Battery electric vehicle

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For electric vehicles other than battery powered vehicles, see electric vehicle. For passenger electric vehicles, see electric car. For the batteries themselves, see electric vehicle battery.
The Nissan Leaf is world's top selling highway-capable all-electric car, with 200,000 units delivered by December 2015.[1][2]

A battery electric vehicle (BEV), battery-only electric vehicle (BOEV) or all-electric vehicle is a type of electric vehicle (EV) that uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. BEVs use electric motors and motor controllers instead of internal combustion engines (ICEs) for propulsion. They derive all power from battery packs and thus have no internal combustion engine, fuel cell, or fuel tank. BEVs include bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rail cars, watercraft, forklifts, buses, trucks and cars. Since the introduction of the all-electric Nissan Leaf in December 2010, about 1 million highway legal plug-in electric vehicles have been sold worldwide by mid-September 2015, of which about 620,000 are all-electric passenger cars and light-duty trucks.[3] The best-selling all-electric car in history is the Nissan Leaf, with sales of 200,000 units worldwide by early December 2015, followed by the Tesla Model S, with global sales of 100,000 units also by early December 2015.[1][2]


Vehicles using both electric motors and internal combustion engines are examples of hybrid electric vehicles, and are not considered pure or all-electric vehicles because they cannot be externally charged (operate in charge-sustaining mode) and instead they are continually recharged with power from the internal combustion engine and regenerative braking.[4]

Hybrid vehicles with batteries that can be charged externally to displace some or all of their internal combustion engine power and gasoline fuel are called plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and run as BEVs during their charge-depleting mode. PHEVs with a series powertrain are also called range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs), such as the Chevrolet Volt and Fisker Karma.

Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are a subcategory of electric vehicles that includes battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles, (PHEVs), and electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.[4][5]

In China, plug-in electric vehicles, together with hybrid electric vehicles are called new energy vehicles (NEVs).[6] However, in the United States, neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are battery electric vehicles that are legally limited to roads with posted speed limits no higher than 45 miles per hour (72 km/h), are usually built to have a top speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h), and have a maximum loaded weight of 3,000 lbs.[7]

Vehicles by type[edit]

The concept of battery electric vehicles is to use charged batteries on board vehicles for propulsion. Battery electric cars are becoming more and more attractive with the advancement of new battery technology (Lithium Ion) that have higher power and energy density (i.e. greater possible acceleration and more range with fewer batteries) and higher oil prices.[8]

BEVs include automobiles, light trucks, and neighborhood electric vehicles.


Electric bus[edit]

Main article: Battery electric bus
A battery-electric minibus in St Helens, England

Chattanooga, Tennessee operates nine zero-fare electric buses, which have been in operation since 1992 and have carried 11.3 million passengers and covered a distance of 3,100,000 kilometres (1,900,000 mi), They were made locally by Advanced Vehicle Systems. Two of these buses were used for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.[9][10]

Beginning in the summer of 2000, Hong Kong Airport began operating a 16-passenger Mitsubishi Rosa electric shuttle bus, and in the fall of 2000, New York City began testing a 66-passenger battery-powered school bus, an all-electric version of the Blue Bird TC/2000.[11] A similar bus was operated in Napa Valley, California for 14 months ending in April, 2004.[12]

The 2008 Beijing Olympics used a fleet of 50 electric buses, which have a range of 130 km (81 mi) with the air conditioning on. They use Lithium-ion batteries, and consume about 1 kW·h/mi (0.62 kW·h/km; 2.2 MJ/km). The buses were designed by the Beijing Institute of Technology and built by the Jinghua Coach Co. Ltd.[13] The batteries are replaced with fully charged ones at the recharging station to allow 24-hour operation of the buses.[14]

In France, the bus electric phenomenon is in development, but we already can find some of them in operation in numerous cities of France.[15] PVI, a medium company located in the Paris region, is one of the leader of the market with its brand Gepebus (offering Oreos 2X and Oreos 4X).[16]

In the United States, the first battery-electric, fast-charge bus has been in operation in Pomona, California since September 2010 at Foothill Transit. The Proterra EcoRide BE35 uses lithium-titanate batteries and is able to fast-charge in less than 10 minutes.[17]

In 2014, the first production model all-electric school bus was delivered to the Kings Canyon Unified School District in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The bus was one of four the district ordered. This battery electric school bus, which has 4 sodium nickel batteries, is the first modern electric school bus approved for student transportation by any state.[18]

The first all-electric school bus in the state of California pausing outside the California capitol building in Sacramento.

