EVs are classified based on the amount(levels) of electricity used as their source of energy to power the motor. Three main types are
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- Battery Electric Vehicle
1] HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE: Also called HEV [6-12 KWH]. They are powered by both petrol and electricity, that is a gasoline engine with a fuel tank and an electric motor with a battery. HEVs cannot be recharged from the electricity grid, the electrical energy is generated by the regenerative braking system, that is when pressure is applied on the brakes, the power to motors are stopped. The momentum and kinetic energy make the motor turn the wheels, when brakes are applied the motors work as generators and start producing electricity which flows to the battery. Recharging the batteries while braking is called Regenerative Braking System.
HEV starts off using the electric motor, then based on the load or speed required the petrol engine takes over. An internal computer will decide when to use battery power and when to use fuel, thus makes sure the best economy for driving conditions.
Some of the advantages are Longer range compared to BEVs, Less CO2 emissions compared to gas only vehicle.
Some of the disadvantageous are Mechanics is complicated- Gasoline + Electric, Operational cost is very much high compared to BEV but less expensive compared to gasoline vehicle, Cannot connect to an electrical outlet for charging.
Examples of HEV : Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry
2] PLUG-IN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE:
Also called as PHEV[6-12KWH]. They are powered by two modes, fuel and electricity. It has an electric motor and battery, which can be recharge using both regenerative braking and ‘plugging-in’ to an external electrical charging port. When the battery is low, they can switch to an internal combustion engine which can also recharge the battery.
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle can be charged by plugging into an electric grid, they have more savings in fuel costs than HEV.
Some of the PHEVs are also called as Extended-Range Electric Vehicle [EREVs]
Advantages are Longer range compared to BEVs, CO2 emissions are less, Gas consumptions are less compared to gas only vehicle.
Disadvantages are CO2 emissions, Operational cost are more than BEVs but less than HEVs.
Examples of PHEV : Ford C-Max Energi, BMW i8, Mercedes C350e
3] BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLE: Also called as BEV[20-80KWH]. They run completely using an electric motor and battery without any internal combustion engine. They store electricity on-board with high capacity battery packs which are used to run electric motor and all other electronic components. They must be plugged into an electric grid for charging and can also be recharged using the regenerative braking system.
EV chargers are classified based on the speed with which they recharge an EVs battery.
- Level 1 Charging.
- Level 2 Charging .
- Level 3 or DC Fast Charging .
Level 1 Charging: They use standard 120V outlet to plug into the electric vehicle. It takes over 8hours to charge the battery with a range of around 75-80 miles. This type of charging can be done at the workplace or at home
Level 2 Charging: They use 240V outlet to plug into the electric vehicle. It takes over 4 hours to charge the battery with a range of 75-85 miles. Level 1 Chargers are found at the workplace and public charging stations.
Level 3 Charging [DC Fast Charging]:It is the fastest charging solution in the current EV market. It takes 30 minutes to charge a battery with a range of up to 90miles. They are found at dedicated charging stations.
Some of the advantages are–No CO2 emissions, gas or oil change not required, Can charge at home/work space, Smooth acceleration, Maintenance is easy, Low cost of operation.
Some of the disadvantages are shorter range compared to gasoline vehicles, Moderately more expensive than the gasoline equivalent.
Examples of BEV: Hyundai Kona Electric , Tesla Model 3, Honda Insight, Nissan Leaf
“Electric cars are going to be very important for urban transportation”
“Cars have a large engine in the front and you have a gearbox, which is cumbersome. Electric cars don’t have this problem. The motor is much smaller, the battery is below you. This will allow you to play with different shapes“–Carlos Ghosn