What is the difference between a BEV and PHEV?

Both battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are able to add range from an electric source and drive on electric only. The difference is that PHEVs have both a gasoline-powered engine and a battery powered motor, while BEVs lack the gasoline motor.

PHEVs appeal to the risk-averse idea of having a redundant powertrain. But there are several downsides:

  • Maintenance of two powertrains (BEVs have almost no powertrain maintenance)
  • Greater complexity – more things to go wrong
  • Continued dependence on gasoline – we’ve passed peak gasoline and the supply chain will start contracting, meaning greater costs and eventually shortages and disruptions

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