What is the difference between a hybrid and an electric car?

We often hear about different models of electric or hybrid cars, so let's explain: 

  • Fully electric vehicles (so-called BEVs or "Battery Electric Vehicles") have an electrochemical storage system (a battery) as the only on-board energy storage system. One or more electric motors generate mechanical power (and energy is recovered from braking). They are chargeable from the electricity grid.  
  • Chargeable hybrid vehicles (so-called PHEVs, or "Plug-in Electric Vehicles"), have both a battery storage system that can also be charged from the grid and a conventional petrol engine (with fuel tank). The combustion engine and electric motor provide mechanical power (energy is recovered from braking).
  • Conventional hybrid vehicles (so-called "Full Hybrid"), which have both a battery storage system that cannot be charged from the grid as well as a conventional petrol engine (with fuel tank). The combustion engine and electric motor provide mechanical power (energy is recovered from braking).

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