What is a plug-in electric vehicle?

There are three types of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs); plug-in hybrids, extended-range electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles.

Plug-in hybrids, such as a converted Toyota Prius, are powered through a combination of gasoline and electricity.

The Chevy Volt is an example of a plug-in extended-range electric vehicle and was introduced in the fall of 2010. The Volt uses an electric motor to power its drive-train.  Once the Volt’s battery pack is fully discharged, a separate gasoline engine starts up and powers a generator which then supplies the electricity to the electric motor drive-train.

Battery electric vehicles have no gasoline engine and run exclusively on the energy stored in the on-board batteries. The Tesla Roadster, Nissan LEAF and Wheego LiFe are examples of highway-capable, battery electric cars.