Claim Assistance
Get In Touch
types of electric vehicles
Mar 30, 2023

Types of Electric Vehicles: BEV, HEV, FCEV, PHEV – Understanding the Differences and Meanings

If the sales of electric cars, bikes, accessories, and electric vehicle insurance plans are anything to go by, the types of vehicles in this category are only peaking in popularity. If you are planning to buy one, ensure you know all there is to know about it. For example, do you know that electric vehicle insurance is a requirement if you want to drive your EV? Moreover, do you know the types of EVs, and which one would suit you best? Let’s look at the types of EVs available today.


One of the most basic forms of an electric vehicle, BEV is an abbreviation for Battery Electric Vehicle. These vehicles operate solely on a single battery or multiple of them. These batteries are rechargeable, and these cars are not fitted with a fuel (IC) engine. These vehicles are touted to be completely zero emission amongst all the types of EVs available today. So, they contribute almost negligibly to air pollution. With environmental concerns being one of the primary causes of a significant number of customers opting for an EV, this fact about the BEV may appeal to many. BEVs may not be limited to light motor vehicles, such as personal use cars. Many markets may offer BEVs in the form of two-wheelers, or even commercial vehicles. It is important to remember that amongst all types of electric vehicles available today, Battery Electric Vehicles, or BEVs, maybe the most synonymous with electric vehicles. These terms could be used interchangeably.


In the world of electric vehicle terminology, HEV stands for Hybrid Electric Vehicles. The most noteworthy feature of these types of EVs is how they are fitted with an electric motor, which is used to support the internal combustion engine (IC engine). The power for the electric motor is drawn from a battery pack. Here, the battery pack may not need recharging. Instead, the power for the battery pack is drawn from regenerative braking as well as engine power. There are two sub-types of HEVs viz., MHEVs and FHEVs. MHEV refers to Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The ICE in this case tends to be of a higher capacity as compared to the electric motor, which is relatively smaller and used for support. It provides additional power to the engine as well as the ancillary systems, such as air conditioning and power steering. FHEVs, or Full Hybrid Electric Vehicles, also come with a similar system. However, the electric motor here can support your short-distance drives on its own. It comes into play automatically as and when required. Another difference between MHEVs and FHEVs is that the latter is available only in automatic transmission variants, whereas MHEVs have manual as well as automatic transmission models available.


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, or FCEVs, bring in fuel cell technology to function, by using it to charge the battery pack. This refers to the chemical energy derived from the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. These types of vehicles do not need to be charged. Instead, they have a hydrogen tank needing to be fuelled as and when required. Unlike electric vehicles that need to be charged, this type of vehicle can be refuelled within minutes, akin to fuel-based vehicles. However, unlike fuel-based vehicles, these are known to produce no harmful emissions. Instead, their emissions include steam and warm air. These types of cars are already available in several markets. They are said to represent the practical move towards hydrogen as an alternative fuel.


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, or PHEVs, are a step ahead of FHEVs. They can travel much longer distances (as compared to FHEVs) solely on electric power. If the electric power runs out, the car can then shift to its fuel (IC) engine, as required. PHEVs are available only as automatic transmission variants. This type of vehicle can be useful for people who travel within the town or city and use their car for their daily commute. They could fulfil this routine commute using electric power. However, when they want to drive for longer distances, they could allow the switch to the internal combustion engine. These are the four major types of electric vehicles. Before you put your money into an EV, it may be helpful to know your options. Moreover, understanding the types and subtypes of EVs can help you take better care of your car in the future. To take the best care of your car, however, knowing about it is not enough. You should also be able to find the right sort of help for it when necessary. For example, if your car was to meet a small accident and one of the parts was damaged, you may have to replace it. It is best to use an authentic replacement, or else the life and efficiency of your vehicle may be affected. To ensure you don’t worry about the costs in such a situation, it is best to get electric car insurance. Keep in mind that buying third-party liability coverage is mandatory. However, a comprehensive electric car insurance policy can be more helpful, as it will prepare you to face more possibilities. If you have registered your vehicle for commercial use, you may need to look into an electric commercial vehicle insurance policy. It is specifically designed to offer coverage for commercial vehicles. You can browse online for the right plan or consult your insurance agent regarding the same. Growing as much in popularity as electric cars are electric bikes. If you are looking to buy an electric two-wheeler, or have already purchased one, don’t forget to get electric bike insurance for the same. Having at least third-party electric bike insurance is mandatory in the country. *Standard T&C Apply Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

Was this article helpful? Rate it

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 18

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Like this article? Share it with your friends!

Share Your Thoughts. Leave a Comment Below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required