Electrification

What You Need To Know

The electrification of the automotive industry is coming sooner rather than later. As the sight of electric vehicle chargers becomes commonplace, and EVs (electric vehicles) aren’t just novelties anymore, you may have some questions about this progression. Honda has a comprehensive plan towards electrification you can read here. Summarized Honda’s broader scope for electrification extends to 2040, which has become their goal for full electric or zero emission sales. For North America their goal is to have 40% of sales be electric by 2030 and 80% by 2035.

This process is already well underway with Honda’s series of hybrid cars available now. Their hybrid line up is planned to expand past their current models to the bestselling Honda Civic in the near future. This transition to hybrid is step one in the process. Step two has always been reached with Honda’s plug-in hybrid Clarity. The distinction between hybrid and plug-in hybrid are explained in further detail below, but it is the intermediate evolutionary step toward full electric.

Honda has their eye set on late 2023 for the release of their first full electric commercial vehicle the Prologue. This will mark the emergence of Honda into the fully electric pantheon of automotive manufacturers. From this first step Honda plans on having an eventful second half of the 2020s, with plans to expand the full EV lineup to support a range of models. What does this mean for you? Well, it means that soon the choice to go electric or stay with combustion will be very real.

With EV providing lower maintenance cost, environmental impact, and energy cost. Sacrificing in many cases range and speed of refueling. For many the technology hasn’t hit its critical marks to make the switch tempting yet, though improvements in the industry are happening rapidly. You can learn a little more about the difference between the vehicle types below.

Benefits of Electric Vehicles

No CO2 Emissions

Electric cars don’t create any CO2 emissions when operating.  Running solely off of battery power, this helps to reduce air pollution.

Faster Acceleration

Electric motors have more torque than most combustion engines, this allows electric vehicles to have higher acceleration rates.   

Quiet

Electric vehicles can run close to silent.  Without the need for a combustion engine, their motors create very little noise 

Lower Maintenance Cost

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts compared to complex combustion engines.  This means that electric motors are less expensive to operate and maintain.  

Less Expensive to Refuel

Charging an electric vehicle from the wall or from a charging station is less expensive than gasoline or diesel.  Many times, costing a fraction of what it would cost to operate a similarly sized conventical vehicle.  

Better Control

In vehicles with multiple electric motors powering separate wheels can improve vehicle control.  Independently powering wheels can improve handling in corners.  

Hybrid cars combine both combustion and electric power in some capacity.  This can range from minimal electric motor assist to full EV driving modes.  The main benefit of hybrids is their increased fuel efficiency.  Using electric motors to assist the car when moving can dramatically increase fuel efficiency.  Some hybrids also utilize regenerative braking, which captures energy used to brake, sending that power back to the battery.  In a conventional brake setup, every time you brake that energy is wasted.  

The downside of hybrids come in a couple of different forms.  Hybrids typically have higher maintenance cost because their more complex than conventional vehicles.  The batteries in particular can be very expensive to replace or repair as hybrids age.  Winter weather can also dampen the benefits of hybrid vehicles.  Deducing range and effecting gas mileage when heating is required.  

Plug-in hybrids work similarly to conventional hybrids. The key difference is that plug-in hybrids can be charged from an outlet to run entirely on electricity for a short distance.  For short trips this means 0 exhaust emissions, and 0 gas usage.  For longer trips that can’t be accomplished on electric alone, plug-in hybrids have an engine as well.  These engines can work to drive the car directly, or they can be used as a generator to feed power to the electric motors.  This system combines the best of both worlds providing the efficiency of an EV with the range of a conventional vehicle.  Honda’s Clarity works in this manner, allowing owners to power up the batteries without any need for gas.   

Plug-in hybrids don’t require you to plug them in either, they function like a normal hybrid when not charged.  This provides the most flexibility on the market for low emissions vehicles.   

Electric Vehicles are exactly that, vehicles that run exclusively on electricity. Many using multiple motors that drive wheels independently.  This can increase handling and help maintain traction.  The beauty of electric vehicles is the lack of moving parts. With an electric vehicle it only requires one moving part to function.  This can reduce the need for extended maintenance required by standard vehicles.  Charging from the wall or charging station is often less expensive than gasoline. 

The largest downside of electric vehicles currently is the lack of range, and time to charge the batteries.  Many of the most advanced EVs still have a range around 320 km, which for most people satisfies their day-to-day distances.  With charging times taking over 40 minutes for most current EVs, stopping to recharge on a trip is a major time waster.  This is where future generations of EVs will have to improve.  Reaching longer distances and faster charging time will speed up the adoption of EVs.