Volkswagen eHybrid Badge

Different Types of Electric Vehicles Explained

It’s no secret: electric and hybrid vehicles are set to take over the automobile market in the near future, and we couldn’t be more excited. However, with so much to choose from, it can get confusing. You might see vehicles with terms like PHEV, BEV, and HEV, so what’s the difference? You can learn more about the different types of electric vehicles and what’s available now at Volkswagen of Duluth.


A hybrid is still considered a type of electric vehicle because they rely on an electric motor in addition to a combustion engine. There are two types of hybrids currently on the market: hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. HEVs use a gas-powered engine to charge the battery-powered electric motor, increasing fuel economy without a second thought. Many HEVs also use regenerative braking, which sends a small amount of power back to the engine every time the brakes are applied. While similar, PHEVs instead receive power through plug-in charging to power the battery. Simply plug in to a standard outlet or dedicated EV home or public charger and they’re ready to go. Both types of hybrids typically offer a few drive modes to optimize the electric motor, depending on the type of driving.


Unlike hybrids, EVs rely solely on an electric motor. There are currently two types of electric vehicles for sale in the US, with battery electric vehicles currently ruling the market. A BEV uses one or more electric motors and larger batteries for long-range electric driving after receiving a charge. Like PHEVs, battery electric cars must be routinely plugged in to an electric outlet to charge. Three level charges are available, each affecting the how fast the vehicle can charge. Home charging stations are available, along with an ever-increasing grid of nationwide public DC fast-charging stations. The last type of electric vehicle is a fuel cell electric vehicle, which utilizes fuel cell technology to provide power. The fuel cells convert hydrogen from a tank to electric energy, requiring no charging. Instead, the hydrogen tank must be filled or changed frequently. FCEVs have yet to be widely adopted as their technology is perfected and re-engineered.

VW ID.4 at Charging Station

Electric Vehicles at Volkswagen of Duluth

Are you curious about owning an electric vehicle of your own? The Volkswagen ID.4 is available now at Volkswagen of Duluth! You can view available vehicles in our online inventory, then contact us for more information. Or, visit us today to see everything the ID.4 has to offer. We look forward to helping you find your new electric vehicle!