Do you know you BEV's from your PHEV's? Here is a quick guide to the most common types of electric vehicles.

Battery electric vehicle (BEV)

A Battery Electric Vehicle or BEV is a vehicle that uses a battery as the sole means of energy storage for the propulsion of the vehicle. A BEV does not have a fossil fuel engine or generator. It is driven purely by an electric motor with battery energy storage.

More about BEVs

Hybrid

Hybrid Electric Vehicles use a combination of electric power and petrol or diesel power to propel the vehicle. They can be ‘plug-in’ or ‘non plug-in’.

Hybrids (HEV)

These are known as HEV’s. These vehicles have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The electric battery however, is only charged by the ICE, the motion of the wheels or a combination of both. There is no charging connector.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

These are similar to the HEV, in that they use an internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motor. You can charge PHEVs from an electricity source, and access cheaper and cleaner electric power. The battery's energy is recharged by the ICE, wheel motion, or by plugging into a charge point.

An additional type of PHEV, is called a Range Extender Electric Vehicle or REEV. A REEV has a small petrol powered generator to recharge the battery and allow extended range when the battery level is low. This is a more efficient way of propelling the vehicle rather than using the same fuel in a traditional engine.

BEV or Hybrid?

Here are some practical considerations to make when deciding whether to purchase a full electric or a hybrid. Some of these guidelines may be more or less important depending on your needs and wants.

BEV pros and cons

Pros
  • Most efficient use of energy means cheaper on fuel
  • Less moving parts means less wear and tear
  • Less emissions and reduced use of fossil fuels
  • No need for petrol or diesel
Cons
  • Smaller driving range than traditional vehicles

Hybrid pros and cons

Pros
  • Similar driving range to traditional vehicles
  • Back up fuel source when on longer journeys
Cons
  • Limited electric driving range
  • Must be plugged in more often to recharge battery
  • Less efficient than BEV due to weight of dual drive systems