Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the difference between a BEV, HEV, and PHEV vehicle?
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – This type of vehicles operates solely on battery power and has an electric motor with a large lithium-ion battery. This car plugs into and is fueled exclusively from the electrical grid. There is not a combustion engine and there are no tailpipe emissions at all.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) – This type of vehicle has a gas motor AND an electric motor with a small battery that helps improve gas mileage and reduce emissions. This vehicle is fueled only by gasoline, as there is no plug on the car.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) – This type has a gas motor AND an electric motor as well as a bigger battery. It can run on gasoline OR electricity. It has a plug and can be charged from the electrical grid, allowing it to go farther miles on electric-only power. When the electric range runs out, the gas motor kicks in, allowing the customer the flexibility of running on both types of fuel and extending the gasoline mileage to higher MPGe*.
What are the key advantages of electrification?
There are many benefits that come with driving an EV, including:
Zero tailpipe emissions: Pure electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions; plug-in hybrids and hybrid vehicles produce much lower emissions than vehicles with a traditional combustion engine.
Instant torque: Electrified vehicles provide instant torque for a “fun-to-drive” feeling.
Less maintenance: After purchase, electrified vehicles generally require less maintenance than gas vehicles because there are fewer moving parts and less to repair. And there are no oil or filters to replace.
Lower cost of ownership: In addition to less maintenance, electric vehicles are generally less expensive to drive, when you compare the cost of electricity to the cost of gasoline.
Financial incentives: There may be financial incentives for purchasing electric vehicles on the federal, state, and possibly local levels. These incentives vary, and several incentive programs have limited funding and are offered on a first-come/first-serve basis. Be sure to check availability at time of purchase.
How does the cost of ownership for electric vehicles (EVs) compare to that of gas vehicles?
Consumer Reports* shows that pure electric vehicles — which have fewer moving parts — need less maintenance, and generally cost less to repair than the average gas-powered vehicle. EVs also have overall lower fueling costs since electricity is less expensive than gasoline.
The report also notes that “switching from a traditional gas-powered car to an electric one can be a great way to save money over the life of the vehicle: Lower fueling costs (plus reduced emissions) combined with lower maintenance and repair costs can offset the purchase price, and even lead to long-term savings, when compared with a gas-powered car of similar size and with comparable features.”
The report also shows that “Consumers who purchase an electric car can expect to save an average of $4,600 in repair and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle compared with a gasoline-powered car.”
How do the service/maintenance costs for electric vehicles (EVs) compare to gas vehicles?
EVs do not have the drive belts, timing chains, or fluids, like engine oil, that require regular maintenance. EVs still have some normal wear and tear items like windshield wipers, tires, and brakes that will need routine maintenance during the vehicle’s life.
How does the miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe*) for an electric vehicle (EV) compare with mpg ratings?
MPGe* is a measure of how far an EV could drive if it used the amount of energy contained in one gallon of gasoline. For example, if an EV can drive 112 miles using the same amount of energy in one gallon of gas, it has a rating of 112 MPGe*.
The U.S. EPA uses a standard of 115,000 BTU of energy per gallon (US) of gasoline, which converts to 33.7 kWh. So, if an EV with a battery sized at 67.4 kWh (33.7×2) can drive 224 miles, it has an MPGe of 112.