Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular across the country, and shoppers may encounter several options when looking for a type of EV. Below are some of the most common types of electric vehicles.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

When people refer to EVs, they're usually talking about Battery Electric Vehicles. These vehicles are fully electric and do not use a gasoline engine. The energy that powers the vehicle comes from a rechargeable battery pack. BEVs are classified as zero-emission vehicles because they do not produce harmful tailpipe emissions or air pollution that is commonly associated with gasoline-powered vehicles.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

Hybrid Electric Vehicles use both a gas-powered engine and an electric motor. The battery can be charged using regenerative braking. In a traditional gas-powered engine, the energy generated during braking is typically lost as heat in the brake pads and rotors. However, with a hybrid, this energy is repurposed to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles also use both an engine and an electric motor. Like a regular hybrid vehicle, they can partially recharge their battery through regenerative braking. The main difference between PHEVs and regular hybrids is that PHEVs typically have a larger battery and can be plugged into a grid to recharge. A PHEV can travel for several dozen miles before the gas engine provides assistance. Once the all-electric range is depleted, a PHEV acts like a regular hybrid and can travel a distance on a tank of gasoline.