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Battery electric vehicle

For electric vehicles other than battery powered road vehicles, see electric vehicle. For passenger electric vehicles, see electric car. For the batteries themselves, see electric vehicle battery.

A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is a type of electric vehicle (EV) that uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. BEVs use electric motors and motor controllers instead of internal combustion engines (ICEs) for propulsion.

A battery-only electric vehicle or all-electric vehicle derives all its power from its battery packs and thus has no internal combustion engine, fuel cell, or fuel tank. BEVs include bicycles, scooters, rail cars, forklifts, buses, trucks and cars. Since the introduction of the all-electric Nissan Leaf in December 2010, over 600,000 highway legal plug-in electric vehicles have been sold worldwide by September 2014, of which more than 356,000 are all-electric passenger cars and light-duty trucks.[2] The best-selling all-electric car ever, the Nissan Leaf, has sold over 165,000 units worldwide by early March 2015.[1]


Vehicles using both electric motors and internal combustion engines are examples of hybrid electric vehicles, and are not considered pure or all-electric vehicles because they cannot be externally charged (operate in charge-sustaining mode) and instead they are continually recharged with power from the internal combustion engine and regenerative braking.[3]

Hybrid vehicles with batteries that can be charged externally to displace some or all of their internal combustion engine power and gasoline fuel are called plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and run as BEVs during their charge-depleting mode. PHEVs with a series powertrain are also called range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs), such as the Chevrolet Volt and Fisker Karma.

Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are a subcategory of electric vehicles that includes battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles, (PHEVs), and electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.[3][4]

In China, plug-in electric vehicles, together with hybrid electric vehicles are called new energy vehicles (NEVs).[5] However, in the United States, neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are battery electric vehicles that are legally limited to roads with posted speed limits no higher than 45 miles per hour (72 km/h), are usually built to have a top speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h), and have a maximum loaded weight of 3,000 lbs.[6]

Vehicles by type

The concept of battery electric vehicles is to use charged batteries on board vehicles for propulsion. Battery electric cars are becoming more and more attractive with the advancement of new battery technology (Lithium Ion) that have higher power and energy density (i.e. greater possible acceleration and more range with fewer batteries) and higher oil prices.[7]

BEVs include automobiles, light trucks, and neighborhood electric vehicles.


Electric bus

Further information: Electric bus
File:Tecnobus Pantheon 1.jpg
A battery-electric minibus in St Helens, England

Chattanooga, Tennessee operates nine zero-fare electric buses, which have been in operation since 1992 and have carried 11.3 million passengers and covered a distance of Script error: No such module "convert"., They were made locally by Advanced Vehicle Systems. Two of these buses were used for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.[8][9]

Beginning in the summer of 2000, Hong Kong Airport began operating a 16-passenger Mitsubishi Rosa electric shuttle bus, and in the fall of 2000, New York City began testing a 66-passenger battery-powered school bus, an all electric version of the Blue Bird TC/2000.[10] A similar bus was operated in Napa Valley, California for 14 months ending in April, 2004.[11]

The 2008 Beijing Olympics used a fleet of 50 electric buses, which have a range of Script error: No such module "convert". with the air conditioning on. They use Lithium-ion batteries, and consume about Script error: No such module "convert".. The buses were designed by the Beijing Institute of Technology and built by the Jinghua Coach Co. Ltd.[12] The batteries are replaced with fully charged ones at the recharging station to allow 24-hour operation of the buses.[13]

In France, the bus electric phenomenon is in development, but we already can find some of them in operation in numerous cities of France.[14] PVI, a medium company located in the Paris region, is one of the leader of the market with its brand Gepebus (offering Oreos 2X and Oreos 4X).[15]

In the United States, the first battery-electric, fast-charge bus has been in operation in Pomona, California since September 2010 at Foothill Transit. The Proterra EcoRide BE35 uses lithium-titanate batteries and is able to fast-charge in less than 10 minutes.[16]

In 2014, the first production model all-electric school bus was delivered to the Kings Canyon Unified School District in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The Class-A school bus was built by Trans Tech Bus, using an electric powertrain control system developed by Motiv Power Systems, of Foster City, CA. The bus was one of four the district ordered. The first round of SST-e buses (as they are called) is partly funded by the AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program administered by the California Air Resources Board. This battery electric school bus has 4 sodium nickel batteries. The Trans Tech/Motiv vehicle has passed all KCUSD and California Highway Patrol inspections and certifications. Although some diesel hybrids are in use, this is the first modern electric school bus approved for student transportation by any state.

