What Does BEV Stand For In Cars


There are so many acronyms used in the automotive industry, it’s impossible to keep up with all of them. But there are several that have been popping up more and more in news articles lately so I wanted to write about a few of them and what they mean.

What does BEV stand for in cars? BEV stands for Battery Electric Vehicle. A battery electric vehicle uses a battery pack to turn one or more electric motors which sends power to the wheels. A battery electric vehicle has no internal combustion components and produces no exhaust gasses, these are vehicles that are defined as zero emissions vehicles.

The next term you will hear a lot is EV. That simply stands for electric vehicle. A car that relies on electricity to drive it’s powertrain is an EV. There can be different types of EVs as well. The specific type we will focus on most in this article is the BEV, or battery electric vehicle. In addition, there are others such as the HEV. This stands for hybrid electric vehicle. In addition, there are many other variations of electric vehicles out there.

What Attributes Make A BEV Different From Other Vehicle Types?

So, what exactly makes a BEV different from the other types of cars. The first and very most obvious factor is found right in the name. A BEV has a battery. Hold on a second. Don’t all cars have a battery? Don’t some diesels even have two batteries? The battery in this case is referring to a battery that is used to drive the powertrain directly. The lead acid battery found in most cars is really only used for starting the vehicle and powering the electronics and circuitry. 

So, we have first off established that battery electric vehicles do in fact have a battery. This battery is a special battery used for actually moving the vehicle. So, that means that the actual powertrain itself must be different from most other vehicles. That is very much so the case on a battery electric vehicle.

Battery electric vehicles will utilize electric motors in order to drive the wheels. The car could have a single motor, two motors, or one for each wheel. Either way, whether the car has one or four motors, each of the motors gets their power from the onboard electric battery.

While many hybrid vehicles will have both a lithium-ion battery pack and motors to drive the wheels, they still vary from battery electric vehicles in that they don’t rely solely on the battery and motors to move the vehicle. While some hybrids can operate as pure electric cars for short distances, once the charge gets low enough, it will start up the internal combustion engine. Battery electric vehicles are only powered by the electric battery pack.

Do BEV And EV Stand For The Same Thing?

So, is there a difference between BEVs and EVs? As we’ve previously mentioned, BEV stands for battery electric vehicle. EV stands for electric vehicle. So, are they the same thing? What differences are there? The answer is a little bit tricky. Yes, they are the same thing but at the same time they aren’t. What exactly does that mean?

In the world of electric vehicles, there is a hierarchy. The term EV refers to any vehicle that generates power with electricity. These could be battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plugin hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles, and any other variants. As such, an EV really is just the parent group or class of any vehicle that utilizes electricity to achieve motion.

A BEV is a subclass or child group of the electric vehicle. It does utilize electricity in order to drive the motors on the tires. Despite this, it is still very different than a fuel cell electric vehicle which is also an electric vehicle. So, a battery electric vehicle is an electric vehicle, but an electric vehicle is not necessarily a battery electric vehicle. Are you confused yet?

How Many Car Models Are There Currently In The World That Are BEV’s?

So, how many different types of battery electric vehicles are there today? There are actually quite a few different options from a variety of different auto manufacturers. Here is a list of all the new battery electric cars available in the US today.

  • GMC Hummer EV
  • Porsche Taycan
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model X
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Volvo C40 and XC40
  • Lucid Air
  • Hyundai Kona EV
  • Kia Niro EV
  • Mazda MX-30
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Kia EV6
  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Audi E-Tron
  • Kia Soul EV
  • Mini Cooper EV
  • Ford Mach E
  • Jaguar I-Pace
  • Volkswagen ID4
  • Mercedes EQS
  • BMW i3, i4, iX, and iX3
  • Rivian R1T
  • Rivian R1S
  • Ford F-150 Lightning

As you can see, there are a ton of different types of battery electric vehicles that you can buy from almost every major automotive manufacturer. If there is a certain brand that you like, odds are that they have a battery electric car that you can buy. In addition, there are lots of companies that specialize just in producing electric cars. Good examples of these are Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian.

While there are a lot of different battery electric vehicles available right now, there will be even more than that available in the future. Almost all automotive manufacturers have shifted their focus very heavily over to battery electric vehicles. We will continue to see more and more battery electric vehicle models become available each year.

Are BEV’s More Common Than The Other Cars In This Group Such As HEV’s And PHEV’s?

So, how popular are battery electric vehicles? As of right now, in the world of electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles are the fastest growing and most popular type of electric vehicles. If you had asked this same question several years ago, that wouldn’t necessarily be the case.

Hybrids have actually been relatively popular and around for quite a long time. These offered a much simpler transition for the average driver. They offered excellent fuel economy without providing any sort of range anxiety or charging time concerns that are often introduced to new electric car drivers. People who were comfortable working on cars still had the familiarity of an internal combustion engine and the maintenance was familiar. 

Plug in hybrids are very much similar. They allow drivers to plug their cars in and charge up a battery pack similar to a battery electric vehicle. That battery had limited range and once it got low, an internal combustion engine would be started to allow the car to be driven further and to recharge the electric battery. Again, this was a much simpler transition from a pure internal combustion engine for most drivers.

Pure battery electric vehicles are quickly becoming incredibly popular though. A lot of the major concerns with electric cars are quickly being resolved and improve upon which is allowing for more and more people to feel comfortable buying them. In addition to saving money on fuel, people are enticed by cutting edge technology that is often incorporated into the electric cars and exciting drivability and performance that comes with an electric car.

While you can find plug in hybrid cars and regular hybrid cars around today, almost all automotive manufacturers have shifted their focus entirely over to battery electric vehicles. Many countries are moving away from internal combustion engines and as a result, are also phasing out of using hybrid vehicles. As a result, we will continue to see a larger and larger percentage of battery electric vehicles each year from now on.

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