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Types of Electric Vehicles | Explained: BEV, HEV, PHEV

With rising pollution and gasoline prices, switching to a greener means of transportation has become a necessity. As a result, automobile manufacturers have begun investing in electric vehicle development. So what is an electric vehicle, exactly? Is it true that there are different types of electric vehicles available on the market? You have come to the right place if these thoughts have crossed your mind. This article will help you to get answers to all these questions. 

What is Exactly an Electric Vehicle?

An electric vehicle (EV) is one that is powered by an electric motor rather than an internal-combustion engine(ICEs) that burns a mixture of fuel and gases to generate power. As electric vehicles have limited energy storage capacity, their batteries must be recharged from a power source once they have been depleted. These developments are intended to transform the auto industry, particularly in terms of reducing the global carbon footprint and other environmental difficulties faced by internal combustion engines (ICEs). 

Different Types of Electric Vehicles

There are three main types of electric vehicles: battery electric vehicles(BEV), hybrid electric vehicles(HEV), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles(PHEV).

1. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

A Battery Electric Vehicle is a fully electric vehicle that uses a rechargeable battery as its only source of power. Battery Electric Vehicles don’t have an internal combustion engine, have fewer moving parts, and require less maintenance than other types of EVs. 

BEVs produce no tailpipe emissions since they may run fully on electricity rather than fossil fuels. To drive, Battery Electric Vehicle requires a charge. This can be accomplished via a home charger or a rapid charging station, or by recovering energy through regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is also used in BEVs to recharge the battery while the vehicle is in use. That means the battery is recharged at a faster rate as you slow down or stop. The greater the battery, the longer the vehicle will go, and the greater performance the BEV will have when combined with the electric motor it powers. 

Examples of Battery Electric Vehicle: Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona Electric, Mercedes-Benz EQC.

2. Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

A conventional internal combustion engine is combined with an electric power system in hybrid electric vehicles. Hybrids lack the ability to plug in and recharge from the grid, therefore they recharge their propulsion vehicle batteries using their internal combustion engines and regenerative braking systems. 

Most hybrid electric vehicles are unable to move themselves solely on battery power, and must rely on the combustion engine to keep going. A few hybrids, though, can move the car for a few feet at moderate speeds until the combustion engine kicks in to help. The internal combustion engine handles the majority of the work, with the electric motor’s primary purpose being to improve fuel economy.

Examples of Hybrid Electric Vehicle: Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid.

3. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

PHEVs, or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, have both an engine and an electric motor to power the vehicle. It can recharge their battery by regenerative braking, just like normal hybrids. They are distinguished from normal hybrids by a substantially larger battery and the ability to recharge by plugging into the grid. 

The key advantage of a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is the ability to travel short distances on electric power, which eliminates exhaust emissions. The vehicle normally runs on electric power until the battery is nearly drained, at which point it changes to an internal combustion engine (ICE).

Examples of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle: Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Mercedes C350e, Mercedes S550e, Mercedes GLE550e, Audi A3 E-Tron, BMW 330e, BMW i8, BMW X5 xdrive40e, Fiat 500e, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid, Volvo XC90 T8.

What Are Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV)?

Mild-hybrid electric vehicles (MHEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are two other types of electric vehicles you may have heard of. Mild hybrids aren’t as efficient or ecologically friendly as fully hybrids vehicles, but they can still save you money on gas and reduce CO2 emissions. The main distinction is that they don’t have electric-only propulsion, so they have a smaller 48-volt motor/generator (rather than a conventional alternator) that provides a boost to the ICE as required. As compared to fully hybrid cars, this results in lower vehicle weight, smoother start, and overall lower production costs.

Fuel cell electric vehicles are known by a variety of names, including hydrogen fuel cell cars, hydrogen vehicles. Fuel cell electric vehicles  (FCEVs) are a form of hybrid electric vehicle in which the motor is powered by hydrogen rather than gasoline. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), like HEVs, contain a rechargeable battery that stores energy, but instead of using fossil fuels or alternating current (AC), they use a fuel cell. They emit no emissions, have a longer range than electric vehicles, and only take a few minutes to recharge.

Bottom Line

Now that you do have a better understanding of the various types of electric vehicles available, you can pick the one that best suits your requirements. Electric vehicles are a significant step toward more environmentally friendly transportation. People are switching to Electric Vehicles (EV) for a variety of reasons. Electric vehicles are enjoyable to drive since they are fast and smooth, EVs are smart and innovative, EVs are a smart and practical choice. Several studies suggest that using fossil fuels like gasoline emits dangerous greenhouse gases. EVs do not emit any toxic smells or harmful greenhouse gases. 

What do you think?

Written by Ishan Mishra

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