What types of EVs are there?
There are four main types of EVs available on the market today, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV).
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
HEVs have a conventional engine and a small electric motor powered by electric batteries, but are fueled only with gasoline or diesel fuel. An HEV uses the small electric motor to supplement the standard internal combustion engine and increase fuel efficiency. The battery can be recharged by the gasoline engine or regenerative braking (capturing the kinetic energy of braking to charge the battery) or both. There are many HEVs on the market today, including the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid.
(Please note that HEVs are not eligible for AMP’s existing EV charging discount.)
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
PHEVs also use a conventional engine, an electric motor, and batteries. The difference is that PHEVs can be fueled with gasoline or plugged in to recharge. They have larger battery packs and are plugged into the electric grid for charging, extending the use of electricity as a fuel. Batteries can be charged by the gasoline engine, regenerative braking, and by plugging in overnight during off–peak hours at home. Toyota will introduce a PHEV in 2012.
Extended Range Electric Vehicles (E-REVs)
An E-REV uses an internal combustion engine to power an electric generator that charges the battery system in a linear process – the engine powers a generator that in turn charges the battery. Unlike the dual-fuel system in hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the electric motor is the only system that directly turns the wheels. The Cheverolet Volt is categorized by General Motors as an E-REV. It is rated by the EPA to go 35 miles on a fully charged battery. It takes 12.9 kilowatt-hours to fully charge the battery, which would cost roughly $1.68 at AMP’s average residential rate of 13 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
BEVs are all electric, have no internal combustion engine, and are totally dependent on plugging into the electric power grid. As a result, BEVs require a larger battery, and a higher-power charging system (240-volt and above) is recommended. The Nissan Leaf is a BEV which is available now. It is rated by the EPA to go 73 miles on a full battery. It takes 24.8 kilowatt-hours to fully charge the battery, costing between $3 and $5 at AMP’s residential rate, depending in which usage tier the recharge falls.
Where can I get more information about EVs?
Here are some sites on the makes and types of electric vehicles available worldwide:
- California Clean Cars Campaign
- Green Car
- Plug-In Partners
- Plug-In America
- Information on the Chevy Volt