Lesson 1: Electric vehicle and their classification

In this lesson, we will explore the world of Electric Vehicles (EVs), their various types, and how they contribute to sustainable transportation.

  1. Introduction to Electric Vehicles (EVs)
  • Electric Vehicles (EVs) are motor vehicles powered by electricity, utilizing an electric drivetrain.
  • The electric motor(s) in these vehicles convert electrical energy into mechanical energy to drive the vehicle.
  • EVs are designed to efficiently use energy and reduce environmental impact.
  1. Types of Electric Vehicles There are several types of electric vehicles based on how they use electric energy and obtain it:

a) Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)

  • BEVs are entirely reliant on electricity for propulsion.
  • They store electrical energy in a battery pack, which can be charged by connecting to the external electricity grid.
  • BEVs are known for producing zero exhaust emissions during operation.

b) Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV)

  • FCEVs are also entirely electric but primarily use fuel cells to generate electricity.
  • Hydrogen stored under high pressure in onboard tanks is used as fuel for the fuel cells.
  • Like BEVs, FCEVs produce zero exhaust emissions during operation.

c) Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV)

  • HEVs are a type of electric vehicle that partially uses electricity.
  • They combine an internal combustion engine (IC engine) and an electric motor in various configurations (series, parallel, series-parallel, combined).
  • In HEVs, electricity for the electric motor and battery recharge is typically generated by the IC engine.

d) Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)

  • PHEVs, similar to HEVs, combine electricity and an internal combustion engine.
  • However, PHEVs offer the ability to recharge their batteries from an external electricity grid.
  • This feature allows for extended all-electric driving, reducing the need for the IC engine.
  • It’s important to note that PHEVs, while having electric capabilities, may emit some exhaust gases during IC engine operation.
  1. Emission Considerations
  • BEVs and FCEVs are considered Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) because they produce no exhaust emissions during operation.
  • HEVs, while more efficient than conventional vehicles, still emit exhaust gases when the internal combustion engine is in use.
  • PHEVs offer a compromise by allowing all-electric driving but may emit exhaust gases during certain conditions.


  • Electric Vehicles (EVs) are transforming the automotive industry, offering environmentally friendly and energy-efficient transportation options.
  • The classification of EVs includes Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV).
  • Each type of EV has its advantages and considerations, making them suitable for different use cases and environmental goals.

In this lesson, you’ve gained insights into the world of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and learned about the various types of EVs and their environmental impact. Understanding these classifications is essential for making informed choices in sustainable transportation.

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