What is an Electric Vehicle

An electric vehicle (EV) is any vehicle that is powered entirely or partially by electricity.

EV’s are of various types and can be categorized into the following:

Hybrid (HEV) – These have both a gasoline engine and an electric motor to provide higher fuel economy, but operates like a traditional car. The vehicle operates on the electric motor from idle to minimal speeds, like up to 40 miles per hour, and then switches to the internal combustion engine at higher speeds.

Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) – These combine an electric motor alongwith a traditional combustion engine. PHEVs have powerful batteries that can be charged with a plug through a wall socket unlike traditional hybrids. They have a larger battery and thus use higher amount of electricity that can be used to propel the vehicle.

Battery Electric (BEV) – BEVs run on electrical power from battery packs, and do not have an internal combustion engine. They are completely electric, and must be plugged in to charge.

Extended-Range Electric (ER-EV) – ER-EVs are a cross between a plug-in hybrid and a battery electric vehicle. ER-EVs run on an electric motor to provide power but also have an internal gasoline combustion engine which acts as an internal generator to provide electricity and to charge the battery.

In most cases, ER-EVs can also be plugged in to charge.

Neighborhood Electric (NEV) – NEVs are Battery Operated Electric Vehicles with limited acceleration and have a top speed between 20-25 miles per hour. They are also legally limited to streets with speed limits less than 35 mph. These are charged by plugging into a wall outlet.

electric car

Choosing Your Electric Vehicle

When deciding what kind of electric vehicle is appropriate for you, the following should be considered:

  • How far is your daily commute?
    • Neighborhood electric vehicles have a range of 20-40 miles, and are perfect for trips within the neighborhood or for short commutes.
  • Battery Electric Vehicles are ideal for commuting and city driving, however travel cannot exceed 120 miles without requiring a charge.
    • All other electric vehicles are equipped for longer commutes and city driving.
  • Do you make long drives regularly?
    • Hybrids, Plug-In Hybrids and Extended-Range Electric Vehicles can all drive over 400 miles without requiring a charge.
  • Do you want to eliminate all emissions, or are you just looking to be more fuel efficient?
    • Hybrid vehicles operate on both gas and battery power, reducing emissions, whereas battery-operated vehicles are zero emission.

Information source: EFSI

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