The same technology is used to power the Mountain View Community Shuttles. This technology was supported by the California Energy Commission, and the shuttle program is being supported by Google.[19]

Thunder Sky[edit]

Thunder Sky (based in Hong Kong) builds lithium-ion batteries used in submarines and has three models of electric buses, the 10/21 passenger EV-6700 with a range of 280 km (170 mi) under 20 mins quick-charge, the EV-2009 city buses, and the 43 passenger EV-2008 highway bus, which has a range of 300 km (190 mi) under quick-charge (20 mins to 80 percent), and 350 km (220 mi) under full charge (25 mins). The buses will also be built in the United States and Finland.[20]

Free Tindo[edit]

Tindo is an all-electric bus from Adelaide, Australia. The Tindo (aboriginal word for sun) is made by Designline International[21] in New Zealand and gets its electricity from a solar PV system on Adelaide's central bus station. Rides are zero-fare as part of Adelaide's public transport system.[22]

First Fast-Charge, Battery-Electric Transit Bus[edit]

Proterra's EcoRide BE35 transit bus, called the Ecoliner by Foothill Transit in West Covina, California, is a heavy duty, fast charge, battery-electric bus. Proterra's ProDrive drive-system uses a UQM motor and regenerative braking that captures 90 percent of the available energy and returns it to the TerraVolt energy storage system, which in turn increases the total distance the bus can drive by 31–35 percent. It can travel 30–40 miles on a single charge, is up to 600 percent more fuel-efficient than a typical diesel or CNG bus, and produces 44 percent less carbon than CNG.[23]

Electric trucks[edit]

Main article: Electric truck

For most of the 20th century, the majority of the world's battery electric road vehicles were British milk floats.[24]

Electric vans[edit]

In March 2012 Smith Electric Vehicles announced the release of the Newton Step-Van, an all-electric, zero-emission vehicle built on the versatile Newton platform that features a walk-in body produced by Indiana-based Utilimaster.[25]

Electric cars[edit]

Main article: Electric car

An electric car is a plug-in battery powered automobile which is propelled by electric motor(s). Although electric cars often give good acceleration and have generally acceptable top speed, the lower specific energy of production batteries available in 2015 compared with carbon-based fuels means that electric cars need batteries that are fairly large fraction of the vehicle mass but still often give relatively low range between charges. Recharging can also take significant lengths of time. For journeys within a single battery charge, rather than long journeys, electric cars are practical forms of transportation and can be recharged overnight.

The Tesla Model S is the world's second best selling all-electric car, with global sales of about 100,000 units by early December 2015.[1]

Electric cars have the potential of significantly reducing city pollution by having zero tail pipe emissions.[26][27][28] Vehicle greenhouse gas savings depend on how the electricity is generated.[29][30] With the current US energy mix, using an electric car would result in a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.[31][32][33][34] Given the current energy mixes in other countries, it has been predicted that such emissions would decrease by 40 percent in the UK,[35] 19 percent in China,[36] and as little as 1 percent in Germany.[37][38][not in citation given]

Electric cars are expected to have a major impact in the auto industry[39][40] given advantages in city pollution, less dependence on oil, and expected rise in gasoline prices.[41][42][43] World governments are pledging billions to fund development of electric vehicles and their components. The US has pledged US$2.4 billion in federal grants for electric cars and batteries.[44] China has announced it will provide US$15 billion to initiate an electric car industry.[45]

About 620,000 highway-capable all-electric passenger cars and light utility vehicles have been sold worldwide by mid-September since 2008, out of total global sales of about 1 million light-duty plug-in electric vehicles.[3] As of September 2014, the United States had the world's largest stock of all-electric cars, with 116,031 units sold since December 2010, out of about 256,000 plug-in electric cars sold in the country.[46] The Nissan Leaf is the world's top selling highway-capable electric car ever, with global sales of 200,000 units by early December 2015, followed by the Tesla Model S with about 100,000 units delivered globally by December 2015.[1]

