Types Of Electric Vehicles
What is an electric vehicle?
Electric vehicles, such as an electric car, may use one or more electric motors powered by a battery pack to accelerate and drive. Depending on the type of EV, the electric motor either assists a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) or powers the entire car.
Types of Electric Vehicles?
When talking about electric vehicles, we generally keep mentioning three main types of electric vehicles: (1)- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), (2)- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and ( 3)- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV).
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
- Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEV)
- Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV)
Hybrid Electric Vehicle – This hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) combines a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor and battery to reduce fuel costs.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) are made up of using an electric motor to propel the car when an ICE engine is not particularly capable, such as when accelerating from a stop. Hybrids also favor the ICE engine unit when it is more efficient to do so, such as driving at highway speeds.
Hybrid vehicles drive very similar to a normal ICE vehicles, as owners simply top them up with conventional fuel (diesel or petrol).
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) technology automatically recharges a battery using what is known as ‘regenerative braking’ and activates the electric motor system when conditions are adverse, i.e. requiring drivers to monitor the charge or stop the cars. Does not need to be plugged into a power outlet.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle – A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) combines an ICE with an electric motor and battery pack, similar to a hybrid, although comes with distinct differences.
PHEVs typically have larger battery packs and more powerful electric motors than hybrids, as the electric system takes on much of the load while driving. This means that the PHEV is driven in electric-only mode, with the ICE turned off completely.
Driving a plug-in hybrid is similar to driving a hybrid, as the car will automatically re-charge the battery and switch between ICE and electric power depending on the circumstances. However, drivers have the option to top up the PHEV with both fuel and electricity.
Battery Electric Vehicles – Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) BEVs are considered ‘all-electric’ or ‘full-electric’ cars. BEVs BEVs are powered exclusively by electricity, with their electric motors drawing current from the onboard battery pack. BEV BEV does not have any form of ICE.
Given that BEVs rely entirely on electricity, they have much larger capacity batteries and kilowatt-hour (kWh) outputs than comparable hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This additional battery technology generally results in BEVs costing more than other types of EVs.
BEVs BEVs require charging to operate. It can be charged either via a home charger or fast charging station, or the energy can be replenished by regenerative braking.
Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicles Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) are two other types of electric vehicles available in Australia.
A mild-hybrid electric vehicle uses a 48-volt starter motor, known as an integrated starter generator (ISG), to supplement the ICE. There remains controversy about whether MHEVs can be considered ‘true EVs’, as the ISG only assists the ICE, but cannot accelerate the vehicle on its own.
Fuel cell electric vehicles – Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) FCEVs are similar to BEVs in that they use only electrical energy to drive, although the way they store the energy is very different.
Unlike BEVs, which store electrical energy taken from a charger, FCEVs create their own electrical charge through a chemical reaction that typically involves hydrogen. This means that FCEVs can be filled with hydrogen and do not require ‘charging’ from the grid.
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