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Find the Right PEV

Assessing Your Needs

There are several factors to consider when deciding which PEV is right for you. A good place to start is a look at your daily miles driven and frequency of long trips. This will help you assess your general range requirements and may start to tilt the scale toward whether a pure battery electric (BEV) or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle is a better fit for your life.

Factor in access to workplace charging, and you can potentially double your range on a daily basis. Many workplace environments are installing charging equipment, and for some, charging is as simple as finding a 120-volt outlet to plug into while you’re at work.

The size of your family, second vehicle access, and home charging capabilities are factors as well that can affect your PEV choice.

With some great PEV models already available (at affordable costs), and more than 25 models scheduled to hit the market in the next 2 years, there is bound to be a PEV that is right for you. 


Key Factors for PEV Buyers to Consider

Source: What are the Benefits of Driving a PEV?


The Difference in BEVs and PHEVs

Now that you are getting a better idea of what you need, you can determine which type of PEV is the best fit. Here is a look at how BEVs and PHEVs compare.

BEV & PHEV Characteristics

Battery Electric Vehicles

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles


Electric motor / battery only

Electric motor / battery plus gasoline engine


Recharge with electricity

Recharge with electricity OR refuel with gasoline


BEVs can travel between 70 – 100 miles (some go even further) on a full charge. Most Californians travel less than 40 miles per day.

PHEVs can travel on battery power alone between 15 – 35 miles, and 300+ in gasoline-electric hybrid mode.


Time: Full size BEVs take about 4-6 hours to fully charge using a 220-volt charger.

Charger Type: A 220-volt charger can be used for fastest home charging, but all PEVs can also charge from a 120-volt outlet.

Cost: BEVs typically cost about $1 per gallon equivalent (when charged during off-peak hours at 10₵ kWh).

Time: PHEVs take about 1 hour to fully charge using a 220-volt charger, and about 3 hours at 120-volts.

Charger Type: Charging from a 120-volt outlet is usually preferred by PHEV drivers, since there is no cost for charging equipment and the time to charge is minimal.

Cost: The cost will depend upon the ratio of electric to gasoline miles you drive.


BEVs on the market today typically have lithium ion batteries that are between 24kWh – 36 kWh in size.

PHEVs typically have Lithium Ion batteries, but they are smaller than those found in pure BEVs.


BEVs are zero emission vehicles. The only emissions are from utility generation mix.

PHEVs have very low emissions. Actual emissions depend upon the electric to gasoline ratio used.


Managing Your Drive With Mobile Apps

Today’s PEVs are high-tech – designed to be easily managed in life’s busy moments with great tools like mobile applications. Mobile apps allow drivers to monitor their battery charge, start or stop charging, pre-heat or cool the cabin all from their smart phone. This, along with the assistance in finding public charging stations, mobile apps give PEV drivers the tools they need to manage their cars and their driving needs all at their fingertips.


Source: PEV Charging: Where and When?


Consider These Shopping Tips

If you’re still unsure as to which PEV is your best fit, here are some great resources to consider:

Take a Test Drive: Taking a PEV out for a spin at the dealer, or renting one for a few hours from your local car rental company are an easy way to test out more sustainable transportation before making a big purchase. Hertz and Enterprise have been the most forward thinking, but other rental companies are beginning to incorporate electric drive vehicles into their fleets as well.

Read Driver Blogs: Find out what PEV owners are saying about their vehicles and their buying experiences. Some PEV blogs and discussion forums that can be helpful include:

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