Electric vehicle range extender: EV that travels more distance!

Do you know what the main disadvantage of an electric vehicle is? It is the short range of operation with a fully charged battery and time taken to charge the battery. That’s why electric vehicle range extender is important.

Electric vehicle manufacturers have been trying to develop fast charging, high capacity battery, etc. to meet the demands of customers of the electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Range Extender

Range extender electric vehicle is a battery electric vehicle that includes an auxiliary power unit to charge the battery of electric vehicle.

The key function of a range extender in an electric vehicle is to increase the distance that can be travelled by the vehicle.

The commonly used range extenders are

  • Internal combustion engines
  • Fuel Cells

Range extender electric vehicle uses a series-hybrid powertrain. The vehicle uses an only electric motor for propulsion and the auxiliary supply to charge the battery.

A Range Extended Electric Vehicle is a Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a series powertrain.

A range extended vehicle is also called

  • Extended Rage Electric Vehicle (EREV)
  • Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV)
  • Range Extended Battery Electric Vehicle

How does range extender work?

Electric vehicle are classified as battery electric vehicle, hybrid electric vehicle, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

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An auxiliary power unit driven by the commonly used range extenders charges the battery of the electric vehicles. For example, an internal combustion engine in the vehicle runs and drives a generator to generate electricity.

The generated electricity is stored in the battery of electric vehicles.
The energy in the battery is being used by the motor to drive the vehicle.

Efficiency of internal combustion engine varies according to the operation points. In a range-extended electric vehicle, the engine works at the speed at which the efficiency is maximum.

How does it work?

The only function of the auxiliary power supply is to charge the battery of the electric vehicles. The torque demand of the vehicle meets by the motor that propels the vehicle. The internal combustion engine drives a generator and generates electricity.

So it is possible to make the internal combustion engine to operate at optimal operating conditions.

Electric vehicle range extender

How to charge an electric vehicle and refill the electric vehicle range extender?

The common Range Extended Electric Vehicles (REEV) are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The battery of electric vehicle drains as the vehicle travels.

The auxiliary supply charges the battery in the vehicle. Since the cost of fossil fuels is more that of electricity, the auxiliary supplies (external chargers) are used to fully charge the battery.

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So the battery of REEV charges from the charging stations and fuel to operate range extender is filled from normal gas stations.

In a REEV,

  • The battery is recharged from charging stations (Primary fuel)
  • Fuel for auxiliary supply is filled from gas stations (Secondary fuel)

Examples for REEV

You can check the electric vehicles available in the automotive market: Explore the list of Electric Cars in the market!


The distance traveled by an electric vehicle for fully charged battery matters. A range-extender electric vehicle is a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can charge its battery using auxiliary supply equipment which is an IC engine in general.

A REEV is not a zero-emission vehicle. It does have emissions from auxiliary energy supply equipment.

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Key points

  • The key function of an electric vehicle range extender is to improve the range of EV
  • A range-extender EV is a series power train plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

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