What is the difference between a hybrid and an electric car?

There are many different responses to this question since the word “electric vehicle” is not used in a consistent manner. Technically speaking, it is an automobile that is powered through electric motors (MGs). In this way, Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) are electric vehicles. “EV” is actually part of the title.

A majority of the time when people refer to an Electric Vehicle (or EV) it refers to the term “EV” for a Battery Electric Vehicle, or BEV. Other kinds of vehicles are Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).

The distinctions in their function are based on two aspects which are what it makes use of to generate energy and how it uses the energy to power the drivetrain. The most obvious ones are:

  • The fuel for an ICEV comes from gasoline that is pumped into a gas tank. The ICE transforms a drivetrain which includes what is typically referred to as the transmission. There isn’t MG directly involved in this procedure.
  • A BEV’s energy source is the power generated through plugging it into and charging the battery. A few or all MGs are the ones that turn the drivetrain. There isn’t ICE or transmission.

It is not as clear what hybrids are. Each will come with an ICE, a tank to store an energy source as well as at least one of the MGs as well as a battery. However, how they work with one another varies considerably:

  • Pure HEVs don’t treat batteries as sources for energy. That is to say, they don’t charge the battery through plugging it into. The only method by which it can be charged is by using the MG in the capacity of a generator powered either by ICE or the acceleration of the vehicle. It’s a reservoir that can conserve energy to be used later but not an actual source of energy.
    • It uses less fuel because it allows the ICE to function as efficiently as it can. The majority of energy used in an ICEV that is traditional due to the ICE runs at a lower power than it could be most efficient.
    • An HEV isn’t the result of a cross between an ICEV and BEV. It is an enhanced ICEV.
    • One method to combine one way to integrate ICE together with an MG(s) can be to both of them turn on the same drivetrain. The transmission is required however, in the most popular HEVs it’s a easier process than in the conventional ICEV. This is known as an Parallel Hybrid.
    • Another option is to have the ICE drive a generator only and that its power supplies at least one MGs. This is known as an Serial Hybrid. They technically aren’t hybrids because they’re powered from a single source. “Generator Electric Vehicles,” or GEVs is an appropriate term.
    • The majority of HEVs mix these two modes.
  • A PHEV is an amalgamation of and ICEV as well as an HEV. Literally.


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