EVs are battery-powered automobiles. It can be a contentious or politicised term, therefore some individuals feel they must choose. The topic is nuanced. Three EVs exist. Others combine battery and gas power.
Three electric car types are:
Battery-powered EVs (EVs, or BEVs)
Hybrid plug-ins (PHEVs)
Fuel efficiency, cost, and driving pleasure vary for each. Here’s a comparison of EV, HEV, and PHEV so you can choose the correct one.
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Electric vehicle definition
EVs (sometimes called BEVs) have no internal combustion engine to convert gasoline into propulsion power. They run on batteries only.
In the first half of 2022, fully battery-powered EVs accounted for 5% of new car sales, according to Bloomberg. At this level of penetration, cell phones, TVs, and the internet began to move from the fringes to the mainstream.
EVs are fueled by connecting a charging nozzle into a port hidden by a flap, like a gas cap. The battery receives electricity. Most manufacturers offer a home charger with purchase. It plugs into a home socket and into the car, so you may charge overnight or in the garage.
Home charging makes EVs a great choice for commuting or driving about town, especially if workplace charging becomes a reward. Most people charge their EVs at home.
A full charge gives 200 to 400 miles, or several hours of driving. Longer drives require many charging stops, which might add 30 minutes to multiple hours depending on the stations.
Fast chargers at highway rest areas allow you to recharge in 30 minutes to an hour, but they are restricted. Gas station partnerships and the federal infrastructure bill are being used to build the national fast charging network. Before charging outlets are as common as gas stations, plan your journey.
What’s a HEV?
With the Prius’ global debut in the early 2000s, hybrids were the first big EV market entrant. These vehicles combined a gasoline engine and an electric motor to increase fuel economy.
When stopped, a hybrid car may run on battery power rather than gas. The internal combustion engine starts up.
Hybrids get 40 to 60mpg, twice as much as gas-powered cars. EPA study: gas-powered vehicles averaged 25.4mpg in 2021. (Opens in a new window).
HEVs recharge their batteries using the gas engine, not an external port, unlike EVs and PHEVs. EVs and PHEVs use “regenerative breaking,” The car reserves braking energy for later use.
Hybrids are a no-brainer if you can afford the extra cost and don’t mind locating charging stations. They’re a few thousand dollars more than gas-powered automobiles but less than plug-ins.
2022 Toyota Rav 4 gas starts at $26,975. The hybrid costs $29,575 and the plug-in hybrid $40,300. It’s clear to see how gas prices even out over time when they soar.
What’s a PHEV?
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) runs on petrol and battery power. Plug-in chargers make them more like EVs. PHEVs switch to gas when the battery runs out. PHEVs run longer on battery power than hybrids, improving fuel economy.
The gas-powered Toyota Rav 4 gets 27mpg in the city, the hybrid gets 41mpg, and the PHEV gets 94mpg (Opens in a new window).
You can charge your PHEV at home and at public charging stations, giving you a taste of EV living with the security of a gas tank.