Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

Electric vehicle (EV) ownership is increasing nationwide, offering consumers various options to choose from. Below are some of the most common types.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

BEVs are typically what people think of when referring to EVs. These vehicles run solely on electricity from a rechargeable battery pack and do not use a gasoline engine. BEVs are classified as zero-emission vehicles, as they don't produce harmful tailpipe emissions or air pollution, unlike gasoline-powered vehicles.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

HEVs combine a gasoline-powered engine with an electric motor. Regenerative braking generates energy to recharge the battery, which would usually dissipate as heat in the brake pads and rotors in traditional gasoline engines. In contrast, in hybrids, this energy assists the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

PHEVs also use both an engine and an electric motor. Similar to regular hybrid vehicles, they can recharge their battery partially through regenerative braking. However, PHEVs have a larger battery and can recharge from a grid. PHEVs can operate in electric-only mode for several dozen miles before relying on the gas engine. After exhausting the all-electric range, PHEVs operate as traditional hybrids and travel on gasoline.