Electric Cars: The Basics
For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:
- The History Of Electric Cars and Vehicles
- Different Types Of Electric Cars: A Short Guide
- Electric Cars and Vehicles: Pros, Cons And Myths
- What Is Regenerative Braking In Electric Cars
For those keen on an overview of the Indian and global electric vehicle (EV) market, simply scroll down to the end of the article!
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The Volvo V90 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid Estate
Sweden has created its fair share of global brands, but none with a reputation as good as Volvo Cars, when it comes to passenger safety. Volvo cars is an automotive manufacturer based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Volvo Group has a long history of success and was established in 1927. The Volvo electric vehicle (EV) current portfolio includes:
- C40 Recharge Pure Electric Crossover
- XC40 Recharge Pure Electric SUV
- XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid SUV
- XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid SUV
- XC90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid SUV
- S60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid Saloon
- S90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid Saloon
- V60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid Estate
- V90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid Estate
The Volvo V90 conventional petrol and diesel variant has been available since 2016. It made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016. The conventional V90 received a facelift in early 2020. As with other Volvo models, the company has also introduced the V90 as a plug-in hybrid electric estate car.
The plug-in electric Volvo estate (PHEV) is perfect for families already familiar with the advantages of owning and driving a Volvo car i.e. a fantastic reputation for safety and quality. Of course, the electric Recharge PHEV further enhances this enviable reputation, given the environment-friendly nature of lower emission plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
PHEVs are perfect for individuals and families:
- Keen to take a step towards lower emission and environment-friendly driving
- Need a vehicle for extensive and regular long-distance travelling
- Have limited access to private or public EV charging stations
- Do a number of short commutes (30 miles and below) on a regular basis
- Keen to save money
The Volvo plug-in electric estate has a 10.4 kWh EV battery with a WLTP zero-emission electric range of 35 miles. Depending on driving style, weather condition and the services used in the e-estate, expect a real world range closer to 28 miles. However, that would be more than sufficient for most daily commutes using the EV battery i.e. driving emission-free and also saving money (the running cost per mile of an EV is far lower than a petrol or diesel car). Bottom-line driving on electric miles is both cost efficient and eco-friendly!
The Volvo PHEV is practical and versatile without compromising on quality and comfort. The rear seats are comfortable for adults, with ample legroom and headroom and appropriate for most family requirements, to include, school runs, family outings, grocery shopping and a lot more! The interior quality of the electric estate is high and driving is a pleasure.
Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).
In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.
At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!
|At A Glance|
|EV Type:||Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)|
|Engine:||Electric/ Petrol (T6 AWD plug-in hybrid)|
|Available In India:||No|
|Trims (2 Options)|
|A good low-emission family estate car||An expensive PHEV. Cheaper options available|
|Interior quality and cabin space good||Infotainment system can be improved|
|Cheap to run when on electric mode||Limited EV range|
|EV Battery & Emissions|
|EV Battery Type:||Lithium-ion|
|EV Battery Capacity:||Available in one battery size (10.4 kWh)|
|Charging:||On board charger: 3.7kW AC (charge up to 80% in 3 hours). DC charging not available|
|Charge Port:||Type 2|
|EV Cable Type:||Type 2|
|Tailpipe Emissions:||47g (CO2/km)|
|Battery Warranty:||8 years or 100,000 miles|
|Charging Times (Overview)|
|Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):||6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)|
|Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):||3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
|Rapid charging AC (43 kW):||0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
|Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):||0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
|Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):||0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
|Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):||0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
- Note 1: SoC: state of charge
|Volvo V90 Plug-in Hybrid|
|EV Battery Capacity:||10.4 kWh|
|Pure Electric Range (WLTP):||35.4 miles (combined)|
|Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):||14.8|
|Fuel Consumption (mpg):||134.5 (combined)|
|Charging:||On board charger: 3.7kW AC|
|Top Speed:||112 mph|
|0-62 mph:||5.6 seconds|
|Drive:||All-wheel drive (AWD)|
|Electric Motor (kW):||N/A|
|Gross Vehicle Weight (kg):||2,610|
India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market
India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!
Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.
Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.
Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.
Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.
Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Market
Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), more commonly referred to simply as, electric vehicles (EVs) or as plug-in electric cars, have come a long way over the past decade and certainly a long way over the past 100 years.
Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation. Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages. In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage. Instead the avenue was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention at that time.
We are now witnessing a similar fundamental shift in road transportation, as polluting internal combustion engines (ICE) petrol and diesel vehicles are being replaced by low-emission and zero-emission electric vehicles. In countries like the United Kingdom, a leader in e-mobility, we can expect a comprehensive replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 (UK will ban the sale of new ICE cars in 2030). The UK is not the only country that has a vision of a mass transition to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars.
Since 2011, the global electric vehicle (EV) market has increased at a year-over-year growth rate of over 50%. In 2020, according to the Global EV Outlook 2021 report, the global stock of electric vehicles (EVs) had surpassed 10 million units . In 2015, the Global stock was just over 1 million units. In 2020, Europe accounted for the largest share of new car registrations of EVs (1.4 million registered electric vehicles), followed by China (1.2 million electric vehicles). In Europe, countries like Norway, Iceland and Sweden continue to show strong leadership in the transition to electric driving. In Norway more than 75% of new cars are electric, followed by 50% in Iceland and 30% in Sweden.
However, this is not just a western phenomenon. A number of countries across the world have announced their support for electric cars, to include India. Pure electric cars are now common sightings in a number of global markets, and EV automotive manufacturers, like California based Tesla Motors are now household brands.
Traditional automotive manufactures have also shown significant commitment to the migration to electric engines, to include Volvo Cars, the Volkswagen Group, Renault, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Mercedes, Land Rover and many more. Forecast for the sale of EVs suggest up to 30 million electric vehicles to be sold before the end of the current decade.