Are Hybrid Cars a Solution for CNG Shortage?


Are Hybrid Cars a Solution for CNG Shortage?

Importing hybrid cars to replace CNG vehicles is not an appropriate solution for the time being. Reason being it will be one expensive move by would be government of PMLN.  As we all know currently Pakistan is not in a position to spend heavy amount. Secondly replacing CNG vehicles with hybrid cars will increase number of cars on roads as people will have one CNG car and one battery car (ironically this is how we are).  It will not be a workable solution to the shortage of gas. But yes it can be effective in the long run. So for short run the government should come up with more viable solution.

 

Instead government should rationalize or should give quota of CNG at least for six months to an independent company and that company would distribute CNG to pumps according to their requirement. Government should limit the availability of CNG to pumps via an independent source. This will eventually decrease the consumption of gas without creating problems for the masses.

 

Considering the recent accident of School bus at Gujarat and number of other accidents due to the explosion of CNG cylinders, make us think to come up with more secure system and way and we do not need alternative CNG cars at the moment we need to discourage people about the use of CNG cylinders. Nowhere in the world gas is use as main fuel, it is just an alternative fuel but unfortunately in Pakistan we use it as our main fuel.

 

And if we pragmatically look at CNG vehicles, we do not save any penny instead we have to spend more money on car maintenance in the long run as it effect car engine badly as cars are not designed to run on gas as main fuel.

 

And along with it continuous threat of explosion, it’s like you are having a time bomb at back of your car which can explode any time.CNG cylinders life expectancy is five years, so all the CNG cylinders must be change after every five years but unfortunately once we installed it we do not bother to change it or even to repair and in the end we have to face its consequences in the form of explosion and loss of life.



A contributor for The News/Geo blogs


  • Anonymous

    How are you going to charge the hybrid car batteries with all that load shedding?!

    Can hybrid cars beat a reliabe mass transit system which deals with rising CNG cobsumer demand as well as the constrains of foreign exchange (for hybrid car imports) facing the country?

  • Anonymous

    Energy and foreign exchange are the major issues facing Pakistan after terrorism. Look forward to seeing well thought discussion about enhanched hybrid technology i.e. there will be talk gere of today’s technology at tge very least instead of a very temporary fix using yesterday’s technology e.g. PHEV instead of the older ‘petro-charging’ (literally so in USD terms too with still a high reliance on imported petrol!) technology.

    Hopefully someone will come up with a cost-benefit analysis within the Pakistani context covering any petrol based saving versus the much higher costs of hybrids etc. and then compare with an efficient public transport system and perhaps a reference to the Singapore model with its high levy on individual cars!

  • M.Saeed

    Hybrid cars are those using more than one fuels for motive power while “Plug-in Electric Vehicles” (PEVs) are not hybrid because they use only the electric power stored in batteries to move the vehicle. Therefore, PEVs need very high rate of recharge using the normal 16 Amp household power outlets, taking about 10 to 15 hours for a full charge, depending upon the size of batteries in cars. They are basically good only for town usage because of their limited range between the charges and very long recharge time. High-powered public recharge outlets for PEVs requires establishment of very comprehensive infrastructure system capable of providing recharge facilities at convenient places at all times. Therefore, in our context of frequent and prolonged power outages, they are not possible.

    On the other hand, Hybrid Vehicles use multiple systems. They have an internal combustion engine, a high powered long-life battery, a power generation system, a set of tractions motors, a regenerative braking and downhill system for converting inertia of the moving vehicle into power storage in batteries and a system exchanger for cooling/heating of the vehicle’s passenger cabin. Internal combustion engine provide traction to wheels as well as charging of batteries during operation when full engine power is not required by the wheels. The whole complex systems of various combinations of eventualities experienced are controlled by the central computer appropriately factory-programmed. Therefore, they are extremely difficult to maintain without state of the art facilities, which are also very costly.

