One of the best inventions in humankind’s history is the car. The predecessor of the old steam engine, cars, is the number go-to vehicle for terrestrial travel. Ever since its first production, cars have always used diesel or petrol as fuel. Slowly though, we see a significant change as more and more consumers opt for healthier alternatives.
Introduction to a Greener Alternative
The electric vehicle, or EV for short, was invented in 1832, but it wasn’t until 1900 that it rose to popularity. The primary reason for the delay is the scarcity of charging stations. Despite their limited range, it has proven electric cars to be a greener and money-saving alternative compared to vehicles that run on diesel or petrol.
Like diesel cars, EVs also have many types and can accommodate drivers according to their specific needs. In this article, we will talk about these different types and know their differences.
Major EV Classifications
- All-Electric Vehicles (AEVs)
One primary classification is called the All-Electric Vehicle. True to its name, an AEV purely runs on an electric motor. We can further break this classification down into two parts:
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)
BEVs are cars that are fully electric and come with rechargeable batteries. Either plugging can charge them into the power grid or through solar panels. This means it runs on pure battery, and they have no tailpipes. Having no tailpipes also means that BEVs have zero-emission and therefore aren’t as damaging to the environment as their gasoline-powered counterparts.
One disadvantage of owning a full battery vehicle is the long waiting time for it to charge fully. Without using a quick charging station, it usually takes up to 2 days just to fully charge the car.
- Full Cell Batteries (FCEV)
Fuel cell electric batteries are an even newer technology. Instead of the usual electric battery, FCEVs employ the most abundant element in the universe: hydrogen. Unlike BEVs, these cars don’t need to be plugged in to be charged. They get filled with hydrogen the same way other cars get filled with gasoline. Although hydrogen extraction is like its gasoline counterpart, the tailpipe only emits water vapor.
Several experts and even Elon Musk are divided with FEVs. While hydrogen is considered a renewable power source, scientists are worried that acquisition may lead to a potential form of pollution.
One downside of owning fuel cell cars is the highly limited number of fueling stations currently present. It is projected that by 2025, two hundred hydrogen fueling stations will be completed in the USA alone. Japan, Canada, and Saudi Arabia are preparing to construct theirs as well.
Right now, maybe owning an FEV outside of first-world countries may not be the best idea after all.
- Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV)
PHEVs are cars that possess both electric batteries and petroleum-based internal combustion engines. As a hybrid, we can either charge them like how we do with BEVs or fuel them with gasoline. Unlike standard hybrids, PHEVs have a bigger battery and more powerful electric motors.
In simple terms, the electric assist that we get from PHEVs is simply more excellent. While owning a PHEV may be harder on the wallet with initial costs, it offers a better range. Most PHEVs have better hardware and software than standard hybrids.
We must plug in the car before driving to drive purely on electricity before resorting to gasoline for the rest of the trip. It goes both ways as we don’t have to plug in our car if we still have enough gas for the drive. It still emits smoke but is still significantly lesser than standard vehicles.
While it sounds excellent, PHEV production is yet to be on a complete mast. Some states, in much fewer countries, even have stores that have PHEVs to choose from. A bigger battery will also mean lesser cargo space as it takes up part of the vehicle.
- Extended-range Electric Vehicles (EREV)
We can consider an EREV as a subcategory of PHEV. The reason being is that there’s no glaring difference between the two, besides the fact that EREVS have auxiliary power units that increase their driving range. Otherwise, it operates and works like a PHEV. It will generate carbon dioxide (CO2) when the range extender motor is in use but stops when it’s in electric power mode.
Electric cars are a greener and more fuel cost-efficient choice. But the type of electric car that we want depends on the versatility that is perfect for our lifestyle. Other factors like budget, fuel consumption, and range can also affect our choice. Yet, it is still better to be informed.