Understanding Hybrid And Electric Vehicle Names

As more hybrid and electric vehicles appear on OEM sales and service information sites, it can be difficult to determine what type of vehicle it is. This is partly because there are so many names and terms used for the different powertrains out there. Despite all the different names, most people refer to all of these vehicles simply as an electric vehicle (EV). The RTS Team created this article to help you better understand the difference between the terms.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the term electric vehicle refers to a vehicle that operates with a battery ONLY, and without the addition of gasoline or other types of fuel.

All hybrid, fuel cell, and electric vehicles are high-voltage (HV), meaning they have an electrical system that is 60-volt DC (30-volt AC) and higher.

All vehicles under the high-voltage category are as follows:

  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Fuel cell vehicles
  • Electric vehicles

Many OEMs have their own terms for the above categories. Here are some examples of the terms you may see on sales and service information sites:

  • Hybrid
    • Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV)
    • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)/(PHV)
    • Parallel hybrid truck (PHT)
    • Mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV)
    • Full hybrid electric vehicle (FHEV)
    • Hybrid vehicle (HV)
    • Sport hybrid vehicle
    • Hybrid (H) vehicle
    • 2-mode hybrid
    • eAssist
  • Fuel cell
    • Fuel cell (FC) vehicle
    • Fuel cell electric vehicle
  • Electric
    • Electric vehicle (EV)
    • Battery electric vehicle (BEV)
    • Pure electric vehicle

Keep in mind that no matter what the vehicle is called, there are important safety procedures that should be researched and followed, as there are different vehicle-specific procedures necessary to help ensure a complete, safe, and quality repair.

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