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Types of Electric Cars: BEV vs HEV vs PHEV

illustration for types of electric cars

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular as people become more aware of the benefits they offer. In fact, from 2018 to 2021 there were 83 percent more electric vehicles on the road in the US alone.

But there are different types of electric cars, and it can be confusing to know which is right for you.

In this article, we will compare BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), and PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) options so that you can understand the differences between them and make the most informed buying choice.

BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)

A BEV is powered only by electricity and has no combustion engine. Examples of BEVs include the Tesla Model S, the Nissan Leaf, and the BMW i3.

The batteries are usually larger than those in HEVs and PHEVs, as they are the sole source of power for the vehicle.

BEV vehicles contain no emissions and are therefore the most environmentally friendly type of electric vehicle. They are also usually the quietest, as there is no engine noise.

The main downside of BEVs is that they have a shorter range than HEVs and PHEVs, as the batteries are not assisted by a gasoline-powered combustion engine. This means that you will need to recharge your BEV more often, which can be inconvenient if you are driving long distances.

Additionally, BEVs can take longer to charge than HEVs and PHEVs, since the battery is larger.

HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

An HEV is powered by both a combustion engine and an electric battery. The battery is smaller and is only used to power the electric motor. Examples of HEVs include the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight.

The advantage of an HEV over a BEV is that the range is much longer, as the battery is assisted by the combustion engine. The hybrid vehicle’s battery is not charged by plugging it into an outlet, but rather by recapturing energy that would otherwise be lost during braking and deceleration.

This means that HEVs are more convenient for long-distance driving, as you will never need to stop for a recharge.

While hybrid vehicles are not as environmentally friendly as BEVs, since they still contain emissions from the combustion engine, they are usually more affordable than their all-electric counterparts.

PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

A PHEV is similar to an HEV in that it contains both a battery and a combustion engine. However, the battery in a PHEV is larger than an HEV battery and can be plugged into an electrical outlet to recharge. Examples of PHEVs include the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid and the Honda Clarity.

The advantage of a PHEV over an HEV is that it has a much longer electric range when the battery is fully charged, as the combustion engine assists the electric motor.

Additionally, PHEVs emit fewer emissions than HEVs, since the battery can power the vehicle on its own for shorter trips.

PHEVs can be more expensive than HEVs, but generally less expensive than BEVs.

BEV vs HEV vs PHEV: Which Should I Choose?

BEV vs HEV vs PHEV charging station

So, which type of electric vehicle is right for you? It depends on your needs and preferences.

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option that is quiet, a BEV might be the best choice.

If you are looking for long-range and prefer not to recharge often, an HEV might be the best choice.

If you are looking for a long-range and don’t mind recharging more often, a PHEV might be the best choice.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which type of electric vehicle best meets your needs.


The average BEV battery will last for around 10 years or 200,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.

The average HEV battery will last for around 8 years or 100,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.

The average PHEV battery will last for around 10 years or 150,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.

It can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 to replace a BEV battery.

It can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 to replace a HEV battery. The best thing you can do to keep costs down is to utilize a trusted hybrid battery retailer like Exclusively Hybrid that allows you to bypass high dealer prices while getting a quality product.

There are a few things you can look out for that indicate your hybrid battery might need replacing, such as:



If you notice any of these things, it’s best to take your vehicle to a trusted hybrid mechanic or dealer for a diagnostic test.

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