 15A socket at the office and return home on EV mode again.
  • Home<--> destination within city >25 KM: car runs on Hybrid mode. The engine kicks in to charge the battery after it drops below a certain level. Because the battery is larger, the engine can continuously run at it's most optimum operating point till the battery reaches ~90% charge. Less engine cycles, better efficiency.
  • Home<--> destination outside city/suburban of >30 KM: Car runs on Hybrid mode. The engine runs at an optimum speed to power the generator which powers the traction motor. Additional electric load can be met from the battery pack (assuming it's charged). The battery is recharged with strong regenerative braking. Because the battery is large enough to provide sufficient electric boost, the generator's load will see minor fluctuations, hence the engine operates around it's most efficient point.
  • The highway scenario will be exactly the same as the e:HEV system operation, with the advantage of having a larger battery to store/draw energy from when required, resulting in lower load for the IC engine.

While this is largely theoretical and might be offset by the additional weight of the battery, I think PHEVs still make sense in our country where majority of the car owners commute in city traffic with average speeds of <30 kmph and distance <30 KM (one way).

The high level business case:

From a car buyer's perspective:
  • No need to install an expensive home charger
  • No need to upgrade connected load at home (and deal with the bureaucracy). For apartment owners- It would still be easy to route a connection for a 15A socket than a 7KW charger from your mains (or have an agreement with your owners association to pay a fixed amount to install and use a common 15A outlet in the parking lot.)
  • No worry about range anxiety or fear of your destination charging station being occupied.
  • Low initial investment compared to BEVs.
  • Electrical load requirement for charging could be offset by solar panels , for people living in an independent/row house.

From a car manufacturer's perspective:
  • Ability to target both segments of customers- the one with low or in-city running and the ones who have frequent long-distance running- with a product that's in budget for a lot of car buyers.
  • Keep service centers happy since there's still an IC engine to service and maintain in these cars.
  • Low R&D costs because such products already exist abroad.

Two mainstream manufactures in India: Toyota and Hyundai, already have PHEVs abroad (Prius PHEV & Ioniq PHEV). Then there are products from the German big 3 who have similar PHEVs. The one that comes immediately to my mind is the BMW 330e with a 12 KWh battery.

The products exist outside India, and companies acknowledge that EV transition has started in India. This makes me wonder, why have these companies not considered bringing PHEVs to India? (Especially Hyundai & BMW who already brought their BEVs in India).

Looking forward to thoughts from fellow Bhpians

Related Thread (Plug-in Hybrids for India?)
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Old 10th May 2022, 08:41   #23
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

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Originally Posted by govindremesh View Post

Looking forward to thoughts from fellow Bhpians

Related Thread (Plug-in Hybrids for India?)
Exactly my thoughts. If i get an option between plugin hybrid, hybrid, petrol, diesel and ev, I'll pick up plugins any day. The Toyota rav4 prime ( plugin hybrid ) can run close to 100 kms on pure ev mode which means all your daily drives can be covered on ev mode and petrol kicks in only during outstation trips. It'll help bring down the urban pollution levels as well.

Maybe as battery prices comes down, I'm hoping that for bigger vehicles atleast, it's going to be more of plugin hybrids than strong hybrids.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:05   #24
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

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We can assume that the City e:HEV gets the same powertrain that the European Jazz e:HEV gets, a 0.86 KWh battery pack. This is barely enough to power the car for a few kilometers in EV only mode, which means even in bumper to bumper traffic, the engine still needs to run to charge the battery. Given the small size of the battery- the engine would need to cycle on-off multiple times over a 20 KM city drive, in intense summer (as the aircon will also be drawing electrical load). Not the most efficient way to operate compared to a full EV.
I don't think that the battery size influences the efficiency significantly for a hybrid. Consider this - you have a phone with a 1,000mAH battery. You use it for 10 hours, charge it for 100 minutes then use it again for 10 hours. Now say that the same phone has a battery size of 100mAH. You would use it for 1 hour, charge it for 10 mins, and then again use it for one hour. In the end, after using it for 10 hours you would still have spent 100 minutes charging it - no difference. What actually matters is the ratio between the charging and discharging speeds. Plugging and unplugging might be inconvenient when using a phone, but that switching happens automatically in a hybrid. The advantage with the smaller battery is that it would cost less and would weigh less at the same time.

Now consider that you have the same 1,000mAH battery, but you wished to use it in the 45 to 55% band to elongate the life of the lithium-ion battery. In this case you have "artificially" turned the 1,000mAH battery into what is effectively a 100mAH battery, and you would charge it for 10 minutes after using it for an hour just as with the 100mAH battery.

I suspect something like this happens to some extent for the battery in the Honda city hybrid. The battery weight and size does not add up for a 0.8kWH battery, and it is possibly a somewhat larger battery designed to run in a smaller band to increase the battery life, as the battery has to go through a really large number of charge discharge cycles within this range. The battery cost too seems to be on the upper side of Rs. 1 Lakh based on some Malaysian articles.

