The Future of Electric Vehicles

By Aniket Bose. Edited by Arjun Chandrasekar. 

Electric vehicles are vehicles that use one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. These vehicles can reduce emissions and even save people money that they would need to spend on gasoline-based vehicles. Vehicles that are being fueled with electricity offer their users certain advantages that are not available in conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Companies such as Tesla and Nio produce electric vehicles and are starting to gain recognition and popularity because as we move onto a more sustainable future, people prefer gasless vehicles so electric ones are the current substitute. This relatively new trend in vehicle technology is increasingly gaining support in the stock market and avid investors are investing tons of money into these EV companies, knowing the industry is substantially rising.

There are three main types of electric vehicles (EVS): BEVs (battery electric vehicles), PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), and HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles). Let’s learn more about each type of electric vehicle. 

BEVs (battery electric vehicles)

These types of electric vehicles are designed in such a way that they use electricity that is stored in a battery pack to power the electric motor of the vehicle and turn the wheels. Once the battery is depleted, the batteries are then recharged through a process called grid electricity, either from a wall socket or a dedicated charging unit. The amount of pollution that is produced is dependent on how the electricity is made. Some examples of BEVs include all the Tesla vehicles, Audi e-tron, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt, etc. The most common batteries that are used in BHEVs are lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are formed of certain elements including carbon or graphite, metal oxide, and lithium salt.   

PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles)

These types of electric vehicles not only use batteries to power an electric motor, but they also use an0ther fuel, such as gasoline or diesel, to power an internal combustion engine or other propulsion sources. PHEVs can charge their batteries through charging equipment and regenerative braking. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will not use your vehicle’s gas tank until the battery completely runs out of power. Some examples of plug-in electric vehicles include the Toyota Prius prime, Mitsubishi Outlander, Ford Fusion, Kia Niro, Subaru Crosstrek, etc.  Instead of the electric motor and the engine of the vehicle working simultaneously, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses its engine as a backup plan. 

HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles)

These types of electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine in combination with one or more electric motors that use energy that is stored in the batteries. Hybrid electric vehicles combine the benefits of the high fuel economy and low tailpipe emissions with the power and range of conventional vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles cannot be plugged in, to charge the battery; instead, the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine just like plug-in electric vehicles. Some examples of hybrid vehicles are the Toyota Prius, Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, Lexus ES 300h, Acura MDX sport, BMW 530e, etc.  A hybrid car gets its energy simultaneously from a gasoline engine and an electric motor, which is the complete opposite of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

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