Image: Types of Electric Vehicles

What Type of Electric Vehicles Are There?

The popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing, and buyers have a variety of options to choose from. Here are the most common types of EVs.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

BEVs are what most people think of when they hear "electric vehicle." These cars run entirely on electricity and have no gasoline engine. They are considered zero-emission vehicles because they do not produce any harmful tailpipe emissions or air pollution like traditional cars.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

HEVs use both gasoline engines and electric motors. During braking, the battery can recharge through regenerative braking. In traditional gasoline cars, the energy produced during braking is lost as heat in the brake pads and rotors. However, in a hybrid, the energy is redirected to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

PHEVs also have both gasoline engines and electric motors, but they have larger batteries than traditional hybrids. PHEVs can partially recharge their batteries through regenerative braking and can also be plugged into a grid to recharge. They can travel for several dozen miles before the gasoline engine takes over. After the all-electric range is depleted, PHEVs function like regular hybrids and can travel on gasoline.