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Types of Electric Vehicles (EVs)

written by: Haresh Khemani•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/21/2011

With gas prices rising every day, electric cars are sure to become more and more popular. There are three main types of electric vehicles currently available today.

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    Vehicles running on electricity were very popular in the early 1900s, and have resurfaced today due to high fuel prices as well as environmental concerns. In most electric vehicles the battery is used to store electricity that runs the motor, which in turn rotates the wheels of vehicles. The one drawback to this is the battery has to be recharged regularly. To get rid of the inconvenience that may occur due to recharging the battery, companies have designed hybrid vehicles that can run on electricity as well as gasoline.

    Types of EVs:

    1) Electric Vehicles loaded with battery: In these EVs the battery is installed which rotates the shaft of the motor, which in turn rotates the wheels of the vehicle. This EV runs without making any noise and causes no air-pollution. A number of manufacturers have launched these types of EVs in different sizes and categories including cars and trucks. Motorcycles running on electricity are also very popular.

    For a single charge of the battery, the EV can run about 50-130 miles and it has to be recharged at regular intervals. This can be very inconvenient when you are driving long distances.

    2) Hybrid Vehicles: To overcome the disadvantages of the EV running purely on electricity, manufacturers have come up with the concept of a dual fuel vehicle. Hybrid vehicles are fitted with a battery as well an internal combustion engine. The battery runs the motor while the internal combustion engine generates power by using gasoline or diesel. Vehicles that have more than one source of power are called hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles can run on electricity or gasoline or diesel, whatever is available.

    3) Vehicles with Fuel Cells: In fuel cells hydrogen is used as the main fuel to generate electricity. In these EVs there are no batteries. In the fuel cells chemical energy is converted into electrical energy which is then converted into mechanical energy. A supply of hydrogen is given to these cells from the hydrogen cylinder fitted in the vehicle. Hydrogen gas mixes with oxygen from the environment and produces electricity by electrolysis. This type of vehicle is still in the experimental stages. Fuels besides hydrogen are also being considered for the fuel cell.