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Going electric

Published on 08.10.2019

Trying things out at ACL


At the opening of its Mobility Loft on 9 September, ACL launched a new concept for advising and informing our members about the type of power source that’s best for their user profile.

The concept came about when it was observed that choosing the right power source for a new vehicle has not only become a
headache for buyers but for dealers too, as they find it hard to keep their sales force up to date with the new technology. Added to the choice between petrol and diesel that buyers have been used to, there is now also the choice between hybrid, hybrid plug-in and electric. When you add to all that the often simplistic and divisive message given out by the media and politicians, it’s easy to understand the reluctance of consumers, who sometimes prefer to put off buying a vehicle rather than making the wrong choice. This might not help with the sale of new cars (sales have dropped recently) but it is probably beneficial. What could be worse than a consumer who has had bad advice and is ultimately unhappy with what has been sold to them?

With its knowledge of cars and national reputation, ACL decided to make its own contribution to promoting new engine types, whilst still maintaining an unbiased and objective approach. People can come and find out about the different engine types, see the new models on display under our partnership with automobile marques and even test drive them accompanied by an ACL specialist. Alongside this new service, ACL will also be featuring testing of the latest e-mobility innovations in the “Automobile” section in Autotouring and on its YouTube channel. Before you make a visit or view our test sessions, here is a run-down of the different electric vehicle technologies - hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric.

Hybrid and Hybrid Plug-in

We say hybrid when the vehicle with this system uses both a thermal engine (petrol or
diesel) and one/several electric engine/s to drive the wheels. The main difference between the classic hybrid and the hybrid plug-in is that the latter can be recharged via a mains socket. The plug-in version obviously has a bigger battery and range than the 100% electric, but will also be quite a bit more expensive (5,000 - 10,000 EUR) and heavier than the classic hybrid, which recharges itself as it goes along (when braking and sometimes directly via the thermal engine too). Another good thing about the plug-in version is the Government subsidy of 2,500 EUR for buying this type of car, provided CO2 emissions are below 50 g/km…which isn’t always so! Of course, if you want to go for a hybrid plug-in, you will need to have a place to recharge it, otherwise petrol consumption will be off the scale, as the thermal engine has to shift +/- 300 extra kilos – the weight of the hybrid system (battery + engine)

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