The Lonely PHEV

The Lonely PHEV

The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is largely being ignored by governments who are mandating battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) or zero emission vehicles.

Zero emission vehicle is, of course, a misnomer, because the electricity or hydrogen, for fuel-cell vehicles, has to be produced somewhere, which inevitably involves fossil fuels. Only in the fantasyland of climate extremists can wind or solar provide all the electricity needed for everything.

PHEVs have advantages over both pure gasoline powered-vehicles and BEVs.

This image from the dashboard of a PHEV owner provides some interesting information.

This was the first time the owner had filled her gas tank after having driven 864 miles.

Note that she can drive 49 miles without using gasoline.

She can also drive for 547 miles without having to fill her gas tank. No range anxiety here.

She also only uses a 120 volt outlet to keep her battery charged. No need for expensive charging equipment for her garage.

It should also be noted that older homes with a 60 amp service entranceway can probably get by without having to increase the size of the entranceway. 

Plug-in hybrids can be owned by adjacent homes with little danger of the utility having to replace the distribution transformer serving multiple homes. Typically, each distribution transformer serves four homes.

Most people only drive an average of 35 miles per day. Studies of distances traveled have varied but most seem to show that the average person drives between 30 and 40 miles per day. An AAA study showed the average American drove 29.2 miles per day, but that there were differences between city dwellers and those who lived in rural areas.

What this means is that most people can get by with only using battery power and avoid using gasoline for their daily transportation needs.

The PHEV therefore minimizes the use of gasoline while allowing people to take long trips without having to worry about where or when to recharge their batteries.

City dwellers, or those who live in apartments, are at an extreme disadvantage with BEVs due to the problem of where to charge their BEVs. This would also be a problem for owners of PHEVs, but less of a problem since they can always start their car.

Why are PHEVs an excellent all around technology choice for the family car?

  • Reduced use of gasoline with best economic balance between gasoline and electricity.
  • No range anxiety.
  • No need to install expensive charging equipment in the garage.
  • No need to waste time, e.g. 30 minutes, recharging a BEV.
  • Better local air quality, with fewer local emissions of particulates etc.
  • PHEVs use smaller Li-ion batterie than BEVs (15 kWh vs 75 kWh) with less use of critical materials and minimum reliance on China.

Why aren’t governments promoting PHEVs? They would seem to be a better fit than BEVs for most Americans.

The answer, of course, is that climate alarmists have been able to convince governments and the media that fossil fuels must be abandoned.

Trying to eliminate the use of fossil fuels is a fools errand.

PHEVs are an alternative that deserve more attention.

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6 Replies to “The Lonely PHEV”

  1. Two of my grown children have PHEVs. My daughter has a Kia Niro and averages about 180 mpg. My son has a Toyota RAV4. We don’t know what mileage he gets as the mileage indicator only goes up to 199 mpg and it’s better than that. If the people who made the rules understood the law of diminishing returns they would realize that insisting on BEVs was foolish.

    • The batteries being used are li-ion so they probably can catch fire, and if they did, they would be hard to put out.
      There is little information on PHEVs catching fire, though fires in Hybrids have been reported. Unfortunately, the term Hybrid gets used loosely so it’s never clear whether they are referring to cars like the Prius. or cars like the Volt.

  2. Great points.

    A friend and I were just discussing residential electrical service the other day. In both our respective cities the governments are going full steam ahead (so they think) to an all-electric future. In my city they’re not only mandating new construction be all-electric but they’re demanding all existing buildings have their natural gas service removed and replaced by all electric.

    I can’t even fathom how much this would cost for the property owner just to replace the appliances. But what about the electrical utility? Wouldn’t they likely need to upgrade the local distribution system up to and including the conductors and transformers?

    • I would expect that the utility would have to replace distribution transformers, but overhead cables would be ok. Underground cables would also probably be ok, but might have to be replaced. Substation transformers might also have to be replaced, but that depends on a number of variables.
      Homeowners might might have to also increase their entrance way if they were older, say 60 or 100 amps. Newer homes with 150 or 200 amp entranceways would probably be ok as is.
      The entire effort to remove natural gas and make everything electric is insane.