There are three main types of electric vehicles:
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV): are powered by traditional fuels as well as electric energy stored in a battery. Instead of a plug, they employ regenerative braking or the internal combustion engine to charge their battery. As these cars slow down during braking, energy is absorbed and captured to provide extra power when needed. HEVs work well for both light-duty and heavy-duty applications.
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV): have internal combustion or other propulsion source engines and electric motors. They are also powered by either conventional fuels or a battery, but the batteries in PHEVs are larger than those in HEVs. PHEV batteries are charged either by a plug-in charging station, regenerative braking or the internal combustion engine.
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV): use only a battery to power the motor and the batteries are charged by plug-in charging stations.
What Kind of Electric Vehicle Should I Buy?
Figure out what type is right for you. On average, Americans drive less than 40 miles per day. If that sounds like you, a fully electric vehicle could be just what you’re looking for. Most EVs can travel close to 75 miles on a fully charged battery. That’s more than enough to get you where you need to go before having to plug in! If you plan on consistently driving further than that without stopping to charge up, maybe a plug-in hybrid is a better choice. Many Hybrids can take you between 20 and 35 miles on pure electricity before switching to gas.
What BEVs and PHEVs Are Available in Maryland?
Check out the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Plug-in Electric Vehicle Buyer’s Guide.
- Alternative Fuels Data Center’s Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search
- FuelEconomy.gov’s Electric Car Search