Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

The number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) on the road is growing nationwide, and potential buyers may encounter a variety of choices when searching for a particular type of EV. Below are some of the most common types of EVs.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

When EVs are mentioned, people are usually referring to Battery Electric Vehicles, which are entirely electric and don't use a gasoline engine. Instead, the energy needed to power the vehicle is derived from a rechargeable battery pack. As they don't produce harmful tailpipe emissions or air pollution, BEVs are classified as zero-emission vehicles.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine a gasoline-powered engine with an electric motor. Regenerative braking can generate the energy required for the battery. With conventional gas-powered engines, this braking energy is usually wasted as heat in the brake pads and rotors. However, in a hybrid, the energy is redirected to support the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles also have both an engine and an electric motor. Like a regular hybrid, they can partly recharge their battery through regenerative braking. However, PHEVs have a bigger battery and can recharge by plugging into the grid. A PHEV can travel several dozen miles on electric power alone before the gasoline engine is required. Once the all-electric range is exhausted, a PHEV operates like a traditional hybrid and can travel a distance on a full tank of gasoline.