PHEV, MHEV, BEV: understand the acronyms for electric and hybrid cars

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EV (Electric Vehicle) – The acronym for “Electric Vehicle” is used to define models that use only electricity for their locomotion. By definition, EVs are cars powered by only one or more electric motors, which can be powered by batteries or have a power source. fuel cell.

BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) – The “Battery Electric Vehicle” is necessarily an EV that has a bank of batteries to power the engines, thus requiring an external recharge from a socket, wallbox or fast chargers. Examples of EVs and BEVs: Audi e-tron, Chevrolet Bolt, Fiat 500e, JAC e-JS1, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Porsche Taycan and Volvo XC40 recharge.

HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) – The “Hybrid Electric Vehicle”, unlike the previous ones, combines a combustion engine with one or more electric units. This acronym specifically designates conventional hybrids, also known as full hybrids.

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In a HEV vehicle, the gasoline or flex-fuel engine is responsible for pulling the wheels, but it also performs the function of generating electricity for the batteries along with regenerative braking, in addition to providing more power in certain situations, such as starting off and overtaking.


Examples of HEVs: Honda Accord e: HEV, Toyota Corolla, Corolla Cruz and RAV4.

PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) – The “Pluggable Hybrid Vehicle” or external recharge hybrid is similar to the HEV, with the difference that it requires external recharge of the batteries, in sockets or electropoints, as if it were a 100% electric car. That’s because your battery bank is usually bigger.

Behind the alphabet soup are very different concepts of electrified vehicles.

Examples of PHEVs: Jeep Compass 4Xe, Volvo XC60 recharge and Porsche Panamera e-Hybrid.

MHEV (light hybrid electric vehicle) – The “Light Hybrid Vehicle” or partial hybrid generally prioritizes the combustion engine to propel the vehicle, but uses a small electric motor to assist the thermal unit in some situations, such as providing extra power, keeping the systems on during decelerations while the engine is uncouples etc.

The goal is to help save fuel. Another example is when the small electric drive comes into action briefly during starts and starts, ensuring greater agility for the vehicle without consuming fuel in the most critical phase of use.

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In addition, the system has an alternator of greater capacity than that of conventional cars, in order to store electricity in order to power other vehicle equipment, such as air conditioning, multimedia center, security assistance, etc.

Behind the alphabet soup are very different concepts of electrified vehicles.

Examples of MHEVs: Kia Stonic and Evoque Range Rover.

FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) – “Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles” are those that use pressurized liquid hydrogen combined with air to generate electricity from a chemical reaction.

These models don’t need a large set of batteries to supply the engines with electricity. Like combustion cars, those powered by a fuel cell are equipped with a tank that needs to be refilled with liquid hydrogen at specific stations. Electricity is obtained through electrolysis, a process that combines hydrogen and water.

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Like EVs, FCEVs do not emit pollutants. Only a small amount of water comes out of your exhaust. Examples of FCEVs: Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai. In Brazil, manufacturers such as Nissan and VW are studying creating fuel cells with ethanol, using micro-reformers to create a chemical reaction that transforms alcohol into hydrogen and then into electrical energy.

REEV (Extended Electric Vehicle) – The “Extended Autonomy Electric Car” has as its main concept a combustion engine that works as an electricity generator in situations where the battery charge is very low, so that the autonomy is extended enough to drive to a point of recharge. However, this engine is not capable of moving the vehicle.

Behind the alphabet soup are very different concepts of electrified vehicles.

REEV example: BMW i3.

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