File:First New Zero-Emission School Bus in California.jpg
The first all-electric school bus in the state of California pausing outside the California capitol building in Sacramento.

The same technology is used to power the Mountain View Community Shuttles. This technology was supported by the California Energy Commission, and the shuttle program is being supported by Google. [17]

Thunder Sky

Thunder Sky (based in Hong Kong) builds lithium-ion batteries used in submarines and has three models of electric buses, the 10/21 passenger EV-6700 with a range of Script error: No such module "convert". under 20 mins quick-charge, the EV-2009 city buses, and the 43 passenger EV-2008 highway bus, which has a range of Script error: No such module "convert". under quick-charge (20 mins to 80%), and Script error: No such module "convert". under full charge (25 mins). The buses will also be built in the United States and Finland.[18]

Free Tindo

Tindo is an all-electric bus from Adelaide, Australia. The Tindo (aboriginal word for sun) is made by Designline International[19] in New Zealand and gets its electricity from a solar PV system on Adelaide's central bus station. Rides are zero-fare as part of Adelaide's public transport system.[20]

First electric commercial bus

Seoul Metropolitan Government runs the world's first commercial all-electric bus service. The bus was developed by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hankuk Fiber which make a lightweight body from carbon composite material. Provided with Li-on battery and regenerative braking, the bus may run to Script error: No such module "convert". in a single 30 minutes charge. The maximum speed is Script error: No such module "convert"..[21]

First Fast-Charge, Battery-Electric Transit Bus

Proterra's EcoRide BE35 transit bus, called the Ecoliner by Foothill Transit in West Covina, California, is the world’s first heavy duty, fast charge, battery-electric bus. Proterra's ProDrive drive-system uses a UQM motor and regenerative braking that captures 90% of the available energy and returns it to the TerraVolt energy storage system, which in turn increases the total distance the bus can drive by 31-35%. It can travel 30–40 miles on a single charge, is up to 600% more fuel-efficient than a typical diesel or CNG bus, and produces 44% less carbon than CNG.[22]

Electric trucks

Main article: Electric truck

Electric vans

In March 2012 Smith Electric Vehicles announced the release of the Newton Step-Van, an all-electric, zero-emission vehicle built on the versatile Newton platform that features a walk-in body produced by Indiana-based Utilimaster.[23]

Electric cars

Main article: Electric car

An electric car is a plug-in battery powered automobile which is propelled by electric motor(s). Although electric cars often give good acceleration and have generally acceptable top speed, the lower specific energy of production batteries available in 2010 compared with carbon-based fuels means that electric cars need batteries that are fairly large fraction of the vehicle mass but still often give relatively low range between charges. Recharging can also take significant lengths of time. For shorter range commuter type journeys, rather than long journeys, electric cars are practical forms of transportation and can be recharged overnight.

File:Model S driving.jpg
The Tesla Model S has sold over 50,000 units worldwide by October 2014.[24]

Electric cars have the potential of significantly reducing city pollution by having zero tail pipe emissions.[25][26][27] Vehicle greenhouse gas savings depend on how the electricity is generated. With the current U.S. energy mix, using an electric car would result in a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.[28][29][30][31] Given the current energy mixes in other countries, it has been predicted that such emissions would decrease by 40% in the UK,[32] 19% in China,[33] and as little as 1% in Germany.[34][35][not in citation given]

Electric cars are expected to have a major impact in the auto industry[36][37] given advantages in city pollution, less dependence on oil, and expected rise in gasoline prices.[38][39][40] World governments are pledging billions to fund development of electric vehicles and their components. The U.S. has pledged US$2.4 billion in federal grants for electric cars and batteries.[41] China has announced it will provide US$15 billion to initiate an electric car industry.[42]

