I now own a Leaf. Before buying it i test drove a Chevy Volt. I thought that the series hybrid architecture was "the best" but for reasons of "comfort inside the vehicle" did not buy the Volt.
It seems to me that the series hybrid architecture is "the best of both worlds". You are always driving an electric vehicle in terms of feel of driving. Yet you always have gas backup so you never run out of power and can take long trips with the vehicle. Also i like that batteries only need be 50-100 mile range, so no need to use all the environmental resources to build super-large batteries for every single vehicle.
But i seem to no longer see any series plug-in hybrids coming onto the market. Does anybody know why? Is it more expensive to include a generator in a car as opposed to a whole parallel drive ICE? Or more dangerous or something? Is there some other disadvantage for series hybrid architecture?
Does anybody know if any series hybrids are coming soon in the marketplace?
The rumor is that GM is bringing back some of their plug-in hybrids, they still make them and sell them in South America. It seems like that only Toyota is the only one that is making plug-in hybrids and want to continue making them for a number of years.
A plug in hybrid is too expensive to make for the car manufacturers and they cannot get as much profit for them as they would like to, because people don't want to pay more money for them. It's great because you will never run out of fuel, it's bad because you carry a fuel tank and generator with you all the time as extra weight.
The most energy efficient vehicles are fully electric vehicles, but you need a place to charge them and they cost a lot of money. For me, I will only buy an electric vehicle if it gets 350 miles in winter conditions, I don't want to be inconvenienced with anything less. A Lucid Air would be perfect.....for half price.
The only true series hybrids out there are the i3 REx and Nissan's ePower ones, the latter isn't a PHEV. GM and Toyota are a power-split system, and Hyundai PHEVs a parallel. A direct mechanical connection between engine and wheels gives better highway efficiency.
With enough EV range, the lower efficiency of a series isn't a bad trade off for better packaging the range extender in the car.
Plug in hybrids are very popular here as the majority of users only do short journeys, and most do between 15-35 miles in pure electric mode. Things like the hybrid range rover can do almost 80 miles on electric, but such a large vehicle has space for a huge battery. There are at least 35 car makers here with plug in hybrids on offer currently.
There are many ultra low emissions zones in UK cities meaning you have to pay £25 a day to enter unless in an electric vehicle. With plug ins, you can save the battery until you enter such places. They are very versatile and suit the needs of many, with the main engine able to travel several hundred miles per tank of fuel.