Are plug-in hybrids a good option in India alongside pure EVs

Isn't a PHEV (with decent pure EV range like 70 km) a good option for consumers (not car builders) to leverage better of both worlds?

BHPian Yodakank recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Folks, this is an apt discussion now as many PHEVs have reached a range of 60-70 km 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 the 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?

What would be your recommendation 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 a 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.

Here's what BHPian kosjam had to say on the matter:

Had it been the teens (2013-17) PHEVs would have been the ideal stop gap for getting 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.

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 don't 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 I'm 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 isn't 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 the Model 3 coming out in 2017, for Tesla to be called mainstream.

Patience is the keyword. That's all it takes.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Driven by india