Some Basic Hybrid and Electric Car Terms

By dancurranjr On April 15th, 2009

plug-in-hybrid-car-phevElectric plug or outlet: Generally, most new homes have 120-volt and 240-volt outlets. People sometimes refer to 110-volt and 220-volt outlets. That’s because voltage has incrementally increased over the years. While 120-volt outlets are throughout most homes, 240-volt outlets often accommodate larger appliances, such as refrigerators.

Hybrid electric vehicles: These vehicles use an electric motor powered by a battery pack as a supplement to a gasoline or diesel engine, which is the main power source. The batteries are recharged by a system that captures energy from braking. Most of the hybrids for sale today cannot be charged through an outlet.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: These vehicles use an electric motor powered by a battery, which can be directly recharged by plugging into an electrical outlet. The electric motor is the primary source of power but the vehicles may have a small gas or diesel engine that can augment the electric motor.

Extended-range electric vehicle: This is the formal name for a plug-in electric vehicle, or PHEV, that uses a gasoline or other engine to recharge the battery when its initial charge runs low.

Fuel-cell vehicles: These vehicles combine hydrogen fuel and oxygen to produce electricity that is used to power an electric motor.

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