Hybrid electric vehicle
What is a hybrid electric vehicle?
- A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) uses an ICE (a petrol/diesel engine) and one or more electric motors to run.
- It is powered by the electric motor alone, which uses energy stored in batteries, by the ICE, or both. The powertrain of the HEV is more complex than a regular ICE-powered car as it has EV components and a conventional ICE. That means a typical HEV will have a low-voltage auxiliary battery, a traction battery pack to store electricity for the electric motor, an electric generator, an AC/DC converter, a power electronics controller, a thermal system to maintain working temperature, an ICE, a fuel tank, a fuel filler, a transmission and an exhaust system.
- The battery is charged through regenerative braking technology.
How does regenerative braking work?
- A regenerative braking system (RBS) used in automotive applications has several advantages like better braking efficiency in stop-and-go traffic which enhances fuel economy and also helps in reducing carbon emissions. RBS also helps in energy optimisation resulting in minimum energy wastage.
- The energy recovery happens in multiple ways.
- A kinetic system can recover the energy lost during braking and then use this energy to recharge the high-voltage battery of the vehicle.
- An electric system generates electricity through a motor during sudden braking.
- A hydraulic system uses pressurised tanks to store the vehicle’s kinetic energy and can offer a high energy recovery rate which is ideal for heavy vehicles.
- The efficiency of HEVs and EVs will in large part be determined by their ability to recover as much energy as possible while braking, with a higher degree of energy recovery lowering fuel consumption. The amount of recoverable energy depends upon factors like vehicle speed and stopping pattern.
- Regenerative braking systems are also used in electric railways. Rail transit can be described as frequent acceleration and braking of trains across many stations. This increases the potential for braking energy recovery using energy storage systems, which can recuperate and reuse braking energy from metro cars, further enhancing energy efficiency. A portion of a train’s energy consumption can be saved by using traction systems that allow regenerative braking.
What are the main advantages of using hybrid technology?
- Fuel efficiency is a major factor for most people considering buying a car.
- Most vehicles with hybrid technology offer better fuel efficiency, more power, and minimum emissions. The design of hybrid vehicles for reduced engine size and car weight as compared to ICE vehicles, translates into increased mileage to favour the demand for these vehicles.
- Moreover, with the increase in total power and torque, HEVs can deliver instant torque and provide high torque even at low speeds.
What are some challenges of hybrid technology?
- In a price-sensitive market like India, one of the major challenges for HEVs is the high vehicle cost.
- Battery, a vital component of an HEV, increases the cost of the vehicle, making it pricier than vehicles powered only by an ICE.
- The RBS also adds to the higher cost of an HEV.
Are HEVs helping the auto industry transition from ICE vehicles to EVs?
- The automotive industry is transitioning, with an increasing focus on hybrid and battery electric vehicles (BEVs or EVs).
- Meanwhile, the rise in fossil fuel prices, increase in the adoption of clean mobility solutions, and stringent government norms for emission control drive the growth of the global EV market.
- The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
As part of the NEMMP 2020, the Department of Heavy Industry (under the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) formulated a Scheme viz. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme in 2015.
The objective of the FAME India scheme is to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same.
The scheme encourages adoption of Electric and hybrid vehicles by offering upfront incentives on purchase of Electric vehicles and establishing a necessary charging Infrastructure for electric vehicles.
The scheme aims at addressing the issue of environmental pollution and fuel security.
The FAME scheme encourages, and in some segments mandates the adoption of electric vehicles (EV), with a goal of reaching 30% EV penetration by 2030. The scheme has 4 focus areas i.e. Technology Development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.
- The Phase-I of this Scheme was initially launched for a period of 2 years, commencing from 1st April 2015, which was subsequently extended up to 31st March 2019.
- The 1st Phase of FAME India Scheme was implemented through four focus areas namely (i) Demand Creation, (ii) Technology Platform, (iii) Pilot Project and (iv) Charging Infrastructure.
- Phase-II of FAME India Scheme is being implemented for a period of 3 years w.e.f. 01st April, 2019.
- This phase focuses on supporting electrification of public & shared transportation and aims to support, through subsidies, approximately 7000 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers.
- In addition, the creation of charging infrastructure is also supported for electric vehicles.
- National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage– To promote clean, connected, shared, sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives.
- NITI Aayog’s Battery Swapping Policy
- e-AMRIT (Accelerated e-Mobility Revolution for India’s Transportation) portal for creating awareness about electric mobility in India. The portal aims to serve as a ‘one-stop site’ to provide all the information related to the adoption of electric vehicles in India. e-AMRIT is the result of a joint initiative between NITI Aayog and the UK Government.