Hybrid vs electric car: how employers can influence the EVs uptake?
Millennials and Gen-Z are willing to accept lower pay for the opportunity to work with an environmentally responsible company. One department the companies could focus on is transportation by showing commitment to electric vehicles (EVs), emphasizing the clear difference between hybrid vs electric car.
Job selection criteria have changed now. Employees look for companies actively addressing environmental and societal concerns. According to the global analytics firm Gallup, 71% of employees care about the employers’ commitment to meaningful action on climate.
Making vehicle charging available to employees indicates that an organization is dedicated to environmental and social responsibility. Individuals employed at companies that provide charging facilities are six times more likely to opt for EVs.
However, the widespread acceptance of EVs comes with the liability of being affordable and expansion in EVs charging infrastructure. That could be the reason why many prefer hybrid to pure electric.
Although EVs demonstrate clear winning points, hybrids still tag along behind, displaying more potential than traditional diesel-based vehicles.
Hybrid and electric car
The global EVs sales are anticipated to reach 14 million EVs in 2023, a notable growth of 33% compared to 2022. Figure 1 shows the comparison between EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) for the first half of 2022 and 2023 in different regions.
China and Europe continue to dominate as the largest markets for EVs. Figure 2 shows the number of electric cars by top areas in 2022.
A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University states that using an emissions-free power grid and the widespread use of EVs could lead to a 90% reduction in emissions from light-duty vehicles.
Tesla and the Chinese market leader BYD have surged ahead in the EVs race (Figure 3). BYD alone achieved almost 1.2 million plug-in electric vehicle sales in the first half (H1) of 2023. That is double the combined total of BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes.
Hybrid vs electric car: what’s the difference?
EVs, also known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), operate solely on electric motors connected to sizeable rechargeable battery packs. They boast impressive efficiency, with most new models offering a driving range well beyond 200 miles. Charging an EV is generally more cost-effective than purchasing gas, and the convenience of recharging at home adds to its appeal.
Hybrid vehicles represent a hybridization of traditional gasoline-powered cars and pure EVs. They incorporate a standard, full-sized combustion engine that runs on gasoline or diesel fuel, complemented by one or more compact electric motors powered by a battery. Two categories of hybrid vehicles are:
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) recharge their batteries by connecting to an electric charging station or a wall socket. These vehicles typically can travel short distances, ranging from 20 to 30 miles, solely on electric power before transitioning to a gas-dominant hybrid mode.
Conventional hybrids, also known as HEVs, recharge their battery packs through a combination of the gas engine and regenerative braking. The smaller electric motors in these cars are engineered to support the gas engine, either by extending the driving range or boosting the performance.
Figure 4 shows the comparison of different models between EVs and PHEVs on how far vehicles can travel with fully loaded electricity.
Which is cheaper to maintain?
While both hybrids and EVs are more economical to run than with gas, EVs hold a distinct advantage because they lack a traditional engine. The cost comes down to approximately $400 to $1,000 less per year for EVs compared to a gas car.
CNBC conducted a cost analysis, revealing that driving 100 miles in a gas-powered car incurs an average cost of $14 while covering the same distance using electric power amounts to just over $5. It's worth noting that the precise cost depends on the electricity rates in your specific area.
Charging a Tesla with grid power costs approximately 4 to 5 cents per mile, which is notably 70-75% less than the average fuel cost of 16 cents per mile for a typical gas car. In the case of a highly efficient plug-in hybrid, such as the Kia Niro Hybrid, the combined average fuel costs (gas plus electricity) are slightly higher, ranging from 6 to 8 cents per mile.
Figure 5 shows the estimated economic and environmental contribution of diesel cars, hybrids with no plug, PHEVs, and EVs. The figure shows how much a car can travel with 1 USD, its associated emissions, and lifetime emissions. Tailpipe emissions are zero from EVs but the figure averages, considering a vehicle's life cycle emissions and secondary emissions from electricity.
Using solar panels for affordable charging
Here are some guidelines on how much it is going to cost to charge EVs in different scenarios:
Public charging: $0.28 - $0.69 per kWh
Grid power at the workplace: $0.10 - $0.40 per kWh
Workplace solar panels: $0.05 - $0.11 per kWh
This means, that having a charging station at the workplace can save money for employees and can be attractive points for talent.
Fuel costs for gas cars are subject to the prices set by local gas stations, offering limited control to the owner. In contrast, EVs or PHEVs provide greater control over charging expenses.
Businesses opting for solar panels stand out as the cheapest way to charge an EV's battery, with an average cost of $0.05- $0.11 per kWh. In contrast, charging using power from a utility company typically comes in at around $0.10-$0.40 per kWh.
Electric cars emerge as the clear winner, coupled with significantly reduced maintenance expenses in the context of hybrid vs electric car. Also, choosing solar panels to charge cars means they can also be used for powering the entire workspace, reducing overall energy bills while improving employee satisfaction.
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