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Understanding the types of Electric Vehicles | BEV | HEV | PHEV

Types of Electric Vehicles
Types of Electric Vehicles

The automobile industry is evolving and every major, minor & upcoming vehicle manufacturing company is shifting towards adoption of electric vehicles, termed as EVs. Not all Electric Vehicles (majorly cars) we see on road are fully operated on electricity; many of them are hybrid or plug-in hybrid. In this article will understand the different types of Electric Vehicles.

You must be wondering what are hybrid vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles? Well, we will find out below the different types of electric vehicles available in the market.

  1. Battery Operated Electric Vehicle (BEV or EV)
  2. Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
  3. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
  4. Range Extension Electric Vehicles (REx)
  5. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)

Battery Operated Electric Vehicle (BEV or EV)

As the name suggests these vehicles are fully operated through power generated from a battery (Li-ion).

This type of vehicle does not come with the traditional combustion engine and thus emits zero carbon monoxide or pollutants in the atmosphere.

Battery Operated Electric Vehicle

Battery Operated Electric Vehicle IMG source

The range of these vehicles is a bit low as compared to other categories, but many manufacturers are coming up with dual batteries giving a double boost to the vehicle power and range.

Examples of BEVs: Tesla Model 3, BMW i3, Hyundai ioniq, Ford Focus, etc.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

This vehicle features both the conventional combustion engine & battery-powered electric motor. But the battery cannot be charged by plugging in through an electricity input/ charging station, instead, it captures energy while braking and batteries are charged.

Either the engine works or electric motor to drive the car, or both can work at the same time to give the required acceleration. A mostly electric motor is used during low speed and engine while plying at higher speed, which gives the maximum efficiency.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

This type is well suited for people who do not have the option of charging at their home or there is no availability of charging infrastructure nearby.

Examples of HEVs: Volvo XC90, Toyota Prius

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Now you might have guessed this type of EV category from its name. Unlike hybrid vehicles, PHEVs battery can be charged through a plug-in socket as well as power generated through braking and the car operates on the both combustion engine and electric powered motor.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Benefits of PHEVs are the ability to cover shorter distances without using the combustion engine and increased range from fuel, battery charging & regenerative braking.

Examples of PHEVs: BMW i8, Toyota Prius Prime

Although Electric Vehicles are categorized into these 3 major categories, there are few terms that an EV enthusiast should be aware of.

Range Extension Types of Electric Vehicles (REx)

Range Extension Types of Electric Vehicles (REx)

Range Extension Types of Electric Vehicles (REx)

This type of vehicle features both combustion engine & electric motor but most of the driving is done by the electric motor only. The internal combustion engine is only there to charge the battery if in case it gets low during a journey.

Example of REx: BMW i3

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)

This type of vehicle stores hydrogen gas in the tank & use electric motors like BEV. A fuel cell combines hydrogen with oxygen present in the air & generates electricity which powers the electric motor.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) image source

Like the BEVs, it does not contain tailpipe and the byproduct is only water. There is no need to plug-in as the fuel cells are recharged by refilling the hydrogen.

Hydrogen infrastructure is far from reality as of now, which is not the case with Charging infrastructure as it has gained worldwide momentum.

Example of FCEV: Toyota FCV concept

Also Read: How to setup EV Charging Station

Arjun D Pawar
Arjun is an engineer having 9+ years of corporate experience. Arjun is an author of Novel “Masters of Lygrenn”. He is passionate about business and loves reading & writing in his free time. Schedule meeting with me

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  1. […] Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. It will help you to understand the fundamentals of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and will give you a good head-start in the […]

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