The battery also functions as kind of a "capacitor" in the hybrid mode where it absorbs any excess electrical energy being generated by the engine when the driver's foot is light on the throttle, and in turn releases that stored energy when the driver's foot is heavy and the output motor needs more power. For this purpose as well, probably the smaller design capacity of 0.8kWH is sufficient (as you can only coast for so long without depressing the throttle on normal roads).

Honda could have however gone the PHEV way by adding a slightly larger battery, and at that point adding a provision for charging via a slow electrical point could not have been too difficult or costly. Then this battery could have served both purposes - being run in a narrow band for regular petrol-based hybrid use (like it is now), and a wider band when charged outside and used as a plug-in hybrid. An EV range of even 25km could have covered a significant portion of the daily commute for many people in a country like India. And such a battery because of its small working capacity cannot take much time to charge even via a basic 6A socket, so no need to increase your home's sanctioned load or make special electrical arrangements like you might need to with a regular EV.
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:04   #25
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

PHEVs make great sense for India, at least in the near term. Consider this scenario, a BEV in India with a 30 kWh battery has has a nearly 5 lakh premium over a comparable ICE vehicle, a 40 kWh battery is expected to be priced nearly 2 lakh more than the 30 kWh model of the same vehicle ( Tata Nexon) and a 50kWh model BEW has a nearly 8 lakh premium over the equivalent ICE model (MG ZS), so i would think doing a 8-10 kWH battery with a pure electric range of about 50 odd KM should be very doable at a premium of about 3 lakh rupees.

It would appeal to a whole lot of people opting for CNG cars today, and as we are already seeing, people are highly comfortable paying a 90 thousand rupee premium for CNG today (Tata Tigor)

Only fly in the ointment is, is it possible? Would the engineers be able to plonk such a battery plus motor set-up into an existing car, so as to not incur too much development costs?
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:48   #26
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

I think the biggest problem for plug-in hybrid vehicles would be the price. And that with the advent of EVs, they sit in sort of a weird middle place.

With the kind of premiums hybrids in India seem to demand, it doesn't make financial sense unless your running is very high.

I can easily have charging facilities installed in my building, so both plug-in hybrids and EVs are an option for me. But with 99% of my running being in the city (less than 40km a day, maybe once a month 120km running), I don't need the petrol engine backup.

So what would be cheaper for me? A plug-in hybrid, or a pure EV?
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Old 10th May 2022, 14:46   #27
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

We already saw the price of Honda City hybrid. Camry being the only other hybrid selling at 50+ lakhs in our country. Unfortunately plug-in hybrid means bigger battery pack and which will only bloat up the bill/compromise like boot space etc.

A practical city car should be compact(less parking space) and carry two people in comfort with a range of around max 50-80kms per day.

A touring/highway friendly car should have the necessary power figures, space for people/luggage and a good tank range(say 600kms)

With the launch of new Innova hybrid (say 35 lakhs) and Maruti/Toyota Creta rival with hybrid(20L?) the market should see more traction and rest will depend on how our market reacts.
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Old 10th May 2022, 18:22   #28
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

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Originally Posted by govindremesh View Post
This makes me wonder, why have these companies not considered bringing PHEVs to India?
Answer is very simple. Compliance Engineering.

OEMs want to keep their combined fleet CO2 emissions low [esp. in EU (<95g CO2/km)]. Otherwise they have to pay hefty penalties per car sold. This is the driver for even making PHEVs by OEMS in the first place. Otherwise no OEM even cares to make PHEVS. They are complex powertrains (not good for reliability) and have poor packaging (less usable space). Think about it: When driving in Electric only mode, ICE is deadweight and vice versa. Such level of ineffiency comes only from compliance engineering.

If India becomes so strict in emissions regulations, then we might see OEMs rushing with their PHEVs.

Same story goes for the half-assed attempts to make EVs by even some of the best German OEMs.

Last edited by carthick1000 : 10th May 2022 at 18:25.
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Old 10th May 2022, 21:34   #29
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

Unfortunately there is no incentive on HEV, PHEV which make a lot of sense in India, where electricity is neither abundant and nor green. Most apartment complexes run on diesel generators for a good amount of time. Also as mentioned that speed and distance is small to benefit from regenerative battery from braking. Only if GoI gives some benefits for these vehicles, the added cost typically do not make them financially attractive.

I really want to have a HEV as my next vehicle till we move fully into BEV world.
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Old 10th May 2022, 22:40   #30
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Re: Plug-in Hybrids for India?

I believe if one has to have only one car, having a plug in would make more sense. Given the bumper to.bumper traffic conditions in all our cities, the car would be purely in ev mode.

I hope we get to see more plug in specific designs going forward rather than the ICE models being compromised to accommodate battery packs.
My worry is that in this rush towards electrification, we don't ignore the practical solutions that we have in front of us
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