As of September 2014, more than 356,000 highway-capable all-electric passenger cars and light utility vehicles have been sold worldwide since 2008, out of total global sales of over 600,000 plug-in electric vehicles.[2] During 2012 pure electric car sales were led by Japan with a 28% market share of global sales, followed by the United States with a 26% share, China with 16%, France with 11% and Norway with 7%.[43] As of September 2014, the U.S. has the world's largest stock of all-electric cars, with 116,031 units sold since December 2010, out of about 256,000 plug-in electric cars sold in the country.[44]

The Nissan Leaf is the world's top selling highway-capable electric car ever,[45] with global sales of over 165,000 units by early March 2015.[1] The Renault-Nissan Alliance is the leading electric vehicle manufacturer with global sales of over 200,000 all-electric vehicles delivered by November 2014.[46] Ranking second is Tesla Motors with over 52,500 electric cars sold since February 2008, including almost 2,500 Tesla Roadsters and over 50,000 Tesla Model S delivered by October 2014.[24][47] Mitsubishi Motors is the third best selling all-electric vehicle manufacturer, with global sales of over 37,000 all-electric vehicles between July 2009 and June 2014, including 32,000 cars of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV family,[48] which includes the rebadged Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero sold in Europe; and over 5.600 Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV utility vans and trucks sold in Japan.[49]

Electric taxi

The first all-electric taxi, a Nissan Leaf, is circulating in Madrid, Spain.[50][dubious ]

Special-purpose vehicles

See also: Electrathon

Special-purpose vehicles come in a wide range of types, ranging from relatively common ones such as golf carts, things like electric golf trolleys, milk floats, all-terrain vehicles, neighborhood electric vehicles, and a wide range of other devices. Certain manufacturers specialize in electric-powered "in plant" work machines.

Two wheels

  • Electric motorcycles and scooters:

Three wheels

Main article: Electric rickshaw


Fuel use in vehicle designs
Vehicle type Fuel used
All-petroleum vehicle Most use of petroleum
Regular hybrid electric vehicle Less use of petroleum, but non-pluginable
Plug-in hybrid vehicle Residual use of petroleum. More use of electricity
All-electric vehicle Most use of electricity


Main article: Traction motor

Electric cars have traditionally used series wound DC motors, a form of brushed DC electric motor. Separately excited and permanent magnet are just two of the types of DC motors available. More recent electric vehicles have made use of a variety of AC motor types, as these are simpler to build and have no brushes that can wear out. These are usually induction motors or brushless AC electric motors which use permanent magnets. There are several variations of the permanent magnet motor which offer simpler drive schemes and/or lower cost including the brushless DC electric motor.

