Have you ever wondered what do terms like CNG, ICE, HEV, PHEV or BEV being frequently used these days to suggest to different engines and fuel types mean?
CNG Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a cheap, clean, and safe natural gas. It is also one of the most efficient and abundantly available fossil fuel on planet earth. It is a clear, odourless, colourless, and tasteless gas primarily methane (80-90 %) compressed at a pressure of 200-250 Kg/cm2. It is non-carcinogenic and non-toxic, inflammable, non-corrosive and lighter than air. It requires a minor, low-cost modification to existing vehicles. Hence it belies reason why despite the increase in demand world-wide India still has not been able to provide CNG pumps in every nook and corner of the country. It also remains to be seen how India can wean people away from petrol or diesel and promote CNG as an alternate and affordable fuel by 2030.
EV can be freely designed and built in any shape, size, or configuration according to market demand. But the flip side of the coin is that where do we charge our EVs? Till today, charging facilities for EVs are nonexistent. The big question is – can India meet the deadline to convert all vehicles into EVs by 2030? Can India which imports over 80 per cent of its transport fuel—take this lightly? The future may be electric, but you cannot replace compressed natural gas (CNG) which is currently being used by around 3 million vehicles on Indian roads over the past decade or so. Well, to be honest, we are moving towards an age of electric, hybrids vehicles and alternative fuels.
ICE- stands for Internal Combustion Engine. These vehicles are generally powered by petrol, gasoline, diesel, biofuels or natural gas – which burn gasoline to produce power. The Internal Combustion Engines today are more efficient and lead to lower emissions than those from decades ago, but still can we get rid of them, the sooner the better?
HEVs – stands for Hybrid electric vehicles or hybrid drivetrains –powered by a combination of ICE and electric motor. The HEV drivetrains have both the ICE and electric motor power. Their batteries can be charged either by spinning an electric generator when the ICE is operating or in some cases, by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electric energy
PHEVs – The Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (are very similar to the HEVs and can be run both on ICE and electric power. A big difference is that their battery can be charged by plugging into a power source.
BEV Unlike the three other types of vehicles- the Battery electric vehicles –do not have any internal combustion engine or fuel tank at all. They run on a fully electric drivetrain powered by rechargeable batteries and need to be plugged into a power source to charge.
India has a lot to gain by converting its internal combustion engines ICE vehicles to EVs to control the dependence on oil-import and reduce pollution in the cities.
India needs a lasting, convenient and cost-effective solution to satisfy the growing demand for intra-city and inter-city mobility of its rapidly urbanizing population. The need of the hour is fuel-efficient, eco-friendly vehicles, but do we necessarily need to invent the wheel all over again and say good-bye to the internal combustion engines (ICEs) which too are coming up with eco-friendly options?