Types of Vehicles

Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) is a general term used to describe any car that runs at least partially on battery power and is recharged by electricity. There are two main types of PEVs to choose from, pure battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Pure BEVs run completely on electricity stored in batteries and operate off of an electric motor (as opposed to a gasoline engine). Some general BEV characteristics include:

  • BEVs can travel between 70-300 miles on a full charge
  • Most BEVs take about 4-6 hours to fully charge using a 220 volt charger
  • BEVs can be charged with either a standard 120 volt outlet but for the fastest home charging, many opt for the 220 volt charger
  • BEVs are zero emission with the only emissions associated with them coming from utility generation

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV)

PHEVs have both an electric motor that is battery powered and can be plugged in and recharged as well as a gasoline engine that can be refueled with gasoline. Some general PHEV characteristics include:

  • PHEVs can travel on battery power between 15-50 miles and can travel in gasoline-electric hybrid mode 300+ miles
  • Most PHEVs take about 1 hour to fully charge using a 220 volt charger and about 3 hours with a 120 volt charger
  • PHEV drivers often prefer to charge from a 120 volt outlet because there in no cost for charging equipment and the time to charge is minimal
  • PHEVs have very low emissions and the actual emissions depend on the electric to gas ratio


Sierra Club EV Buyers Guide

Electric Vehicle Guide (PDF)

EV Explorer Guide

Fuel Economy Comparison


Check out our 5 minute Electric Vehicle PSA and our 60 second Electric Vehicle PSA for highlights on some of the more popular vehicle types on the road today!

Leave a Reply