There are three types of electric cars: Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs).
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): powered by an engine and electric motor; does not plug in to charge the battery
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): powered by an electric motor and engine; plugs in to charge the battery
- All-electric Vehicle (EV): powered by an electric motor; plugs in to charge the battery
In 2016, plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles averted 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the Alamo Area Clean Cities Coalition service area.
Benefits of EVs
Energy efficient: Electric motors convert 75% of the chemical energy from the batteries to power the wheel, whereas Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs), used in gasoline-powered vehicles, only convert 20% of the energy stored in gasoline.
Fuel costs: PHEVs and EVs can reduce fuel costs dramatically because of the low cost of electricity relative to conventional fuel. HEVs have reduced fuel costs due to better fuel economy.
Tailpipe emissions: EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, and PHEVs produce no tailpipe emissions when in all-electric mode. HEV emissions benefits vary by vehicle model and type of hybrid power system.
Energy security: Using electricity helps reduce the United States’ reliance on oil, as almost all U.S. electricity is produced from domestic coal, nuclear energy, natural gas, and renewable sources.
Performance: Electric motors provide quiet, smooth operation and stronger acceleration and require less maintenance than ICEs.
Cost and availability: Vehicle manufacturers continue to develop technologies that reduce the cost of electric vehicles. Many new and used EV models are on parity with gasoline-powered vehicles and a number of vehicle manufacturers have committed to producing more EV models.
For more information: Alternative Fuels Data Center