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Electric Vehicle Basics

​​​​​​​​​​​An EV (electric vehicle) can also be referred to as a PEV (plug-in electric vehicle). An EV is any vehicle with an electric motor and a battery that can be recharged by plugging it into an external source of electricity. Batteries in EVs store the electricity which then provides either a portion or all of the power needed to propel the vehicle and operate its systems. There are two basic types of EVs: PHEV and BEV.


PHEV – Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle

These vehicles are powered by both a gasoline engine and electric motor. The battery can be recharged using the vehicle’s gasoline engine and regenerative breaking system or by plugging the vehicle into an external source of electricity. Certain types of PHEVs are also known as Extended Range Electric Vehicles (or EREV), named for the extended driving range the onboard gasoline engine provides.

BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle

These vehicles are powered entirely by an electric motor and battery and do not require gasoline. All of the electricity to recharge the battery comes from the utility grid or the regenerative braking system. BEVs typically have a larger battery pack and a greater all-electric driving range than PHEVs.

Driving Range 

Typical all-electric range for a PHEV is 10 to 40 miles, after which the gasoline engine will engage to extend the driving range an additional 300 miles or more. PHEVs can also be filled up via the gas tank and driven as far as necessary, similar to a traditional car. The rule of thumb is that vehicle batteries provide approximately four miles of driving range for each “usable” kilowatt-hour of energy stored.

The driving range for a BEV can be up to 100 miles. Two-thirds of all drivers travel 40 miles or less a day, so those drivers can easily recharge their EVs at home overnight.

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