Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

The popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is on the rise, and there are several options available to potential buyers. Below are the most common types of EVs.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

When people talk about EVs, they are usually referring to Battery Electric Vehicles. These cars run exclusively on electricity and do not have a gasoline engine. The energy to power the vehicle is stored in a rechargeable battery pack. BEVs are considered zero-emission vehicles since they do not produce harmful tailpipe emissions or air pollution that is commonly associated with gas-powered cars.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine a gas-powered engine with an electric motor. The battery can recharge through regenerative braking, which converts the kinetic energy of the car into electricity. In traditional gas-powered vehicles, this energy is lost as heat during braking. However, in a hybrid car, it is repurposed to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles also use a combination of a gas-powered engine and an electric motor. Like HEVs, they can recharge their battery through regenerative braking. However, PHEVs typically have a larger battery and can be plugged into an electrical grid for additional charging. PHEVs can travel several dozen miles on electric power alone before switching to gasoline. After the electric range is depleted, they operate like a regular hybrid car and can travel on gasoline.