Electric Cars

What is an Electric Car?

What is an Electric Car?

When people talk about “electric cars,” they’re most likely referring to battery electric vehicles (BEVs). BEVs are just one variety of the broader electric vehicle (EV) universe. What sets BEVs apart is that they run purely on electricity. No gas required! BEVs are able to do this by storing energy in rechargeable batteries and using electric motors (at least one, maybe more) to power the vehicle.

There are two other types of EVs that are commonplace here in North America: Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV).

HEVs are gasoline vehicles that are assisted by the boost of a rechargeable battery but don’t get plugged into a power source to recharge. Instead, HEVs recharge their batteries automatically as you drive. (More on that later.)  PHEVs, as the name implies, do have batteries that can be plugged in and charged.

 Electric Vehicles (EV) Cheat Sheet  
Type of CarBEVHybrids 
NameBattery Electric VehicleHybrid Electric VehiclePlug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Fuel TypeBattery OnlyGas + BatteryGas + Battery
Fuel SourceChargerGas + Regenerative BrakingCharger + Gas + Regenerative Braking