Third-party premium has changed from 1st June. Renew now
4 Types of Electric Vehicles: BEVs, FCEVs, HEVs & PHEVs Explained
Electric vehicles utilise one or more electric motors propelled by a battery system assisting drivers in accelerating and driving a vehicle. Electric motors either power a vehicle entirely or supplement an internal combustion engine based on electric vehicle type. There are primarily four types of electric vehicles and if you are curious to know about them, keep reading this article!
What Are the 4 Different Types of Electric Vehicles?
1. Battery Electric Vehicles
Commonly known as All-Electric Vehicles, this type of electric vehicle runs on electricity stored in a battery. Users need to charge it by plugging the car into the electric grid. The fully-charged battery propels the electric motors to start the vehicle. As a result, this EV emits zero pollution.
The main components in operating the mechanism of this EV type are – battery, electric motor, control module, drive train, inverter.
The power to drive an electric motor converts to an AC battery from DC. As soon as the accelerator is applied, a signal is transmitted to a controller. The latter adjusts the vehicle's speed by changing AC power's frequency from the inverter to the motor. The electric motor connects and pivots wheels through a cog. When a driver applies a brake, or an EV decelerates, the electric motor turns into an alternator releases the power, which transmits again to the battery.
Vehicles Under BEV Category:
- Tata Nexon EV, Tigor EV
- Mahindra e2o PLUS and eVerito
- Hyundai KONA
- MG ZS EV
2. Full-Cell Electric Vehicle
These EVs are also identified as Zero-Emission Vehicles. The components that work in tandem to operate FCEVs are – fuel cell stack, storage tank for hydrogen, electric motor, battery coupled with controller and convertor.
This type of EV car uses 'fuel cell technology' to produce electricity to drive the vehicle, where the fuel's chemical energy is turned to electric power. Unlike BEV, it does not require getting charged from an external electric grid.
Vehicles Under FCEV Category:
- Toyota Mirai
- Hyundai Tucson FCEV and Nexo
- Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
- Riversimple Rasa
3. Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Hybrid Electric Motor is also known as parallel or standard hybrid. It features an electric motor and engine. The vehicle components involved in the working mechanism of this EV are – Battery with inverter and controller, electric motor, engine, control module and fuel tank.
The fuel tank powers the engine, and the battery transmits electricity to the electric motor. The electric motor and engine rotate the transmission simultaneously, which move the vehicle's wheels.
Vehicles Under HEV Category:
- Toyota Camry Hybrid and Prius Hybrid
- Honda Civic Hybrid
- MG Hector
- Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
4. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
This is one of the types of electric cars, which is powered by an electric motor and engine. Drivers can drive this EV type in two different modes –
- Hybrid mode – Here, electric power and fuel such as diesel and petrol drive the vehicle.
- All-electric mode – Battery and motor supply energy to drive the car
The components that operate together to drive the PHEV are – engine, electric motor, battery, fuel tank, inverter, battery charger (in case of onboard models) and control module.
This vehicle operates on electricity till the charge in the battery gets depleted. When the battery charge finishes, the engine starts functioning, and it works as a non-plug-in hybrid.
Users can charge this vehicle by plugging it into an external electric grid, alternatively via regenerative braking. When drivers apply brakes, the electric motor utilises energy to charge the battery pack. The engine acts as a supplement to an engine, and due to the use of small engines, it maximises driving performance and optimise fuel efficiency.
Vehicles Under PHEV Category:
- Porsche Cayenne and Panamera S E-hybrid
- Chevy Volt
- BMW 330e
- Mini Cooper SE Countryman
- Ford C-Max Energi