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Types of electric cars
The term electric vehicle (EV) is commonly used to refer to three main types of automotive drive trains: battery electric vehicle (BEV), hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV), and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (pHEV). The pace of electric vehicle development is accelerating rapidly and new vehicle types seem to be making headlines often, from pickups, delivery vans and school buses, to semis and SUVs. Check our blog posts for news articles on some of these developments. There is a category drop-down menu in the footer to help you isolate the subject you’re after.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
A BEV is a ‘true’ electric vehicle in that the only source of propulsion is from electrical energy. Battery electric vehicles store electricity onboard with high-capacity battery packs. This battery power is used to run all onboard electronics as well as the main-drive electric motor(s). BEVs are powered by electricity from an external source, an electrical outlet or specialty electric vehicle charging stations.
Hybrid-Electric Vehicle (HEV)
A hybrid-electric vehicle has a two-part drive system, a conventional fuel engine, and an electric drive. HEVs contain all the components of both internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric vehicles. These include an ICE engine, fuel tank, transmission as well as battery pack and electric motor. Some vehicles classified as HEV may have only a small electric motor and battery system to propel the vehicle at low speeds. Other HEVs may have smaller fuel engines and relatively larger electric drives. In all HEVs, the only energy source is fuel. Electrical energy is generated secondarily via an alternator or regenerative braking.
Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Vehicle (pHEV)
Plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (pHEV) are similar to HEVs except that the primary energy used to propel the vehicle is electricity, not fossil fuel. These vehicles have larger electrical drives and battery storage capacity than HEVs and are also equipped with a smaller internal combustion engine. The vehicle is designed to engage the fuel engine when battery electricity is running low, or to replace the electric drive train when more power is required. Since pHEVs can be recharged from an electrical outlet it is possible to drive them entirely on electrical energy.
How do you charge an electric car?
Charging an electric car is easy and can be done anywhere there is an outlet or charging station. Most EV owners charge their vehicle at home or at work. Public charging stations are also available throughout town. All equipment required to charge an electric car typically comes included. Typically, this is an electrical cord which plugs into the vehicle and into a standard household power outlet. Check out the links below for detailed information on Juneau’s public charging locations and a special rate and equipment rental program offered by AELP for at-home charging.
EV charging levels
Electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) is a term used for all EV charging solutions. EVSE solutions are further classified according to the rate (speed) at which they can recharge an EV’s batteries. These are generally referred to as Level 1, 2 and 3 (or DC fast charge).
Level 1 charging (120v)
The easiest form of EV charging, level one uses a corded plug to connect to the vehicle to a standard household (120v) outlet.
- Lowest voltage and slowest form of EV charging.
- Can take over 8 hours to recharge a depleted battery.
- Typically used at home, when the vehicle is parked overnight.
Level 2 charging (240v)
Level two charging requires the installation of specialized electrical equipment which provides power at 220v or 240v and up to 30 amps. Typically level two charging units are found at workplaces or at public charging locations. However, home installations are on the rise and a homeowner may choose to install a level two station at home for quicker recharging times and to cope with multiple drivers all wanting to use the EV and not the ICE car.
- Installation requires wiring and mounting of a charging base unit and cord.
- Typically used for workplace public charging, but increasingly common at home.
- It can take 3+ hours to recharge a depleted battery.
Level 3 charging (480v)
Level three, or DC fast charging, is currently the fastest charging solution for electric vehicles. Unlike levels one and two, there is no standardized charging protocol for level three charging stations. Currently, the Tesla Supercharge Network and the Nissan CHAdeMO have deployed level three or high-voltage chargers. These fast chargers deliver about 80% charge in 30 minutes. Installation requires wiring and mounting of a charging ‘pylon’ and cord. Because of the cost and power requirement of level 3 chargers, these stations are typically only installed along transit corridors. Juneau currently has a L3 charger located in the downtown transit center’s parking garage. Charge rate for this unit is roughly 2 miles / minute.
- Juneau’s downtown transit center currently has the only L3 charger in town.
- Can recharge a depleted battery to 80% in roughly 30 minutes or less.
- Two more L3 chargers are planned for the Fred Meyer fuel center and one may be installed near the Alaskan Brewery in Lemon Creek.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
Charging times for electric vehicles vary a great deal. Factors affecting the time required to charge include the total capacity of an EVs battery, the amount of charge required, and the charger level (or speed). While it is common to compare the times required to recharge the battery of an electric vehicle completely (from 0% to 100%), in practice the need for a full charge is rare. More commonly, EV owners recharge their electric vehicles on a regular basis and seldom dip below 1/3 charge. The following graph compares the average real-world time spent charging of over 600 mixed EV models from over 85,000 charge events.