How do you choose the right electric vehicle?
For the ultimate in energy efficiency, go all-electric. For greater range, choose a hybrid.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Battery Electric Vehicles run entirely on a battery and electric drive train, and get their “fuel” from plugging into an external source of electricity to recharge. Like all electric vehicles, BEVs recharge their batteries through regenerative braking: when the motor slows, the EV reuses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV)
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles run mostly on rechargeable batteries, but they're also equipped with an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery or replace the electric drive train when more power is needed. PHEVs are often cheaper and cleaner than traditional hybrids because they can be recharged by plugging into the power grid.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)
These are the traditional hybrids. Hybrid Electric Vehicles have two complementary drive systems: a gas engine and fuel tank, plus an electric motor, battery and controls. The gas engine and the electric motor can simultaneously turn the transmission, which powers the wheels. HEVs are not plug-ins — they cannot be recharged from the power grid.
Fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV)
Fuel-cell Electric Vehicles use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, and they have several advantages: they refuel in minutes, emit only water as exhaust, and have a range of about 500 kilometres. But they’re not yet widely available. There’s one model available in Canada — the fuel-cell Hyundai Tucson — and a handful of public hydrogen refueling stations.