Definition of Electric Vehicle is super easy if You read this

definition of electric vehicle

What is an electric vehicle? What is the definition of an electric vehicle? An electric vehicle is a vehicle that uses one or more electric machines (traction motors) for propulsion. An electric vehicle uses electric energy either partially of fully for its operation.

Electric vehicles are classified into three.

  • Battery electric vehicle
  • Hybrid electric vehicle
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

The electric vehicle is an alternative vehicle for conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Even though the electric vehicle was manufactured long ago, IC engine vehicle captured the automotive market.

Definition of Electric Vehicle, BEV, HEV, and PHEV

Let’s have a quick look at the definition of Electric Vehicle, Battery Electric Vehicle, and Hybrid Electric Cars.

A detailed explanation of Electric Vehicles are written here: Read more about Basics of EV: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Classification.

Electric vehicleA vehicle that uses one or more electric traction motors to propel the vehicle. They can have more than one energy sources along with electricity. Read more here

Battery Electric VehicleAn electric vehicle that uses only electricity stored in the battery as the source of energy. The battery of electric vehicle charges from the charging stations (Home charging, Private charging, and Public charging).

Hybrid Electric VehicleA vehicle that uses one or more energy sources along with electricity to propel the vehicle. Energy sources would be a combination of electricity, and gasoline.

This is the most commonly used hybrid electric vehicle configuration. Hybrid electric vehicles do not have a plug in capability. They can not be charged from a power socket.

How do the batteries of HEV charges? There are two methods.

The battery charges by generating electricity running the internal combustion engine during the travel. Whenever the battery state of charge goes below minimum value, based on the control strategy and algorithms in vehicle control unit, the internal combustion engine runs the electric machine and charges battery.

Regenerative braking is another method to charge the battery of HEV. How does an Hybrid EV work?

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle – is a type of hybrid electric vehicle that can be plugged into the power socket and charges its battery.

Plug-in hybrid batteries can have more than one method to get charged. Eg. Regenerative braking, from the engine, from power socket (electric vehicle charging stations)

Hybrid electric vehicles are further classified into three based on the degree of hybridization.

  • Micro-Hybrid
  • Mild Hybrid
  • Strong Hybrid

Based on power train configuration hybrid electric vehicles are classified into

  • Series hybrid electric vehicle
  • Parallel hybrid electric vehicle
  • Series/parallel hybrid electric vehicle

You can read more about them in the post: Basics of Electric Vehicles: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Classifications


Electric vehicles are briefly explained in the post. Definition of the electric vehicle, classification based on the energy sources in an electric vehicle, etc. are discussed in this article.

The electric vehicle is going to play an important role in the automotive market soon. Tesla motors – the well-established brand for battery electric vehicles manufactures high end as well as affordable cars.

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