A few weeks ago we noticed that the national charging network for electric cars has increased significantly. A phenomenon that plug-in hybrids due to the way the entire ecosystem is built, further distancing these types of car charges from public chargers.
But let’s go in parts first to understand why a ‘plug-in’ hybrid car charges differently and why charging outside the home doesn’t offer much of a benefit.
Which, in my opinion, deeply irritates me, because from the user’s point of view, electric driving should not only be a way of saving money, but also a way of being more environmentally friendly by covering kilometers in a cleaner and more sustainable way.
But let’s work in parts.
Fuels: Transporting a hybrid is expensive! What is the solution?
It must therefore be taken into account that the vast majority of PHEV (plug-in hybrid) electric cars, i.e. vehicles with two motors that can only and only drive electrically, charge a 100% electric vehicle more slowly in a direct comparison.
Here at home, for example, I have a VW Golf GTE that charges with 3.7 kWh, and also a Mercedes A250e of the class that reaches 7.4 kWh. This means that the GTE needs a little more than 2 hours to reach 100% of its battery (~ 45 km), while the Class A 250e also needs about 2 hours of despite a larger battery and longer autonomy (~ 70 km) Charge from 0 to 100%.
But in case you didn’t know, these charging speeds are very slow compared to what a 100% electric car can achieve. Therefore, in the national charging network, in order to try to keep the stations faster, charging is paid by the minute for cars that can use really high speeds.
Let’s consider the following situation as an example.
Imagine going to the supermarket to fill a “small” 5 liter bottle of olive oil.
Go there and the seller quickly tells you that they only have a very narrow funnel so it takes 2 hours to fill his bottle. Interestingly, this is the only funnel that will fit in the neck of your balloon. Since it will take a long time, the transaction will be billed to the minute and not per liter of oil sold.
However, after you come a number of your neighbors with 50 liter jugs with a much larger neck that a large funnel can be placed in. Filling these jugs is much faster. Payment is also made by the minute and although it is more than 45 liters it will be a value very similar to yours. Because they’ll occupy the shopkeeper for exactly the same amount of time. The shopkeeper is of course not to blame for the bottleneck, he wants to earn it at the end of the day.
A lot happens in the electrical world! A PHEV car has a small battery, like the balloon in the story above, with a very small neck as well. This while a BEV car has a large battery with an also much larger neck.
In short, although both are considered electric cars, there are big differences between a BEV (100% electric) and a PHEV (plug-in hybrid).
The problem is that a PHEV driver also wants to charge his car as well as possible in order to save euros on gasoline and also to be environmentally friendly.
However, as charging stations are starting to run out across the country, especially in cities … To prevent PHEVs from charging, we now have the vast majority of charging stations charging per minute.
In short, while annoying, it’s a system that makes sense! Doesn’t it make sense to plug a 3.7 kWh Golf GTE into a 50 kWh quick charger at an A1 petrol station and thus take up space that a driver of a 100% electric car needs like bread in his mouth? Of course not! However, this does not mean that there are no solutions to solve this problem!
Let’s imagine you want a plug-in hybrid but there is no guarantee, or you want such a vehicle but don’t have space to carry it away from home, for example at work. What is the solution?
Well, in some regions, low power chargers are mounted on street lights. (Shortcut)
It is a very interesting option to remove these vehicles from the mobi.e network, at the same time we are relying heavily and ugly on the electrification of the car fleet in Portugal. Especially since this would not even be required on every mast or street. This could be done at the local level by local authorities at the request of the drivers.
We are talking about a new source of income and a solution for the energy transition that we have to go through in the automotive world. In England and Ireland this is now being done with great success.