The ABC’s of Electric Car Technologies

By dancurranjr On December 5th, 2010

With vehicle electrification options increasing, it’s easy to understand why consumers may have trouble keeping track of what the new technologies are and how each one works. In fact, an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive this past summer indicates a vast majority of American adults (71 percent) say they are not at all or only somewhat knowledgeable about the differences between the various types of alternative fuel vehicles.

To add to the general public’s confusion, the auto industry has developed its own jargon and acronyms to differentiate these electric technologies. But do you know what the P stands for in PHEV, or the H in HEV? With new technology, comes the need to educate ourselves on new terms and abbreviations. After all, 25 years ago who would have known what a DVR, or ATM was or what IM really meant?

For consumers seeking to understand the difference between a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and pure battery electric vehicle (BEV), or why a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) is considered an electrified vehicle, Ford has launched a new Web site, It offers the basic information they need to understand electrified vehicle and technology choices.

The site is part of Ford’s efforts to educate consumers about the range of electrified vehicles and ultimately to help potential buyers determine which electrified option might best suit their specific driving habits and needs. Consumers who visit the site will be able to review videos, text and cut-away diagrams that illustrate the differences between hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure battery electric vehicles like the Ford Fusion Hybrid
, Ford Focus Electric and planned Ford Plug-In vehicles.

The site does not offer opinions on which vehicle technology is better. Rather, it provides clear explanations about how gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles work. The Web site also details the technology that makes these vehicles possible, including battery chemistry, charge ports, and regenerative braking.

The automotive industry knows consumers are curious about the variety of electrified vehicles coming to the market over the next few years. But, unless you are an EV enthusiast – sorry, electric vehicle enthusiast, you probably don’t understand the differences between these options.


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