electric vehicle 101

EVs now come in all shapes, size, and price points

types of

 

Types of Electric Vehicles

All Electric Vehicles or Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs): 

BEVs have a battery that is charged by plugging the vehicle into charging equipment. BEVs always operate in all-electric mode and run solely on electricity that they get from an electric source.

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV):

PHEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. PHEVs can operate in all-electric mode, which can be plugged in to an electric power source to charge. Once the battery is depleted, the vehicle will operate on gasoline, similar to a conventional hybrid, until the battery is charged again.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs):

FCEVs run off of pure compressed hydrogen. Like conventional gasoline cars, FCEVs use fuel tanks, but unlike conventional cars, these tanks are pressurized up to 10,000 per square inch (psi). FCEVs use a propulsion system similar to that of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), where energy (hydrogen) is converted to electricity powering the car and producing a zero-emission vehicle.

Available Light-Duty EVs

New EVs are coming onto the market every year, with most auto manufacturers releasing different levels of electrification goals over the next two decades. To see current light-duty EVs available in Texas, visit the following webpages:

Available Medium/Heavy-Duty EVs

Zero Emission Technology Inventory (ZETI)

This is an interactive tool for worldwide commercially available offerings of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) with the ability to filter between battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The tool aims to provide fleets and governments with comprehensive information, including regions where zero-emission brands are available for purchase, and the timeline over which additional models are expected to become available.

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search

This Alternative Fuel Data Center (AFDC) tool allows users to find and compare all classes/types of alternative fuel vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Charging + Fueling

 

Types of EV Charging Infrastructure

Charging infrastructure for EVs is classified by the rate at which the batteries are charged. Charging times vary based on how depleted the battery is, how much energy it can hold, the type of battery, and the type of charging equipment (charging level and power output).

 

There are three main categories of EV charging infrastructure that vary in power needs, charging speed, and installation and equipment costs:

EV Charging Levels.png

Fuel Cell Refueling

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) use both hydrogen and electricity to power and run FCEVs. FCEVs use compressed hydrogen that is acquired through a pump similar to that of a normal gasoline pump. Where a normal pump would have a handle, hydrogen pumps have a nozzle that connects directly to the car. The time it normally takes to fill FCEVs is around 3.7 minutes. Once FCEVs are filled up, the compressed hydrogen is stored inside pressurized tanks that use fuel cells to convert hydrogen to electricity in the car which allows for zero emissions travel.

Pump Options MPa (megapascals)

35 MPa

70 MPa

Pressure (PSI)

350 Bar/5000 PSI

700 Bar/10,000 PSI

Type of Connector

SAE J2601

SAE J2601

Costs + Savings

 

Fuel Costs

EVs cost less to operate to charge than fueling costs of gasoline cars, as electricity on average is cheaper per gasoline gallon equivalent than gasoline.

Electricity prices are also not as volatile as oil, which makes budgeting for an EV charging more consistent each year as electricity prices stay more consistent.

For more information on national fuel cost averages, see DOE site below:

Maintenance

The cost to maintain an EV is generally much lower than conventional fuel vehicles due to fewer moving parts in the engine.

EVs have single-speed transmissions and regenerative braking (reduces wear on brakes), and they don’t require oil changes, saving users money.

Use the DOE Vehicle Cost Calculator to compare lifetime ownership costs of individual models of EVs and conventional vehicles.

 

Emissions Benefits

EVs produce no emissions while being driven, helping reduce air pollution, including ozone, the harmful pollutant created by nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), emitted by gasoline and diesel vehicles. Ten counties in North Texas are currently in ozone nonattainment as designated by the US EPA. As EVs produce no emissions, increased EV adoption can help further reduce ozone in the North Texas region.

 

For more information on North Texas Air Quality, visit the NCTCOG Air Quality Ozone page: https://www.nctcog.org/trans/quality/air/ozone

 

While EVs typically produce lower tailpipe emissions compared to conventional vehicles, emissions are still associated with the electricity generation needed to power the vehicles from the grid. Accounting for the fuel generation emissions, as well as driving emissions, is known as well-to-wheels and can give a better holistic assessment of true vehicle type emissions comparisons. When measuring well-to-wheel emissions for EVs, the electricity source producing the electricity is important such as cleaner sources, including natural gas, wind, and solar versus dirtier sources such as coal. 

 

To get more information on well-to-wheels emissions for EVs, see the DOE site here: https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.html