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Electric Car Terminology – Part 1

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As exciting as the electric vehicle (EV) revolution is, let’s face it — the terminology can get a little confusing. Especially with such similar acronyms like HEV and PHEV (which sound strangely like some newly-discovered disease rather than the cool technology they represent).

Electric Vehicle (EV)

A vehicle that runs 100% on electricity. This term is an overarching category that includes not just cars, but also bicycles, carts, scooters, and motorcycles that are powered solely by electricity.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

Also referred to as “hybrid” or a hybrid car, this phrase denotes a vehicle powered by at least two sources of propulsion. For example, a vehicle that relies on both conventional fossil fuel as well as electric charge. In other words, a hybrid is a vehicle with a high-voltage battery and electric motor as well as a conventional gas-powered engine. The goal of a hybrid vehicle is to reduce the amount of gas it uses, which in turn, lowers emissions. However, each hybrid system is unique in exactly how it does this.

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Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Also known as a PHV (plug-in hybrid vehicle), this type of vehicle is a conventional hybrid that has been modified with a larger battery park, so the car has a longer range. Once the battery pack runs out of power, the vehicle goes back to operating like a traditional hybrid does.

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

A BEV is different from a hybrid in that it excludes a conventional internal combustion engine. Instead, it is powered solely by a battery pack which triggers electric power to propel the vehicle.

Stay tuned for more electric terminology definitions in the days ahead, as we add to this informative series.

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News Sources: hybridCARS.comGreen Car Reports