Electric and hybrid vehicles are, in many people’s view, the way of the future. According to Mordor Intelligence, the hybrid vehicle market is likely to increase by 10.23% between now and 2024, with the most significant growth being in Asia. Hybrid and electric cars are growing in popularity as gas prices rise, government incentives are put in play, and environmental concerns become more important.
The following factors are driving the growth of the segment:
The range of electric vehicles and the electric-only range of hybrids continues to grow. Although not everyone can afford a Tesla with a range of almost 400 miles, there are now a variety of cars available with 200+ mile ranges.
Because there are now charging stations in more locations, it’s feasible to do a cross-country drive in an electric vehicle without a lot of pre-planning. Even an “average” vehicle has a range of 100 miles, enough for commuting and most routine driving. Fast chargers allow for an 80% charge in about 20 minutes; this means you can charge your car while you get lunch.
However, for long-distance driving, the hybrid or plug-in hybrid is king. Plug-in hybrids work like electric cars for short distances (10 – 50 miles), then like regular hybrids afterward. They can generally travel up to 300 miles on a single tank.
Oh, and not having to stop for gas can save a surprising amount of time.
Electric vehicles were once associated with golf carts and British milk floats; their top speed of 15mph frustrating morning traffic. However, a modern electric car can be more fun than a gas-powered vehicle. Electric motors provide plenty of torque, giving these cars a fast 0 to 60 and a lot of “pickup.” More practically, it’s a good deal easier to merge.
Emissions limits are becoming ever stricter in some places; the easiest way to comply with them is often to buy a hybrid. Plug-in electric cars provide even better alternatives, producing no emissions at all. Worrying about getting into trouble for emissions come inspection time is a huge reason why many people are going electric.
While buying a fully electric car is a huge leap, a hybrid is still cheaper on gas, with lower emissions. And they accomplish this without a significant change in your routine. Many people switch to hybrids and never look back.
Although some tax rebates for electric and hybrid vehicles are going away as gas tax revenue drops, others are still in place. Over time the remaining rebates will go away; however, the price drop as electric technology becomes more widely adopted mitigates any sticker shock. These tax rebates can total up to several thousand dollars off the price of the vehicle. This often covers the typical gap between a regular car and a more expensive hybrid.
Electric cars have fewer moving parts. A typical gas engine lasts about 140,000 miles. A study of Tesla vehicles showed that at this point, their batteries were holding about 8% less charge than when brand new. Experts predict an electric car battery may last well over one million miles. Not only will it probably outlast the body of the car it’s in, but there are secondary uses being explored for used car batteries.
While we don’t know for sure because electric cars are still relatively new, it’s likely that your electric vehicle, if well looked after, will last for years to come.
They also need a lot less maintenance — no more trips to Jiffy Lube for routine oil changes. The transmission is also much simpler in electric cars, although more complicated in hybrids. The savings in both time and money is significant.
Gas prices are rising in most areas, especially in the United States, where drivers have long been used to paying a lot less for their fuel.
Although an electric or plug-in hybrid will result in an increase in your electricity bill, the EPA estimates savings of at least $4,000 over five years. In Europe, where gas has always been more expensive, the savings can be even more significant.
Because of all of these, it’s time for manufacturers to step up to the plate. The availability of hybrids has become mainstream, but electric vehicles are still very much a special-order item. This is particularly true at budget levels lower than the Teslas. However, electric cars are definitely the future and the market segment will continue to grow.
Hybrid vehicles contain a solenoid clutch that works as part of the switching system between internal combustion and electric motors. A second solenoid clutch switches between drawing power from the engine and drawing power from the wheels to charge the batteries. These solenoid clutches are critical elements of how a hybrid vehicle makes good use of both power sources.
As a major supplier of solenoids and motors, we are very interested in the research being done with solenoids as a primary electromechanical system.
To find out how Johnson Electric can help with solenoid clutches, solenoid starters, and other essential components for hybrid and electric vehicles, contact us today.