It doesn’t always have to be diesel

It doesn't always have to be diesel

All-terrain vehicles and suvs have been the best-sellers in german car dealerships for years. Almost 40 percent of all car buyers last year chose a vehicle in one of these categories. In addition to their coarseness, critics like to complain about the unseasonably high fuel consumption of suvs and land vehicles and the associated pollutant emissions. Manufacturers have reacted to this and now also offer vehicles with alternative drive systems.

The classic burners

An economical diesel engine is certainly not a bad choice for a coarse SUV, especially since, according to ADAC measurements, the emission values of current models in the 6d TEMP euro standard are also in the green range, i.E. Well below the limit values. For smaller models a turbo gasoline engine can be a good alternative, because the torque is good and the fuel consumption is low.

The alternative: electric

The choice of alternative powertrains is becoming increasingly wide, and not just for expensive suvs. In addition to natural gas versions, electric cars suitable for everyday use are already blessed with good ranges of 300 to 400 kilometers. The battery robe is crucial for the range, but you need time to charge it from a household socket: it can take up to 18 hours for the battery to be 100 percent full again. Charging is much faster at a powerful wallbox.

Hybrid and plug-in hybrid

Those who don’t yet trust pure electromobility might do well with a plug-in hybrid. Around 50 to 70 kilometers can be driven in purely electric mode before the gasoline engine kicks in. The manufacturers advertise very low emission levels, but these are usually only achieved if the battery is always fully charged. In addition, the accelerator pedal needs to be handled gently, because kickdown – even in electric driving mode – engages the combustion engine. And speeds of more than 120 kilometers per hour can only be achieved in combination with an electric motor and a gasoline engine. Energy is recovered via the engine braking effect. When the battery is empty, it takes just under four hours to reach 100 percent when charging from a normal socket. But with an average electric range of 60 kilometers, plug-in suvs are well suited for users who have a manageable commute to work and can ideally also charge at home.

If you don’t have a charging station at home, but still want to be economical on the road, a pure hybrid is a good choice. It usually offers the same performance data as the plug-in versions, but does not have to be charged separately via a plug and therefore does not offer any real electric range. Since the electric motor supports the gasoline engine in everyday driving and acceleration, and the drive is often switched off in city traffic, for example, the hybrid still scores with low standard consumption. And thanks to a smaller battery, it has a larger trunk capacity than its plug-in counterparts. A pure hybrid shows its advantages primarily in city traffic and on country roads.

Hydrogen models

The range of hydrogen-powered suvs is still relatively small, but at least the technology is now ready for series production. It takes just a few minutes to refuel at special hydrogen filling stations. But there are currently only about 80 of these in germany, and they are located in and around the major metropolises.

Almost every hydrogen car runs on a fuel cell. Fuel cell systems are energy converters. Unlike the internal combustion engine, which is based on a thermodynamic principle, i.E. Converting heat into motion, the fuel cell converts the hydrogen fuel directly into electrical energy, which can then be used to power an electric motor.

All fuel cell vehicles are therefore electric vehicles – and highly efficient: they have far fewer energy losses than conventional engines and are already twice as efficient as vehicles with internal combustion engines. A fuel cell vehicle that runs on hydrogen also has zero local emissions, because the controlled reaction of hydrogen and oxygen produces only heat and water, not electricity. Jurgen scheibe

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