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is the leading electric vehicle manufacturer with global sales of 250,000 all-electric vehicles delivered by early June 2015, of which, 185,000 were sold by Nissan and 65,000 by Renault.[47] Ranking second is Tesla Motors with about 75,000 electric cars sold between 2008 and May 2015, including its Roadster and Model S.[48] Mitsubishi Motors is the third best selling all-electric vehicle manufacturer, with global sales of over 50,000 all-electric vehicles between July 2009 and early March 2015, including the rebadged variants Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero sold in Europe; and over 6,200 Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV all-electric utility vans and trucks sold in Japan through December 2014.[49][50][51] BMW ranks next with over 25,000 i3s sold through May 2015, including the REx models.[52]

Formula e is a fully electric international single seater championship. The series was conceived in 2012, and the inaugural championship started in Beijing on 13 September 2014. The series is sanctioned by the FIA. Alejandro Agag is the current CEO of Formula E.

The Formula E championship is currently contested by ten teams with two drivers each (after the withdrawal of Team Trulli, there are temporarily only nine teams competing). Racing generally takes place on temporary city-center street circuits which are approximately 2 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi) long. Currently, only the Mexico City ePrix takes place on a road course, a modified version of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

Special-purpose vehicles[edit]

Electric vehicles for disabled people in Årdalstangen, Norway
See also: Electrathon

Special-purpose vehicles come in a wide range of types, ranging from relatively common ones such as golf carts, things like electric golf trolleys, milk floats, all-terrain vehicles, neighborhood electric vehicles, and a wide range of other devices. Certain manufacturers specialize in electric-powered "in plant" work machines.

Two- and three-wheeled vehicles[edit]

An increasing variety of two-wheeled electric vehicles is being made for transportation and entertainment. These include devices for sitting on such as electric motorcycles and scooters or electric bicycles, as well as devices for standing on such as the Segway PT or self-balancing two-wheeled boards.

Three-wheeled vehicles include electric rickshaws, a powered variant of the cycle rickshaw.


Fuel use in vehicle designs
Vehicle type Fuel used
All-petroleum vehicle Most use of petroleum
Regular hybrid electric vehicle Less use of petroleum, but non-pluginable
Plug-in hybrid vehicle Residual use of petroleum. More use of electricity
All-electric vehicle Most use of electricity


Main article: Traction motor

Electric cars have traditionally used series wound DC motors, a form of brushed DC electric motor. Separately excited and permanent magnet are just two of the types of DC motors available. More recent electric vehicles have made use of a variety of AC motor types, as these are simpler to build and have no brushes that can wear out. These are usually induction motors or brushless AC electric motors which use permanent magnets. There are several variations of the permanent magnet motor which offer simpler drive schemes and/or lower cost including the brushless DC electric motor.

Motor controllers[edit]

