There’s been lots of talk about Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the media lately, and they’ll only continue to feature as they become more and more main stream.
While those in the know understand the consumer car revolution on the horizon, many people are still unsure about what EVs are, and whether or not they’ll ever replace combustion engine cars.
As someone working in the Clean Energy sector, it was about time I addressed some key myths about EVs and clarified some other key terms like Hydrogen engines and Autonomous Driving Vehicles.
What are EV’s?
According to QLD Governments website, an Electric Vehicle (EV) is any vehicle that is fully or partially driven by an electric motor, and that can be plugged-in to charge.
There are four main types of motors currently on the market:
1. Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)
This is the most common engine on the market. These use petrol, diesel or gas to combust and great energy. You can get a range of up to 1,000kms per refuel in some diesel motors.
2. Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
Think the original Toyota Prius. Hybrids are the first step towards a greener car. They have an internal combustion engine, with a small battery. These do not require charging, and have a similar range to ICEs so they’re a great starting place if you’re not keen on the idea of charging your car just yet.
3. Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Plug in Hybrids are almost the opposite composition to a HEV. They have a larger battery as their main power source, with a fuel tank to assist or as back up. These cars can be driven purely on the battery however they don’t have a very long range. If you use both power sources can you get a range of up to 700kms depending on the make you choose.
4. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Sometimes referred to as pure electric vehicles, BEVs are fairly self explanatory – they use only a battery as their power source. Think Teslas – these cars as the greenest of the battery option cars but as technology develops there is a large range in model battery size and distance you can purchase.
Two other terms that are sometimes thrown around are:
Officially referred to as a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, Hydrogen Engines have started to gain some traction in main stream media with Toyota and Hyundia now producing consumer vehicles.
The biggest catch to Hydrogen engines is that the charging infrastructure is largely undeveloped in Australia. There are currently only a handful of charging stations in the country, and with each one costing over a million dollars to build, they’re still a way off being your everyday car. Autonomous Driving Vehicle
The other term is Autonomous Driving Vehicle. These are sometimes confused with electric vehicles, however in essence this term just means that the vehicle has the technology to self-drive. This has nothing to do with how the car is powered, however Tesla are exploring this space a lot so it’s likely that a lot of new electric cars will have this capability.
Find out about some key EV myths in the video below.