Don’t Go EV Shopping Without Reading This First

Dec 10, 2015

If an electric vehicle is on your holiday wish list this year, the options may seem overwhelming: standard hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, fuel cell.  How are they different? Which car is right for you? We’re here to help! Let’s compare the two most popular options – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). You’ve made your list – we’ll tell you everything you need to know to check it twice.


Looking to ditch the gas station altogether? BEVs are fitted with a battery and electric motor. They are completely powered by batteries and do not have gasoline engines. The battery is charged directly through a charging station, which gives the car enough energy to power the electric motor. Examples of BEVs are: the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Chevy Spark, Tesla Model S, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, Kia Soul EV, Mercedes B-class Electric Drive, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Smart Electric Drive, Volkswagen E-Golf. Exclusively running on electric power saves on fuel costs for everyday, short distance travel. 


Not quite ready to say goodbye to fueling up forever? Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have both a gasoline engine and an electric motor, with the main source of power being the battery-powered electric motor.  A PHEV needs to be plugged in to an outlet and recharged - allowing you to drive extended distances using just electricity.  There are many PHEVs on the market, including the Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, Mercedes C350 Plug-In Hybrid, Mercedes S550 Plug-In Hybrid, Volvo XC90 T8, BMW i8, Cadillac ELR, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid and more. With these cars, the main source of power is the battery-powered electric motor. If you drive more miles than the average American (most people don’t drive more than 30 miles per day), the extended driving range that a PHEV’s gasoline engine brings might tip the scales in their favor.


Hopefully we’ve helped you decide which EV will be sitting under your tree this year (unless you’ve landed on the naughty list – sorry, we can’t help you with that).  Head on over to our post on bringing home your new EV to learn more about charging up – and getting on the road.