Why EVs won’t replace hybrid cars anytime soon

Several major auto companies, including GM and Volvo, has announced plans to make only electric cars before or before 2035, in an effort to get ahead of the transition. But not all automakers are on the same page.

Notably, Toyota, the world’s largest car manufacturer, has emphasize that it plans to offer a range of options, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, rather than focusing solely on electric vehicles. A Toyota spokesperson told MIT Technology Review that the company is focusing on how to reduce carbon emissions as quickly as possible, not how many certain vehicles it can sell.

The company has continued to roll out new hybrid vehicles, including plug-in hybrids that can drive short distances on electricity using a small battery. In November, Toyota announced the 2023 version of the Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid model.

Some environmental groups have criticize the company’s slow approach to electric vehicles. They argue that to achieve net-zero emissions, we will need all-electric vehicles, and the sooner the better.

But in recent interviews, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has raise doubts on how quickly the auto industry can turn away from fossil fuels, calling the US goal of making electric vehicles half of new car sales by 2030 a “difficult question”. “. While Toyota plans In order for electric vehicle sales to reach 3.5 million units by 2030 (equivalent to 35% of current annual sales), the company also sees hybrids as a sensible option that customers will want and an option. could play a major role in reducing emissions.

The story of two half-bloods

Two different types of vehicles are known as hybrid vehicles. Conventional hybrid electric vehicles have a small battery that powers the gas-powered engine by capturing energy during driving, just as energy would be lost during braking. They cannot drive more than a few miles on battery power and at slow speeds. Instead, the battery enhances gas mileage and can provide more torque. The early Toyota Prius models were among the most familiar traditional hybrids.

On the other hand, a plug-in hybrid vehicle has a battery about 10 times larger than that in a traditional hybrid vehicle, and that battery can be plugged in and charged with electricity. Plug-in hybrids can typically run 25 to 50 miles on electricity, switching to the petrol engine for longer distances. The Prius Prime, introduced in 2012, is a plug-in hybrid.

Conventional hybrids are much more popular in the US than all-electric or plug-in hybrids, although electric vehicle sales have grown rapidly over the past few years.


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