Electric Car With Range Extender – Buying an electric car is not an easy task. Choosing from different options of brands and trying to decide which is the most cost effective can be confusing for anyone. Next is loading. Are there public chargers where you live or drive? Can you charge at home? What if the answer to the last two questions is a resounding “no”? Are PHEVs even an option? What about Eleb?
EREVs are a bit different from the familiar PHEVs. Both have electric motors and are battery powered, but that’s where the similarities end. EREV uses the internal combustion engine simply as a generator, so there is no connection between the engine and the drive system. Generators are typically gasoline engines whose sole purpose is to charge the battery when it is low.
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Since the car has a built-in charger, there is no need for a large battery, and these cars usually have battery packs of 45 kWh or less. It’s still big enough to offer a decent electric-only range compared to a PHEV. Some EREVs can travel up to 200 km on battery power. When your battery is low, you have two options. Start your generator or stop with a DC charger for a quick recharge.
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This option is very interesting because it means that the EREV essentially functions as an EV with self-charging capability, even if there are no DC or AC chargers nearby. A range of 200 km is sufficient for many drivers, and the on-board generator means you’ll have peace of mind on long journeys and unexpected situations.
If both types of EVs have internal combustion engines, how are they different? Essentially, EREVs are the next generation of PHEVs. Decoupling the gas-powered engine from the drivetrain eliminates the need for a complex gearbox and allows the engine to run itself at a constant RPM and at its most efficient speed, further saving fuel.
EREVs are typically much more powerful than PHEVs, and it is not uncommon for EREVs to produce as much as 300 kW of pure power. It’s much more fun to drive thanks to its electric power source and the instant torque that comes with it. It clearly has a longer electric range than a PHEV, and can also use a DC fast charger.
The downside is the size. For now, it is available as a larger SUV or crossover, as the manufacturer is focusing on that vehicle segment for now. We don’t know if this trend will change, but first EREV will have to become even more popular. Another drawback is the fact that some of the early EREVs were less fuel efficient than modern PHEVs, and charging a car battery from an on-board generator can be more expensive than a DC or AC charger.
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These cars are specifically designed to theoretically offer electric driving without the limitations of battery charging. The biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is undoubtedly the lack of charging infrastructure. EREV removes that barrier and provides a “stopgap”, so to speak, electric drive for up to 1,200 km.
While charging infrastructure is constantly improving, it will take time to become ubiquitous, and the time it takes to charge an EV can often be a problem. Imagine an electric emergency vehicle having to stop for 30 minutes. It is impossible. EREV is very convenient to use. In most cases, the internal combustion engine works as a last resort, using only the battery and without compromising the car’s performance.
There is no doubt about the price. EREVs are cheaper than comparable EVs simply because they have smaller batteries. Requiring smaller batteries not only means cars are cheaper, but more cars are needed. Since lithium is in short supply and sodium ion batteries are new to the market, it will be several years before cheaper batteries and more batteries will be available.
It is far from perfect, firstly because the combustion engine acts as dead weight when not in use, and on-board generators are often used for less than 10 percent of a car’s life, and their Ninety percent uses about 300 kg of parts. Not used at all.
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The advantage of electric cars is low maintenance costs, but unfortunately EREVs have engines that require regular maintenance just like traditional cars. Engines are complex and can fail at any time.
Although building small electric vehicles for cities is a fairly simple task, building small EREVs is not only difficult, but can actually be more expensive than electric vehicles. This makes economic sense for larger vehicles that require larger batteries.
Finally, gasoline engines need space, and that space comes at the expense of a bump or small trunk. In addition, there are additional safety implications and crash ratings, which, as already mentioned, make them a little less reliable compared to pure electric cars.
If you think EREV can solve all your problems, then living in China is ideal. These vehicles are very popular in China, and the EREV segment is one of the fastest growing parts of the Chinese EV market. Unfortunately, other countries don’t have many options at the moment. We’ll just have to wait for the Mazda MX-30 R-EV, which has a great rotary engine. While that’s good news for RX-7 and rotary power fans, it’s probably more of a headache for everyone else.
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The only other option is LEVC TX, a London taxi available as a passenger or van version. It has many advantages. For one, it’s manufactured by Geely and uses a lot of Volvo parts. The quality is pretty good, the performance is decent, and if you don’t mind strangers jumping into your car every time you stop, it can be a very interesting car to own. The interior is spacious and, for a passenger car, has more legroom than a Rolls-Royce Phantom, with seating for eight people crammed together and two in the back seat.
AITO M5 – One of the first EREVs on the Chinese market and we thoroughly reviewed it. You can read it here. In EREV spec, the car has a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 123 horsepower, but that power isn’t connected to the wheels and doesn’t count toward the vehicle’s total power output.
The battery capacity is 40 kWh and the electric range is 140 km. The extender is then activated, giving the car a total range of more than 1,000 km (NEDC). The EREV is available in both 2WD and AWD versions, the latter is equipped with two electric motors with a total power of 315 kW and a torque of 720 Nm, and the sprint time from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 4, 4 seconds.
A claimed range of 1,000 km means the car uses 56 liters of fuel to travel 860 km, which gives a theoretical consumption of 6.5 litres/100 km.
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Li Auto series vehicles are only available as EREVs. Its predecessor was Li ONE, which has now been replaced by Li L9. Then there’s the Li L8 and Li L7, which offer a 42 kWh battery along with a 1.5 liter petrol generator. According to the company, the L8 has a total range of 1,315 km, of which 210 km can be driven on battery power.
The larger L9 uses the same range extender but has a slightly larger battery at 44.5 kWh, but has a lower electric range of 180 km due to the vehicle’s size. The total range is strangely the same for the two cars: 1,315 km. There is no information yet on the next Li L7, but it will use the same generator and the battery will probably be around 40 kWh.
The Li L9 has a 65 liter fuel tank that enables it to cover 1,135 km (180 km electric range). This gives an average consumption of 5.7 litres/100 km, not bad for a car larger than the Mercedes EQS SUV.
The Voyah Free is another Chinese-made EREV that also offers a battery option. The EREV trim combines the familiar 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a 33 kWh battery pack. Power is provided by two electric motors with a maximum output of 500 kW or 671 hp and a torque of 1,000 Nm. Overall range is estimated at 860 km (530 miles), with a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 4.6 seconds.
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The Voyah Free uses a 56 liter fuel tank, and while the company hasn’t confirmed the car’s all-electric range, we can assume that the 33 kWh battery will likely give it range.
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