    • Anonymous

      Saeed Sb

      Just to add to your explanation, PHEVs (or PHVs) are not the same as PEVs but the next step up from a simple Gasoline- Battery hybrid. That is the say, the electrically charged range of the car increases because the batteries are charged by an electrical supply too. Should one run out of electrical juice, the internal combustion engine can still kick in. Toyata Prius for example is also promoting PHV in the US.

      With rising greenhouse gases, developed world moves towards PHEVs for public transport. Of course putting up charging points at particular bus stops should be managable if there is a comprehensive plan to update the public transport infrastructure. Pakistan just needs a cost benefit analysis and a policy on all this.

  • Dr. Zafar Iqbal

    I fully agree Hybrid is not solution of energy crisis. Instead it will create a problem to the user due non availability of mechanics.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps you will investigate beyond Toyota’s marketing literature for their older technology.
    http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_basics_phev.html

  • Anonymous

    Vicky Sb

    With sufficient demand, finding technologically able people to service hybrids in Pakistan is the least of the least of the problems. Actually, the result will be better quality jobs.

    The problem is extra drains on the tight foreign exchange because of a large price premium over conventional vehicles. Even with much more efficient PHEV, almost halving petrol usage (compared with ordinary hybrid) for average city driving because battery is externally charged (a problem in itself for Pakistan because of load shedding), more foreign exchange will spent compared with any savings made by importing less oil.

    Judging by respinse to my earlier post, it seems the new generation of hybrids (PHEVs) are nit known in Pakistan. You may find the following site of interest.
    http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_basics_phev.html

  • M.Saeed

    It should be reminded that Hybrid transport is almost exclusively used by Pakistan Railways, ever since it stopped using steam engines and adopted Diesel-Electric engines. Similar system is now being used in public transport in many parts of the world.
    It is a grave irony of fact that in spite of making technical strides extending deep into the outer space, man has yet to defeat the efficiency barriers in converting fuel into mechanical power. We all know that “Radiators” in all internal combustion engines are necessary for cooling enormous amount of heat produced by combustion of fuel and resulting friction in reciprocating cylinders. It means wasting a large quantity of heat generated just because of the handicapped design. To explain in layman’s language, in a “fourstroke engine” there is only one working stroke, while the “horse-power” produced in by that working stroke, has to drag along 3 idle (or dead) horses before delivering its remainder of power to the crank-shaft. Even crank-shaft because of its crookedness has acentric motion which needs to be countered by adding counter weights that consume another chunk of power. Therefore, internal
    combustion engine of an automobile can hardly convert 15 % of thermal power
    burnt to move the wheels.

    In case of Hybrid cars, some of the energy lost is regained by converting braking and inertia power into electric power that is stored in the batteries. In this manner, at present the conversion efficiencies have been increased to about 22 to 25%. Therefore, there is still a wide gap to be filled.

    Another big misconception has to be clarified. It is generally claimed that pure electric vehicles produce “Zero Emission”. But, it has to be understood that, pure electric vehicle simply remove emission from its account and transfers it elsewhere. It draws power from the Plug-in socket which must come from the main power generation of the system. If that system is not based upon hydroelectric, wind-power or nuclear power, it has to come from burning fossil fuels and would add to the overall pollution made into the atmosphere.

    Now let us come to the practical aspects of using hybrid cars.

    Toyota Prius T-4 with a 1.8 Liter Gasoline-electric hybrid engine giving an average of 24.85 km/L of petrol and is the best available hybrid today.
    Honda Civic Hybrid with a 1.3 liter engine is a partial hybrid giving about 14 km/liter. It can give up to 22.5 km/liter, only if driven at a speed of less than 80km/hr and keeping its engine revolutions
    around 2000.

    Small 4 seat pure electric (all-electric) cars use on average, about 0.198 KWh of electric power for each kilometer travel in a combined cycle of usage (average of city, urban and highway travel). In other words, using it for 100 kilometer would cost about 19.8 units of electricity. Depending upon the time of plug-in charge during off-peak hours, it would cost about Rs.280/- for 100 kilometer.