Simply everything electric – and it rolls? In our blog article "Which e-car suits me??"We have shown that personal usage and driving behavior are also decisive in determining which type of electric car is suitable for me. Because these differ considerably in structure and function. Here we briefly present the most important ones.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
For purely electric vehicles, which are equipped exclusively with an electric motor, the abbreviation BEV for Battery Electric Vehicle (z. B. Renault ZOE, Smart ED, Tesla Model S, VW e-Golf) prevailed. These e-cars draw the energy needed for propulsion from a battery in the vehicle. The battery is charged via the power grid. Can store braking energy recovered by recuperation while driving.
Battery Electric Vehicles with Range Extender (BEV-REx)
Electric vehicles with range extender (z. B. BMW i3 or Opel Ampera model 2012) have, in addition to the battery, a small internal combustion engine and a gasoline engine, respectively. Range extender (range extender). This additional motor supplies only the battery with electricity and is not directly coupled with the drive of the vehicle. As soon as the battery status falls below a certain range, the range extender is automatically activated and feeds the battery with electricity. This gives an additional range of about 100 kilometers, depending on the model. If there is no charging station in the immediate vicinity, a service station can be used to fill up with gasoline.
Hybrid vehicles – Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
The battery of the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) is charged by the combustion engine. External charging via the power grid is not possible. The recuperation function is also used in hybrid cars. Only when the battery is sufficiently charged is the electric drive enabled by the control system. Although only a few kilometers can be driven purely electrically with an HEV, it is precisely the energy-intensive starting that can be taken over by the electric motor. As a result, hybrids have better fuel consumption values – despite the higher weight due to the two engines.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) also has two drive motors (z. B. Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Outlander or VW Passat GTE ). The difference with the HEV, however, is that PHEVs can be recharged with a plug from the grid. For this reason, many definitions also include them as electric cars in the narrower sense. A PHEV also has a larger battery than a HEV, with which they can usually drive at least 50 kilometers purely electric. For city traffic, therefore, mostly sufficient.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
In the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), electrical energy is generated by electrolysis from hydrogen and oxygen during driving (z. B. Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL or Hyundai NEXO). The basis for this is a fuel cell, which is fed from a hydrogen tank. The energy sets the electric motor in motion or is temporarily stored in a battery. A big advantage of FCEVs is that due to the "cold combustion" of water and oxygen, no emissions other than water vapor are produced. In addition, the hydrogen tank can be refilled in a few minutes. Current fuel cell cars have a range of 500 to 600 kilometers. However, there are currently only very few models, as the production of fuel cells and hydrogen is very energy-intensive and expensive.
Deciding on the right electric vehicle
In order to decide on the right electric vehicle, you should consider whether you are an occasional driver or whether the car is an indispensable everyday companion for you. Also, ask yourself what distances you want to travel in one piece and how much space you need. The choice of models is large. The market is growing. So it's best to take a close look at your own needs and compare which electric car comes into question.
Various configurators or ranking lists are available online to help you make your decision. Here are the electric cars clearly displayed.