Beginners Guide to Electric Vehicles


Electric Vehicle Types

Choosing an Electric Vehicle

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Types of Electric Vehicle Types

Electrified vehicles come three flavors, conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric powered. Hybrids use a combination of gasoline engine, battery, and electric motor to drive the vehicle.

A conventional hybrid utilizes a gasoline motor that powers the wheels. When the brakes are applied, or a car is proceeding down a grade, electric motors are used to capture energy that is fed and stored in the battery. The battery energy is then fed to an electric motor that is used to supplement the propulsion of the car during acceleration.

Plug-in hybrids are similar to conventional hybrid cars, but contain a larger battery that is charged by a charging station. Some plug-in hybrids like the plug-in Prius use the battery to propel the car at city speeds, but use the gasoline engine to supplement the electric motor until the battery is exhausted, at which time the car becomes a conventional hybrid. The Chevrolet Volt is a unique hybrid in that the car is entirely powered by the battery for the first 50 miles. After 50 miles the gasoline engine turns on and functions as a generator to power the electric motor. This is unsual among plugin hybrids because most receive engine assist when driving at higher speeds.

The first generation Chevrolet Volt.

Finally, we come to battery electric vehicles. These cars do not contain a gasoline engine and are entirely powered by a battery array that feeds an electric motor. Examples of these types of cars include Tesla vehicles, Chevrolet Bolt, and Nissan Leaf. In the coming years battery electric powered, non-hybrid automobiles will come to dominate the electrified automotive market.

Tesla Model 3 long range rear wheel drive model

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