What Are The Types Of Electric Vehicles?
There are currently three main types of electric vehicles (EV): Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV). These make up the bulk of manufactured electric vehicles on the market. A fourth type of EV that is in development and limited production is the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
What Is A Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)?
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are 100% fully-electric vehicles with rechargeable batteries. They do not have a petroleum-based or alternative fuel internal combustion engine
BEVs store electricity with high-capacity battery packs placed within the vehicle. Battery power is used to run the electric motor(s) at the wheels and all onboard electronics. BEVs are charged with electricity from an external source (a home or public charging station) and have varying degrees of charged mileage.
BEVs have no CO2 emissions and do not produce any harmful elements caused by Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs).
What Is A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)?
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) use batteries to power the electric motor(s) at the wheel, plug into the electric grid to charge, and use a petroleum-based or alternative fuel to power the internal combustion engine.
PHEVs store electricity with high-capacity battery packs placed within the vehicle and can recharge the battery through both regenerative braking and “plugging in” to an external source of electrical power. PHEVs can go anywhere from 10-40+ miles before their gas engines provide assistance.
PHEVs have a lower CO2 emissions than HEVs typically.
Some types of PHEVs are also called extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs).
What Is A Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)?
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) are powered by both batteries and petroleum-based or alternative fuel to power the internal combustion engine.
HEVs start off using the electric motor, then the petroleum-based or alternative fuel engine cuts in as load or speed rises. Electric energy is generated by the car’s own braking system to recharge the battery. This is called ‘regenerative braking’, a process where the electric motor helps to slow the vehicle and uses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes. While “standard” hybrids can (at low speed) go about 1-2 miles before the petroleum-based or alternative fuel engine turns on.
HEVs have the highest CO2 emissions of other EVs.
What Is A Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)?
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) use a propulsion system similar to that of HEVs, where energy stored as hydrogen is converted to electricity by the fuel cell.
FCEVs are fueled with pure hydrogen gas stored in a tank on the vehicle. Similar to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, they can fuel in less than 5 minutes and have a driving range over 300 miles.
FCEVs create electricity from hydrogen and oxygen, instead of storing and releasing energy like a battery. Because of this vehicles’ efficiency and water-only emissions, some experts consider these cars to be the best electric vehicles with no CO2 emissions.
FCEVs are still in development phases and provide many challenges.