Motor controllers

Main article: Motor controller

The motor controller regulates the power to the motor, supplying either variable pulse width DC or variable frequency variable amplitude AC, depending on the motor type, DC or AC.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Much more than a ‘second car’: families get charged up about all-electric Nissan LEAF" (Press release). London: Nissan Europe. 2015-03-12. Retrieved 2015-03-20.  The Nissan Leaf is the world's all-time best selling highway-capable plug-in electric car, with global sales of over 165,000 units by early March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Jeff Cobb (2014-10-22). "Global Plug-in Car Sales Now Over 600,000". Retrieved 2014-10-23.  Cumulative global sales totaled 603,932 highway legal plug-in electric passenger cars and light utility vehicles through September 2014, consisting of 356,232 all-electric cars and utility vans and 247,700 plug-in hybrids. Accounts for sales only in the top ten world's markets.
  3. ^ a b David B. Sandalow, ed. (2009). Plug-In Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington? (1st. ed.). The Brookings Institution. pp. 2–5. ISBN 978-0-8157-0305-1. See definition on pp. 2.
  4. ^ "Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs)". Center for Sustainable Energy, California. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  5. ^ PRTM Management Consultants, Inc (April 2011). "The China New Energy Vehicles Program - Challenges and Opportunities" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 2012-02-29.  See Acronyms and Key Terms, pp. v
  6. ^ "What is a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV)?". AutoblogGreen. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  7. ^ "-". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Downtown Electric Shuttle. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  9. ^ Success Stories. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  10. ^ Solectria Develops an All Electric Version of the Blue Bird TC2000. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  11. ^ Electric School Bus. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  12. ^ UNDP donates electric buses to Beijing Olympic Games. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
  13. ^ BIT Attends the Delivery Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games Alternative Fuel Vehicles with its Pure Electric Bus. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
  14. ^ Invalid language code.
  15. ^ "PVI, leader de la traction électrique pour véhicules industriels.". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  16. ^ Proterra Launches First Deployment of All-Electric, Zero-Emission Buses by Major Transit Agency. Retrieved October 2011.
  17. ^ "Electric shuttle buses come to Mountain View, thanks to Motiv and Google". Silicon Valley Business Journal. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "雷天温斯顿电池有限公司". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  19. ^ Andrew Posner (December 19, 2007). "When The Sun Shines Down Under. . .It Powers a Bus". TreeHugger. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  20. ^ All-Electric, Solar-Powered, Free Bus!!!
  21. ^ Timon Singh. "South Korea Unveils World's First Commerical Electric Bus - Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ (2012-03-05). "Smith Electric Vehicle Launches Production of All-Electric Newton™ Step Van". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  24. ^ a b Jeff Cobb (2014-10-20). "Tesla On Track To Sell 50,000th Model S This Month". Retrieved 2014-12-03. 
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  27. ^ "Clean Air Initiative". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
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  29. ^ "D:\MYDOCS\WPDOCS\1605B\EFACTO~1.WPD" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  30. ^ "Electric Power Monthly - Table 1.1. Net Generation by Energy Source". Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  31. ^ United States emission standards#Electricity generation
  32. ^ "Less CO2". My Electric Car. Archived from the original on 8 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  33. ^ "McKinsey Greater China" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  34. ^ ...the four electric vehicles analysed in this study consume around 1.7 times less primary energy and generate less than half the CO2 of a Toyota Prius...
  35. ^ Palm, Erik (2009-05-01). "Study: Electric cars not as green as you think | Green Tech - CNET News". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  36. ^ "Ford says auto future hinges on electric car | | Detroit Free Press". Archived from the original on 21 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-18. [dead link]
  37. ^ Martin LaMonica (2009-02-02). "Plotting the long road to one million electric cars". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  38. ^ Terry Macalister (2010-04-11). "US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015 | Business". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  39. ^ Terry Macalister (2010-02-07). "Branson warns of oil crunch within five years | Business". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  40. ^ Loveday, Eric (2010-06-08). "ALG predicts gas at $4.13 by 2013; residual values for compacts, hybrids to climb — Autoblog Green". Archived from the original on 14 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  41. ^ "Obama pushes electric cars, battery power this week". USA Today. 2010-07-14. 
  42. ^ "Freidman OpEd: China's 'Moon Shot' Versus America's". 
  43. ^ International Energy Agency, Clean Energy Ministerial, and Electric Vehicles Initiative (April 2013). "Global EV Outlook 2013 - Understanding the Electric Vehicle Landscape to 2020" (PDF). International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2013-04-20.  See pp. 11-12.
  44. ^ Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) (October 2014). "Electric drive vehicle sales figures (U.S. Market) - EV sales". EDTA. Retrieved 2014-10-04.  Sales reported do not include the Fisker Karma.
  45. ^ Guinness World Records (2012). "Best-selling electric car". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2013-01-22.  The Leaf surpassed the Mitsubishi i MiEV as the best selling all-electric car in history in 2011.
  46. ^ Tony Lewis (2014-11-26). "Renault-Nissan sell 200,000 EVs in four years". Just Auto. Retrieved 2014-11-28. 
  47. ^ Tesla Motors (2013-02-20). "Tesla Motors, Inc. – Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2012 Shareholder Letter" (PDF). Tesla Motors. Retrieved 2013-02-13.  Most of the remaining Tesla Roadsters were sold during the 4Q 2012, and about 2,650 Model S cars during 2012.
  48. ^ Andreas Grimm (2014-08-06). "E-Auto aus Japan für 11.000 Euro" [e-Car from Japan for 11,000 euros]. KFZ-betrieb (in German). Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  49. ^ "三菱 i-MiEVなどの2014年8月度 生産・販売実績" [Mitsubishi i-MiEV production and sales results for August 2014] (in Japanese). Electric Vehicle News. 2014-09-29. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  50. ^ The first all-electric taxi comes to Madrid.

Further reading

External links