Electric cars, diesel cars, or hybrid cars?

電動車、燃油車定混能車好?

Electric cars are viewed as the mainstream cars of the future. However, Hong Kong still mainly relies on petrol vehicles. Several reasons why include car prices, insurance premium rate, and the number of available charging stations. Today at Kwiksure, we'll take a look at the most common types of vehicles in Hong Kong, so you can choose the best one for your own needs. 

1. Petrol cars

Petrol cars are among the most developed and mainstream car models. Likewise, car factories usually have fewer new breakthrough technologies when it comes to these car models. The most they did was to create fixes to address minor issues. Petrol car engines are less compressed, and compared to diesel cars, driving is more stable. At the same time, it's easy for these cars to release high horsepower and reach high speeds. Pipe sound also tends to be quieter.

When comparing petrol and diesel cars of similar models and engines, you'll discover that petrol engines' mileage is only around 60-70% of diesel vehicles. This is because their combustion efficiency is lower. Also, petrol is extremely easy to burn and is highly volatile. Once a traffic accident happens, the risk is higher than diesel and electric vehicles as well.

2. Diesel cars

Diesel is long-lasting and economical. This is because engine compression is relatively high. Since the piston travels longer, diesel engines have a higher torque emission, so in the past, it has mostly been used in big cargo trucks. It's difficult for diesel cars to have a high speed, so their horsepower is actually less than in petrol engines. Related car parts naturally wear slowly too. Besides, the diesel engines' design and materials are made to withstand high pressure, so they last for a long time. While petrol engines can usually last around 300,000 kilometres, diesel engines on the other hand can reach 600,000 kilometres. 

Besides, petrol tends to be safer and doesn't combust easily. In Hong Kong, diesel is tax-free, and it burns fast too, so gas prices are far cheaper than petrol. This is the case even when diesel is worth more than petrol. However, nowadays, cars with diesel engines are generally more expensive, so you should definitely take that into consideration when buying cars.

3. Electric cars

Among all car types, electric cars are considered to be the most environmentally friendly. They are quiet, and the electricity price is far lower (at least 1/10 lower) than gas prices. They also come equipped with a fast acceleration rate and are easy to maintain. For example, you don't need to change engine oil for electric cars. As the cherry on top, the HK government has a first registration tax concession through the "One for One Replacement Scheme' for electric vehicles. All in all, this looks to be the best option.

Unfortunately, lithium batteries for automobiles are still expensive. Also, electric cars are usually equipped with sub-frames to protect the batteries, making them more expensive than petrol cars at the same level. What's more, the number of charging stations in Hong Kong is still insufficient. Besides, they must be returned to the original factory for repairs and maintenance. Further discouragement for buying electric cars comes from high maintenance and insurance costs - both of which are very high. 

4. Hybrid cars

Hybrid vehicles pair petrol engines with rechargeable batteries. When the car is just ignited or is accelerating, it requires large torque, at which point the battery steps in to help. Generally, gasoline engines will provide kinetic energy when driving. A major advantage of hybrid vehicles is that the battery's power comes from their engine, so there's no need to recharge at a charging station.

Originally, hybrid cars exist as an environmentally-friendly option, so their engine power is only mediocre. On top of that, the battery and motor have a certain weight, which further reduces the car performance. Moreover, many reports have pointed out that the energy-saving effect of hybrid vehicles is only more obvious during short distances in cities; if long-distance driving, hybrid vehicles have a high chance of consuming more energy than traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles.

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