Main article: Motor controller

The motor controller regulates the power to the motor, supplying either variable pulse width DC or variable frequency variable amplitude AC, depending on the motor type, DC or AC.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Jeff Cobb (2015-12-08). "Plug-in Pioneers: Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt Turn Five Years Old". Retrieved 2015-12-15.  See table with ranking: "World's Top Best Selling Plug-in Electric cars." Accounting for global cumulative sales by early December 2015, plug-in electric car sales are led by the Nissan Leaf (200,000), followed by Volt/Ampera family (104,000), and the Tesla Model S (100,000). As of November 2015, ranking next are the Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV (85,000) and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid (75,000).
  2. ^ a b Jeff Cobb (2015-12-08). "Nissan Sells 200,000th Leaf Just Before Its Fifth Anniversary". Retrieved 2015-12-10.  By early December 2015, the all-electric Nissan Leaf is all-time best-selling plug-in car in the world with over 200,000 units sold, followed by the Chevy Volt and its variants with close to 104,000 units, and the Tesla Model S at nearly 100,000.
  3. ^ a b Jeff Cobb (2015-09-16). "One Million Global Plug-In Sales Milestone Reached". Retrieved 2015-10-07.  Cumulative global sales totaled about 1,004,000 highway legal plug-in electric passenger cars and light-duty vehicles by mid-September 2015, of which, about 60% were BEVs.
  4. ^ a b David B. Sandalow, ed. (2009). Plug-In Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington? (1st. ed.). The Brookings Institution. pp. 2–5. ISBN 978-0-8157-0305-1. See definition on pp. 2.
  5. ^ "Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs)". Center for Sustainable Energy, California. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  6. ^ PRTM Management Consultants, Inc (April 2011). "The China New Energy Vehicles Program - Challenges and Opportunities" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 2012-02-29.  See Acronyms and Key Terms, pp. v
  7. ^ "What is a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV)?". AutoblogGreen. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
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  12. ^ Electric School Bus. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  13. ^ UNDP donates electric buses to Beijing Olympic Games. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
  14. ^ BIT Attends the Delivery Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games Alternative Fuel Vehicles with its Pure Electric Bus. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
  15. ^ (French)
  16. ^ "PVI, leader de la traction électrique pour véhicules industriels.". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Proterra Launches First Deployment of All-Electric, Zero-Emission Buses by Major Transit Agency. Retrieved October 2011.
  18. ^ "New All-Electric School Bus Saves California District $10,000+ Per Year". CleanTechnica. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
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  20. ^ "雷天温斯顿电池有限公司". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
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  22. ^ All-Electric, Solar-Powered, Free Bus!!!
  23. ^
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  27. ^ "Electro Automotive: FAQ on Electric Car Efficiency & Pollution". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  28. ^ "Clean Air Initiative". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  29. ^ Notter, Dominic A.; Kouravelou, Katerina; Karachalios, Theodoros; Daletou, Maria K.; Haberland, Nara Tudela. "Life cycle assessment of PEM FC applications: electric mobility and μ-CHP". Energy Environ. Sci. 8 (7): 1969–1985. doi:10.1039/c5ee01082a. 
  30. ^ Notter, Dominic A.; Gauch, Marcel; Widmer, Rolf; Wäger, Patrick; Stamp, Anna; Zah, Rainer; Althaus, Hans-Jörg (2010-09-01). "Contribution of Li-Ion Batteries to the Environmental Impact of Electric Vehicles". Environmental Science & Technology 44 (17): 6550–6556. doi:10.1021/es903729a. ISSN 0013-936X. 
  31. ^ "Plug-in Hybrid Cars: Chart of CO2 Emissions Ranked by Power Source". TreeHugger. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
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  34. ^ United States emission standards#Electricity generation
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  36. ^ "McKinsey Greater China" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  37. ^ ...the four electric vehicles analysed in this study consume around 1.7 times less primary energy and generate less than half the CO2 of a Toyota Prius...
  38. ^ Palm, Erik (2009-05-01). "Study: Electric cars not as green as you think | Green Tech - CNET News". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  39. ^ "Ford says auto future hinges on electric car | | Detroit Free Press". Archived from the original on 21 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-18. [dead link]
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  46. ^ Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) (October 2014). "Electric drive vehicle sales figures (US Market) - EV sales". EDTA. Retrieved 2014-10-04.  Sales reported do not include the Fisker Karma.
  47. ^ "Renault-Nissan Alliance Sells Its 250,000th Electric Vehicle" (Press release). Paris/Yokohama: Renault-Nissan Alliance. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  48. ^ Jeff Cobb (2015-06-11). "How Nissan and Renault are Dominating the Electric Car Game". Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  49. ^ Jeff Cobb (2015-06-01). "Renault-Nissan And Leaf Lead All In Global EV Proliferation". Retrieved 2015-06-14.  About 510,000 battery electric cars and light-duty vans have been sold worldwide by May 2015.
  50. ^ Bill Moore (2015-03-19). "Mitsubishi Firsts". EV World. Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  51. ^ "三菱 i-MiEVなどの2014年12月度 生産・販売実績" [Mitsubishi i-MiEV production and sales results for December 2014] (in Japanese). Electric Vehicle News. 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2015-03-19.  A total of 5,560 Minicab vans and 731 mini truck versions have been sold in Japan through December 2014.
  52. ^ Jeff Cobb (2015-06-15). "Three More Plug-in Cars Cross 25,000 Sales Milestone". Retrieved 2015-06-28. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]