Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

As the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) grows, it's helpful to understand the different types available. Here are some of the most common ones:

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

BEVs are what most people think of when they hear "electric vehicle". These cars run solely on a rechargeable battery pack, without any gasoline engine. Because they emit no tailpipe emissions, they're considered zero-emission vehicles.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

HEVs use both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. They use regenerative braking to recharge their battery, capturing energy that would otherwise be lost as heat during braking. This stored energy can then be used to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

PHEVs also use both an engine and an electric motor, but with a larger battery and the ability to plug into the grid for charging. They can drive for several dozen miles on electric power alone before the gasoline engine kicks in. Once the electric range is depleted, PHEVs function like traditional hybrids and can run on gasoline.