Electric Vehicles--The Basics

What Are Electric Vehicles

What are Electric Vehicles
  • Electric vehicles (EVs) use electricity stored in batteries to power the car.
  • Some EVs combine the benefits of gasoline with those of electricity to achieve greater range.
  • Some are totally electric, with no gasoline backup.

Benefits of Electric Vehicles

  • Fuel Costs. Going electric means more fuel efficiency and lower fuel costs.
  • Sustainability. Oil is a non-renewable resource. Electric technology is a viable alternative fuel for transportation that can be implemented now.
  • Greenhouse Gases. Greenhouse gases (GHGs), including carbon dioxide (CO2), have been linked to global climate change. Going electric helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Even EVs that use coal-generated electricity have a smaller carbon footprint than internal combustion engine vehicles.
  • Energy Security. Nearly 60% of the oil used in the U.S. is imported. Dependence on foreign oil impacts the U.S. economy due to oil price fluctuation. Electricity is a readily available domestic energy source.

Types of Charging

Hybrid EVs (HEVs)

  • Use gasoline and electricity
  • Do not plug in to recharge battery
  • Self-generate smaller amounts of electricity by taking energy from braking and storing it in a battery for use during acceleration
  • Have an electric motor that supports an internal combustion engine during acceleration and passing
  • Reduces idling by automatically turning off the engine when stopped
  • Go distances up to 300 miles, depending on tank size
  • Example: Toyota Prius Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs)

  • Use gasoline & electricity
  • Plug in to recharge battery
  • Can go without charging, but MPG is compromised
  • Have a larger battery capacity than conventional hybrid
  • Example: Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Chevy Volt

Battery EVs (BEVs)

  • Use only electricity to power the vehicle
  • Must plug in to charge the vehicle
  • Have larger battery packs that,on average, last 60-120 miles per charge. Some EVs can travel 300+ miles per charge
  • Example: Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster & Model S, Ford Focus EV, Chevy Spark EV