Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

The prevalence of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is increasing nationwide, giving shoppers a range of choices when selecting a type of EV. Here are the most common ones.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

A Battery Electric Vehicle, which is often what people mean when they refer to EVs, is an entirely electric vehicle that doesn't use a gasoline engine. The energy needed to operate the vehicle comes from a rechargeable battery pack. BEVs are deemed zero-emission vehicles because they do not emit harmful tailpipe emissions or air pollution, which is typical of gasoline-powered cars.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

A Hybrid Electric Vehicle is a type of vehicle that employs both a gasoline-powered engine and an electric motor. The battery can be charged through regenerative braking. In a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle, this braking energy is typically dissipated as heat in the brakes and rotors, but in a hybrid, the energy is reused to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle also has a gas engine and an electric motor. Like a standard hybrid vehicle, it can partly recharge its battery through regenerative braking. However, it generally has a larger battery and can be plugged into the grid to recharge. A PHEV can travel several dozen miles on electric power before the gas engine is required. When the all-electric range is exhausted, a PHEV functions as a traditional hybrid and can travel a distance on a tank of gasoline.