Electric drive vehicles: what you need to know
(NC)—Watch for battery-powered vehicles to become increasingly prominent in passenger vehicles as automakers respond to progressively more stringent greenhouse gas regulations. Electric vehicles are extremely attractive to consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint by eliminating or reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.
There are two basic types of electric vehicles available in Canada: battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).
BEV and PHEV use electricity to achieve greater operating efficiency and reduced energy and fuel consumption. Both vehicle types are plugged into the electric power grid to charge on-board battery packs and both use electric drive systems. BEV are electric-only, while PHEV supplement the electric drive with a comparatively small internal combustion engine to increase driving range.
BEV use an electric propulsion system for all phases of driving. 100 percent of their propulsion comes from a zero-emission electric motor, powered by electricity from large on-board battery packs that can be recharged from the electric power grid or an external source.
PHEV use both an electric motor and internal combustion engine. PHEV can charge their batteries using electricity from the electric power grid, enabling the first kilometres travelled to be driven solely on electric power. Before the batteries become depleted, the vehicle will automatically engage the internal combustion engine. For example, the Chevrolet Volt, which is the first production PHEV on the Canadian market, has an all-electric range of about 65 kilometres and a total range of about 580 kilometres with the gasoline-powered engine.
You can find more information about electric vehicles on the Natural Resources Canada website at www.vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca.
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