Electric Vehicles 101

An electric vehicle, commonly known as an EV, is a mode of transportation powered by a rechargeable battery. While EVs have existed as long as their gasoline-powered counterparts, they have historically been more expensive. However, in recent years, increased environmental concerns and a push towards fuel efficiency have led to a growing popularity of EVs.

Today, with a growing awareness of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment, and an aim to save money at the pump, more manufacturers are turning towards EVs. This has resulted in the release of a wide range of electric vehicles from companies such as Tesla, Chevrolet, and Nissan, and many more.

There are currently three types of EVs on the market: Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs).

Electric car charging station vector illustration for EV101.

Types of Electric vehicles

Different GOEVIN vehicles.

HEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors that use energy stored in a battery. The electric motor and ICE work in conjunction to provide power to the vehicle. An HEV cannot plug into external sources for electricity but utilizes regenerative braking to recharge the vehicle’s battery. HEV’s combine the benefits of higher fuel economy and low tailpipe emissions with the power and range of conventional vehicles.

HOw EV's Work

Comparison of electric cars and gasoline cars.

All-electric vehicles (EVs) have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged in to a charging station or wall outlet to charge. Because it runs on electricity, the vehicle emits no exhaust from a tailpipe and does not contain the typical liquid fuel components, such as a fuel pump, fuel line, or fuel tank. Learn more about electric vehicles on the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Each year we see more EV models hit the market. There are all-electric sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, pick-up trucks, transit buses, and even refuse trucks!

Which Electric Vehicle Is Right For You?

Electric vehicles require less maintenance

All-Electric Vehicles (BEV) require less maintenance than conventional vehicles because there are fewer fluids (like oil and transmission fluid) to change and far fewer moving parts. EV’s require minimal scheduled maintenance to their electrical systems, which can include the battery, electrical motor, and associated electronics. Because of regenerative braking, brake systems on EVs typically last longer than on conventional vehicles.

  • No Oil Changes: BEVs do not require engine oil, thus there are no oil changes (normally required every 3,000 to 7,000 miles, requirements vary by automobile manufacturer)
  • No Spark Plugs, Oxygen Sensors or Timing Belts: BEVs do not require spark plugs, oxygen sensors or timing belts, thus no replacement required (estimated replacement at 100,000 miles on gasoline engine)
  • No Exhaust System: BEVs do not have mufflers or catalytic converters, two components of an exhaust system that can fail and result in expensive replacements.
  • No Emissions Testing: BEVs do not burn fossil fuels and do not have a tailpipe, thus they do not emit byproducts that need to be tested. All-electric vehicles are exempt from emissions testing in Indiana.

Electric Vehicles are Fuel and Cost Efficient

Electric vehicles can reduce fuel costs dramatically because of the high efficiency of electric-drive components. Because all-electric vehicles are powered by electricity, their fuel economy is measured in Miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe) and kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles. Today’s light-duty all-electric vehicles can exceed 115 MPGe, compared to just 25 miles per gallon for an average gasoline vehicle. Typically, a new electric vehicle model can travel 100 miles while only consuming 25-40 kWh.

Electricity is also cheaper and less volatile than conventional gasoline pricing. On average, Indiana residents pay $0.155 per kWh of electricity. Driving 100 miles in an EV that consumes 35 kWh of electricity would cost residents $5.43. Compared with driving 100 miles in light-duty gasoline powered vehicle that consumes 25 miles per gallon would cost residents $14.40 ($3.60 per gallon). At current fuel prices, Indiana EV drivers can save nearly $9.00 for every 100 miles driven.


Electric Vehicles are environmentally friendly

All-electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions and can provide significant air quality benefits over conventional vehicles. While life cycle emissions are produced generating electricity to charge an electric vehicle’s battery, these emissions are typically lower than a similar vehicle powered by gasoline or diesel fuel.

Charging electric vehicles in Indiana produces less than half of the harmful emissions created by an equivalent gasoline powered vehicle. The emissions advantages of electric vehicles will continue to increase as the electricity grid transitions to more renewables and environmentally friendly power sources. EV’s provide an ideal solution for consumers and fleets working to reduce their environmental impact.