A customer-friendly guide to hybrid terminology

In the brave new world of hybrid we’re in the midst of, it’s always handy to know your PEV’s from your ICE’s. With that in mind, here’s an easy glossary of the types of terms which are handy to know if you’re thinking of making that switch to hybrid technology:

BEV - a vehicle that drives solely on battery power and is required to be plugged into an electrical source when the battery is low or depleted. Typically, a BEV has a range of 100 to 250 miles before charging is required. 

The Nissan Leaf is a BEV
The Nissan Leaf is a BEV

Electric Vehicle (EV) – broadly speaking, a car powered by electricity instead of fuel. This term can include any vehicle that uses a battery as its energy supply.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) - refers to an EV which uses a fuel cell to power its electric motor. The fuel cells create the electricity to power the EV.

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) - most hybrids today use ICEs burn petrol or diesel fuel to produce power and an electric boost motor powered by batteries. Others use natural gas, ethanol, or even cooking oil.

Corolla Hybrid
Toyota Corolla is a vehicle with an ICE

Plug-in Electrified Vehicle (PEV) – general term for any car that runs at least partially on battery power and is recharged from the electricity grid.

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) – an electric motor that is battery powered and can be plugged in and recharged, and a gasoline engine that can be refuelled with petrol.

Self-charging hybrid – a car that can travel on electric power alone, but can't be plugged in to charge like a PHEV can.

Start-Stop Technology – a system which helps save on fuel as the engine stops whilst a vehicle is stuck in traffic, only to start up again as soon as acceleration is applied or a foot is lifted off the brake. Ideal fuel-saving device for drivers in urban built-up areas.