Battery Vehicle
The Nissan Leaf is world's top selling highway-capable all-electric car, with more than 250,000 units delivered globally through December 2016.[1][2]

A battery electric vehicle (BEV), battery-only electric vehicle (BOEV), Full Electric Vehicle (FEV) 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 motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rail cars, watercraft, forklifts, buses, trucks and cars.

Cumulative global sales of highway-capable light-duty pure electric car vehicles passed the one million unit milestone in September 2016 - long after electric bicycles.[3] As of December 2016, the world's top selling highway legal all-electric car in history is the Nissan Leaf with global sales of over 250,000 units, followed by the Tesla Model S with more than 158,000 units delivered worldwide.[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

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.


  • Battery electric railcars:
  • Locomotives:
  • Electric rail trolley:

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 electric bus phenomenon is in development, but some buses are already operating in numerous cities.[15] PVI, a medium-sized company located in the Paris region, is one of the leaders 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

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

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

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

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

Electric vans

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

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.

Comparison of EPA-rated range for model year 2016 and 2017 electric cars rated up until July 2017. Tesla vehicles included are the variants with the longest and shortest range for each model.[26][27]

Electric cars have the potential of significantly reducing city pollution by having zero tail pipe emissions.[28][29][30] Vehicle greenhouse gas savings depend on how the electricity is generated.[31][32] With the current US energy mix, using an electric car would result in a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.[33][34][35][36] Given the current energy mixes in other countries, it has been predicted that such emissions would decrease by 40 percent in the UK,[37] 19 percent in China,[38] and as little as 1 percent in Germany.[39][40][not in citation given]

Electric cars are expected to have a major impact in the auto industry[41][42] given advantages in city pollution, less dependence on oil, and expected rise in gasoline prices.[43][44][45] 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.[46] China has announced it will provide US$15 billion to initiate an electric car industry.[47]

Cumulative global sales of highway-capable battery electric cars and vans passed the 1 million unit milestone in September 2016.[3] The Renault-Nissan Alliance is the leading all-electric vehicle manufacturer. The Alliance achieved the sales milestone of 350,000 all-electric vehicles delivered globally in August 2016.[48] Ranking second is Tesla Motors with over 139,000 electric cars sold between 2008 and June 2016.[49][50]

Global sales of the Tesla Model S, the world's second best selling all-electric car in history, achieved the 150,000 unit milestone in November 2016.[51]

As of December 2016, the world's top selling highway capable all-electric car in history is the Nissan Leaf, released in December 2010, with global sales of more than 250,000 units, followed by the Tesla Model S with more than 158,000 units delivered worldwide.[1] Ranking next are the BMW i with about 65,500 units, and the Renault Zoe with 61,205 units, both through December 2016.[2] Until June 2016 the Mitsubishi i-MiEV family ranked fifth with about 37,600 units delivered globally.[52] The Renault Kangoo Z.E. utility van is the leader of the light-duty all-electric segment with global sales of 25,205 units through December 2016.[53]

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

Electric vehicles for the disabled, in Årdalstangen, Norway
Electric vehicles for disabled people in Årdalstangen, Norway

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.

Electric motorcycles, scooters and rickshaws

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

Electric bicycles

An e-bike in China. Here the rider isn't using the pedals.
Pedelecs from the Call a Bike bicycle hire scheme in Berlin.

China has experienced an explosive growth of sales of non-assisted e-bikes including scooter type, with annual sales jumping from 56,000 units in 1998 to over 21 million in 2008,[54] and reaching an estimated 120 million e-bikes on the road in early 2010. China is the world's leading manufacturer of e-bikes, with 22.2 million units produced in 2009. One of the biggest manufacturers of E-bikes in the world is Geoby.

Personal transporters

An increasing variety of personal transporters are being manufactured, including the one-wheeled self-balancing unicycles, self-balancing scooters, electric kick scooters and electric skateboards.

Electric boats

Several battery electric ships operate throughout the world, some for business. Electric ferries are being operated and constructed.[55]


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 unable to be plugged in
Plug-in hybrid vehicle Residual use of petroleum. More use of electricity
All-electric vehicle Most use of electricity


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

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.


