Electric Vehicle (EV) Facts, Benefits and Estimated Savings

What is a Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV)?

A PEV, or Plug-in Electric Vehicle, is any vehicle that uses electricity stored in a battery to move the wheels, including Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and all-Electric Vehicles (EV).  The PHEV and EV plug into the electric grid; therefore, they are grouped together as Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs). 

HEVs, PHEVs and EVs 

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
A standard hybrid vehicle (HEV) uses a battery-powered electric motor combined with a gasoline engine to improve fuel performance. The battery and electric motor improve fuel economy by allowing the engine to shut down when idling, powering the vehicle at low speeds, recapturing energy when braking and providing additional power during acceleration. The gasoline engine charges the battery during operation and runs the majority of the time. Because the battery is charged by the engine in a standard hybrid vehicle, all energy for driving is provided by the gasoline.  Hybrid electric vehicles can drive 40 to 70 miles on one gallon of gasoline, much farther than a conventional vehicle.

Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle is dual fuel.  It operates on battery power alone for a driving range (10-50 miles or more) and then uses gasoline once the battery is depleted.  Once the capacity of the larger battery is drained, or if there are sufficiently large load requirements, the car automatically goes back to conventional Hybrid (HEV) mode, using the gasoline engine.  A PHEV charges the battery by plugging into an electrical outlet.  The energy from the electric grid is used to displace gasoline.  Check with the vehicle manufacturer for charging times and efficiency.

Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV)
An EREV is generally considered a type of PHEV, and sometimes called a “series hybrid”.  EREV is the term favored by General Motors for the Chevy Volt.  This distinction is made because the vehicle is an electric vehicle with a “range extender” – a gasoline engine - to produce additional electricity.  The vehicles have a plug to charge the battery or a generator that re-charges the battery while driving.  New manufactured E-REV’s, use primarily the battery to run the vehicle with a small engine to operate the generator that recharges the battery as you drive.  It also has a plug to charge the battery also.  Check with the vehicle manufacturer for charging times and efficiency.

Electric Vehicle (EV)
An all-electric vehicle (EV) is powered entirely by electricity and does not have an internal combustion engine.  EVs store electricity in an energy storage device, such as a battery. Therefore, it must be “plugged in” to recharge the batteries.  The electricity powers the vehicle’s wheels via an electric motor.  EVs currently in development will have a wide range of speed and mileage characteristics before they need recharging.  See manufacturer for details.

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
This term is identical to an EV.  A BEV is an EV that only uses a battery.