BEV, HEV and PHEV – Different shades of green May 20th, 2017
It seems that green is becoming the new black. What are your plans on going green?
Just as our Niro Super Bowl commercial suggests, driving green is a conscious and simple way to contribute to saving our planet.
The world of alternative powertrain vehicles is taking dramatic steps forward and sometimes the sheer amount of changes in the market can be overwhelming. To keep buyers well-informed when choosing a new car, Kia BUZZ is addressing one of the most commonly asked questions about green cars – what are the differences between today’s common types of eco-friendly vehicles?
Eco-friendly cars generally fall into three different categories — BEV, HEV and PHEV. Each type displays distinct strengths and attributes, and Kia offers enticing choices for each category. Keep reading to find out which type may be best suited for you.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
As you can tell by their name, battery electric vehicles rely on electricity via on-board batteries as their one and only power source. Due to this fact, full electric vehicles not only free us from exhaust and pollutants but also reduce engine noise levels down to a purr.
Batteries for BEVs must be charged by plugging them into an outlet or visiting charging stations, so driving this kind of vehicle requires a certain level of preemptive planning and preparation. Drivers who are great at planning ahead will definitely enjoy the lower running costs and reduced carbon emissions from battery-only vehicles.
Kia’s flagship electric vehicle model, the Soul EV, is a popular choice among green car drivers with thousands upon thousands having already rolled out into the global market.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
Hybrid vehicles are perhaps the most commonly heard of eco-vehicles in the market. HEVs are equipped with two power suppliers – a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The vehicle uses electric power only when driving under a certain speed. If the driver speeds up or the battery runs low, the fuel engine kicks in as a back-up power source.
What’s interesting about hybrid vehicles is that the electric motor does not require manual charging as it replenishes itself automatically while the car is in motion. Hence, there is no need to plan ahead or search for a charging station when driving a HEV. In Kia’s eco line-up, the Optima Hybrid and the Niro, our hybrid SUV model, are segment-leading options for drivers in the market for a hybrid vehicle.
Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV)
Another option among eco-friendly vehicles is the plug-in hybrid. PHEV models work similarly to HEVs but feature enhanced battery capacity, although external plug-in charging of the battery is still needed.
As with hybrids, the gasoline engine merely plays a secondary role as plug-in models are more reliant on electric power. Thus PHEVs are considered a stepping stone towards 100% battery-operated vehicles.
Kia offers the Optima PHEV as a plug-in hybrid option. The PHEV version of our best-selling sedan (European specification) can travel up to 54 km solely via electric mode, and using both power sources, it can travel as far as 1,091 km.
The soon-to-be avaliable plug-in hybrid variants of the Niro and Optima Sportswagon were also unveiled this year at the Geneva Motor Show.
With Kia, customers need not sacrifice style, performance and their budgets to go green. The Soul, Optima and Niro have been highly praised for their striking design while the hybrid versions of the Optima and Niro recently made their way onto Kelley Blue Book list of ‘Top Eco-friendly cars under $40k’
So why not check out Kia’s eco-friendly vehicle line-up and add some green to your life?