Battery technology has developed from lead-acid batteries in the 19th Century which was too heavy for most types of vehicles to lithium batteries.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Cobb, Jeff (2017-01-09). "Nissan's Quarter-Millionth Leaf Means It's The Best-Selling Plug-in Car In History". Retrieved .  As of December 2016, the Nissan Leaf is the world's best-selling plug-in car in history with more than 250,000 units delivered, followed by the Tesla Model S with over 158,000 sales, the Volt/Ampera family of vehicles with 134,500 vehicles sold, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with about 116,500 units sold through November 2016. These are the only plug-in electric cars so far with over 100,000 global sales.
  2. ^ a b c Cobb, Jeff (2017-01-31). "Tesla Model S Is World's Best-Selling Plug-in Car For Second Year In A Row". Retrieved .  See also detailed 2016 sales and cumulative global sales in the two graphs.
  3. ^ a b Shahan, Zachary (2016-11-22). "1 Million Pure EVs Worldwide: EV Revolution Begins!". Clean Technica. Retrieved . 
  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 . 
  6. ^ PRTM Management Consultants, Inc (April 2011). "The China New Energy Vehicles Program - Challenges and Opportunities" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved .  See Acronyms and Key Terms, pp. v
  7. ^ "What is a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV)?". AutoblogGreen. 2009-02-06. Retrieved . 
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  9. ^ Downtown Electric Shuttle Archived 13 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
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  11. ^ Solectria Develops an All Electric Version of the Blue Bird TC2000 Archived 4 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  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 Archived 6 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
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  16. ^ "PVI, leader de la traction électrique pour véhicules industriels.". Retrieved 2015. 
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  39. ^ ...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... "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2010. 
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  48. ^ "Renault-Nissan Alliance hits milestone of 350,000 electric vehicles sold, maintains position as global EV leader" (Press release). Paris/Yokohama: Renault-Nissan Alliance. 2016-09-13. Retrieved .  The Alliance has sold its 350,000th electric vehicle since December 2010, when the Nissan LEAF went on sale. The milestone was achieved in August 2016.
  49. ^ Young, Angelo (2016-04-04). "Tesla Motors (TSLA) 1Q 2016 Sales: 14,820 Model S, Model X Cars Were Delivered In First Three Months; Model S Sales Jumped 45%". International Business Times. Retrieved .  Since 2008 almost 125,000 all-electric cars had been sold by Tesla Motors at the end of March 2016.
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  51. ^ Cobb, Jeff (2016-12-05). "Tesla Model S Is Second Plug-in Car To Cross 150,000 Sales Milestone". Retrieved .  The Volt/Ampera family of vehicles is the world's all-time third best selling plug-in electric car after the Nissan Leaf (240,000), and the Tesla Model S (over 150,000), with 130,500 vehicles sold globally through November 2016.
  52. ^ Cobb, Jeff (2016-08-10). "Global 10 Best-Selling Plug-In Cars Are Accelerating Forward". Retrieved .  As of June 2016, cumulative global sales of the top selling plug-in electric cars were led by the Nissan Leaf (over 228,000), followed by the Tesla Model S (129,393), Votl/Ampera family (about 117,300), Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (about 107,400), Toyota Prius PHV (over 75,400), BYD Qin (56,191), Renault Zoe (51,193), BMW i3 (around 49,500 including REx variants), Mitsubishi i-MiEV family (about 37,600) and BYD Tang (37,509).
  53. ^ Groupe Renault (January 2017). "Ventes Mensuelles" [Monthly Sales] (in French). Retrieved .  Includes passenger and light utility variants. Click on "(décembre 2016)" to download the file "XLSX - 239 Ko" for CYTD sales in 2016, and open the tab "Sales by Model". Click on "+ Voir plus" (See more) to download the files "Ventes mensuelles du groupe (décembre 2011) (xls, 183 Ko)" "Ventes mensuelles (décembre 2012) (xls, 289 Ko)" - Ventes mensuelles (décembre 2013) (xlsx, 227 Ko)" - "XLSX - 220 Ko Ventes mensuelles (décembre 2014)" - "Ventes mensuelles (décembre 2015)" to download the file "XLSX - 227 Ko" for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 sales. Sales figures for 2013 were revised in the 2014 report
  54. ^ Chi-Jen Yang (2010). "Launching strategy for electric vehicles: Lessons from China and Taiwan" (PDF). Technological Forecasting and Social Change (77): 831-834. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2010. 
  55. ^ "Batterifergen har måttet stå over avganger. Nå er løsningen klar". Teknisk Ukeblad. Retrieved 2016. 

Further reading

External links


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