Which is the best type of EV for you?
Which is the best type of EV for you?
By: Selina Tan, for Automart.PH
There has been a surge in the availability of electric vehicles (EVs) in the Philippines in the past few years. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) now even features an impressive lineup of hybrid vehicles including the RAV4, Camry, Corolla Cross, Corolla Altis, and the long standing Prius. Other manufacturers have also joined in on the game with Nissan introducing the Kicks e-POWER, Mazda with the Mazda3 and CX-30 M Hybrid, Suzuki with the upcoming Ertiga Hybrid, as well the newcomer Chinese brands such as Geely and Chery.
While getting an electric vehicle is a no-brainer for most people with a budget, given their improved fuel economy, friendliness towards the environment, and general increase in quietness and comfort, selecting the perfect type of electric vehicle to be practical is another question. This is especially relevant as the golden rule is that the more electric a vehicle is, the higher the price; ie: full electric vehicles are normally more expensive than their hybrid counterparts. Today, we will find out which is best suited for your needs.
Mild hybrid vehicles are, as the name suggests, mildly hybrid. What this means is that the car in question functions more like a conventional internal combustion engined (ICE) vehicle, but with the supplementation of a small 48V electric motor and battery. This small electric motor is not capable of driving the vehicle in its entirety, and can only deliver a maximum of about 16 PS, depending on the model.
This motor’s main task is to give the gasoline engine a slight boost when needed, and when the situation is deemed to consume a lot of fuel such as during initial acceleration.
The mild hybrid’s 48V electric motor and battery also harnesses energy that is otherwise lost to heat during deceleration and braking, turning kinetic energy back into electrical energy, in a process called regenerative braking, which is then once again used to supplement the gasoline engine.
A mild hybrid system, while not the most advanced nor powerful, is the most inexpensive of all electric vehicles, but can still provide up to a 15% increase in fuel economy. This system is best for those who still want the feel, and comparatively low price of traditional non-hybrid vehicles, with the slight extra boost of power, and fuel efficiency.
Mild hybrid models available in the Philippines include the Geely Okavango and Azkarra, Mazda Mazda3 and CX-30, as well as the upcoming Suzuki Ertiga.
Hybrid vehicles are what usually come to mind when you say electric cars, and we can thank the first mass-produced hybrid, the Toyota Prius for their popularity. Hybrids are like a supercharged variety of mild hybrid systems. There is still a gasoline engine under the hood, and an electric motor as well. A battery, much larger than that found in a mild hybrid, is also present inside the vehicle, giving the electric motor enough juice to supplement the gasoline motor when needed. This includes situations in which hard acceleration is desired.
Unlike mild hybrids, however, hybrid vehicles can, up to a limited extent, usually a few kilometers at most, propel the vehicle on its own power, completely without the use of the gasoline engine. This mode is called “EV Mode” and is usually found in most hybrid vehicles. When the battery is depleted, “EV Mode” automatically shuts off, and the electric motor goes into charging mode.
One thing to note about hybrids is that they cannot be charged via a wall outlet, or at a charging station. There is no external port found in these vehicles for fuel aside from the conventional gasoline fuel filler port. Charging is done exclusively through either regenerative braking alone, charging via the gasoline engine’s power, or both simultaneously.
Hybrids are particularly helpful in terms of fuel economy when you drive often in stop and go city traffic, where gasoline powered idling is inefficient.
These vehicles are relatively affordable, and are usually derived from the same model of a vehicle that is not a hybrid, thereby reducing research and development costs for the manufacturer. Range anxiety is also not an issue as hybrids are solely dependent on the presence of traditional gasoline as fuel.
Hybrid models available in the Philippines include Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid, Corolla Altis Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, Prius, and Nissan’s Kicks e-POWER.
Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
Plug-in hybrids, commonly known as PHEVs are yet another step up from hybrid vehicles in terms of pure electric range, and battery size. They largely function similarly to hybrid vehicles with the addition of a much larger battery, and with this, dramatically increased electric only range, plus the availability of a charging port that can receive external power via a home charging outlet, or at a charging station.
PHEVs are perfect for anyone serious about entering the world of electric vehicles, but are residing in a country with a lack of charging infrastructure such as the Philippines.
PHEVs are the “hybrids of hybrids” wherein you get all the benefits of a gasoline engine, including the lack of range anxiety due to lack of charging stations, and also the option to go on full “EV mode” for extended periods of range and time. On normal operations, the electric motor found in PHEVs supplement the gasoline engine to give better fuel economy and increased acceleration, but you can also choose to go into either full gasoline power mode, or full electric power mode should you choose to do so. PHEVs have both a gasoline inlet port, and an electrical inlet port, and they are fueled and charged, respectively, separately.
The current record of a PHEV’s electric only range is at about 150 kilometers on a single charge with the Polestar 1. In the Philippines, however, we have a much more reasonable, but still impressive claimed record of 90 kilometers on a single charge with the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV.
Available PHEVs in the Philippines include the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Land Rover’s Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport PHEVs, as well as Jaguar’s F-PACE and E-PACE PHEVs as of October 2022.
Surely you have heard of Teslas. Teslas, including the Model S, 3, X, and Y are great examples of fully electric vehicles. Batteries found in these vehicles are large to provide enough sustained power to go around town, or beyond. The current record is set at about 837 kilometers on a single charge with the Lucid Air Dream Edition R, but as you probably have guessed, is not available in the Philippines.
As the name would suggest, full electric vehicles are fully electric and lack a primary or secondary gasoline engine. Despite having large batteries, these vehicles must rely on being charged either at home, or at charging stations. Due to this fact, fully electric vehicles suffer from range limitations, giving some owners the dreaded “range anxiety.”
Fully electric vehicles are on the pricier side of cars. The cheapest fully electric car (not including superminis) currently available in the country is the Nissan Leaf which has a price tag of PHP 2,798,000. Also, the Philippines still lack charging infrastructure, with charging stations found only in limited quantities mainly across Metro Manila alone. This means that fully electric vehicles are limited to city drives, and the close provincial trips. Forget about the usual Manila - Baguio trips.
With that said, fully electric vehicles are recommended, as of now, solely to Filipinos who have a high budget, exclusively drive shorter distances at a time, and have other vehicles available for when farther trips are required.
This is greatly reflected in available models here in the country, most of which are from luxury brands.
Fully electric vehicles available in the Philippines include Audi's E-Tron and E-Tron GT, the BMW iX, BYD’s Han and Tang, the Nissan Leaf, and Porsche’s Taycan, among others.
Not yet ready for electric vehicle ownership? Do not fret as Automart.PH is here to cater to your internal combustion engined (ICE) vehicle needs. We have multiple used ICE cars for sale in various price points on our website, including those that could match the fuel economy figures of electric vehicles, guaranteeing that you will find the perfect car for you. We also offer installments that will make every car purchase rewarding, and easy on the wallet.
Content Editor Kyle Liong contributed to this story.