Understanding the Types of Electric Vehicles | BEV | HEV | PHEV
Electric vehicles are mainly classified into the following types: fully electric (EV), hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV). In this article, we explain what each type means and how they can be differentiated.
The automobile industry is evolving and all the small, big and upcoming auto manufacturing companies are moving towards adopting electric vehicles. Which is called EV. All electric vehicles (mainly cars) that we see on the road. which are not entirely powered by electricity. Many of them are hybrid and plug-in hybrid.
As you might be wondering what are hybrid vehicles and plug-in vehicles. Well, we will know about the different types of electric vehicles available in the market.
- Battery powered electric vehicle (BEV or EV)
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
- Range Extension Electric Vehicle (REX)
- Fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)
Battery Powered Electric Vehicle (BEV and EV):
As can be seen from the name, these vehicles are powered entirely through electricity generated from a battery (Li-ion). This type of vehicle does not come with a combustion engine. Thus emits zero carbon monoxide or pollutants into the atmosphere.
The range of these vehicles is slightly less than other categories. But many manufacturers are coming up with dual batteries. Which doubles the range and power of the vehicles.
Examples of BEVs: Tesla Model 3, BMW i3, Hyundai Ioniq, Ford Focus, etc.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles(HEV):
The vehicle features both a conventional combustion engine and a battery-powered electric motor. But the battery cannot be charged by plugging it in through the power input/charging station. Instead, it captures energy during braking and while the battery is being charged. This type is suitable for those who do not have the option of charging at their home or the availability of charging infrastructure nearby.
Either the engine does the work or the electric motor to drive the car, or both can operate at the same time to give the required acceleration. Mostly electric motor is used during low speed and engine is used when playing at high speed, which gives maximum efficiency.
This has taken people who have no choice but to charge at their home. And charging stations are not available nearby.
Examples of HEVs: Volvo XC90, Toyota Prius.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle(PHEV):
Now you must have guessed this type of EV category from its name itself. Unlike hybrid vehicles, PHEV batteries can be charged through a socket as well as braking. And cars run on both combustion engines and electric motors.
The benefits of PHEVs are the ability to cover shorter distances without using a combustion engine and increased range from the engine, battery charging and regenerative braking.
Examples of PHEVs: BMW i8, Toyota Prius Prime.
However, electric vehicles are classified into these 3 major categories. But there are a few terms that EV enthusiasts should be aware of.
Range Extension Types of Electric Vehicles(REx):
This type of vehicle has both a combustion engine and an electric motor. But most of the driving is done by electric motor. The internal combustion engine is only there to charge the battery when it is low during travel.
Example of REX: BMW i3
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles(FCEVs):
These types of vehicles store hydrogen gas in the tank. And use an electric motor like the BEV. A fuel cell combines hydrogen with oxygen in the air. and generate electricity that powers an electric motor. Unlike the BEV, it does not have a tailpipe. And the byproduct is simply water. There is no need to plug in. Because we can charge cells by refilling hydrogen.
Hydrogen infrastructure is still far from reality. Which is not in the case of charging infrastructure. Because it has gained momentum around the world.
Example of FCEV: Toyota FCV Concept