Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

Electric vehicle ownership is on the rise throughout the country, and shoppers may encounter several options when looking for an EV. Here, we've summarized some of the most common types.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

When discussing EVs, a Battery Electric Vehicle is typically what people are referring to. These fully electric vehicles don't use a gasoline engine, instead relying on a rechargeable battery pack for energy. BEVs are considered zero-emission vehicles because they don't emit harmful tailpipe emissions or air pollution, which are often associated with gasoline-powered vehicles.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

A Hybrid Electric Vehicle uses both a gas-powered engine and an electric motor. The battery can be recharged through regenerative braking, which recaptures energy that is typically lost as heat in the brake pads and rotors of a traditional gas-powered engine. In a hybrid, this energy is repurposed to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

Like a regular hybrid vehicle, a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle also uses both an engine and an electric motor. PHEVs typically have a larger battery than traditional hybrids, and they can partially recharge their battery through regenerative braking. Additionally, they can be plugged into a grid to recharge. A PHEV can travel for several dozen miles before the gas engine is needed, at which point it functions like a regular hybrid and can travel a distance on a tank of gasoline.