In this article, we will see the types of electric vehicles. Electric Vehicles mainly are of four types classed by the degree that electricity is used as their energy source.
- Battery Electric Vehicle
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- Fuel-cell Electric Vehicle
Types of Electric Vehicles
a). Battery Electric Vehicle (BEVs) or Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs)
- These vehicles run entirely on an electric drive train and battery, without a conventional internal combustion engine.
- These vehicles take an external source of electricity to recharge their batteries by plugging into a power grid.
- BEVs may employ regenerative braking to recharge their batteries.
- Examples: BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Chevy Spark, Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus Electric, Hyundai Ioniq, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla Model S, Tesla X, Tesla Model 3, Toyota Rav4, Volkswagen e-Golf.
b). Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
- These vehicles run mostly on batteries that are recharged by plugging into the power grid.
- These vehicles are equipped with an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery and/or replace the electric drivetrain with gasoline propulsion system when the battery is low or more power is required.
- Examples: Mercedes C350e, Fiat 500e, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid, Toyota Prius, Volvo XC90 T8, Mercedes S550e, Mercedes GLE550e, Mini Cooper SE Countryman, Audi A3 E-Tron, BMW 330e, BMW i8, Chevy Volt, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi.
c). Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
- These vehicles have two complementary drive systems: an electric motor with battery and a gasoline engine with a fuel tank.
- The engine and the motor can simultaneously turn the transmission, which powers the wheels.
- It is noted that HEVs cannot be recharged from the power grid directly. HEVs energy comes entirely from gasoline.
- Examples: Toyota Prius Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid
d). Fuel-cell Electric Vehicles
- Instead of storing and releasing energy like a battery, fuel-cell electric vehicles create electricity from hydrogen and oxygen.
- However, fuel-cell technology is not yet problem free. Extracting hydrogen from a water molecule is an energy-intensive process that generates greenhouse gas emissions if renewable energies are not used.
- Example: Tucson Fuel Cell | A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
Comparison between Plug-in and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
|Plug-in Electric Vehicles||Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles|
|Propulsion||Electric motor / battery only||Electric motor / battery plus gasoline engine|
|Refueling||Recharge with electricity||Recharge with electricity or refuel with gasoline|
|Range||70 – 100 miles on a full charge||15 – 35 miles on battery power alone, and 300+ in electric-gasoline hybrid mode|
|Charging time||4-6 hours to fully charge using a 220-volt charger.||About 1 hour to fully charge using a 220-volt charger, and about 3 hours at 120-volts.|
|Battery||Lithium ion battery size
24kWh – 36 kWh
|Lithium-ion battery size is smaller than those found in pure PEVs.|