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Is a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) an EV?
No, a Hybrid Electric Vehicle, also known as a Hybrid vehicle, does not require an external power source to charge the battery. Although it operates in many ways similar to an EV, it charges the small on-board battery (about 4 kWh) during the normal operation of the car. These batteries cannot be charged by an external power source unless an aftermarket conversion kit is installed. Examples include Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid.


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What is the difference between an “all-electric”, a “plug-in hybrid”, and a hybrid vehicle?
An “all-electric” vehicle uses only an electric motor and rechargeable battery pack to move and power the vehicle. A “plug-in hybrid” or “extended range electric vehicle” has both an electric motor and internal combustion engine for movement, along with a rechargeable battery pack and gasoline tank for fuel. A “hybrid” has both systems and its battery pack is not recharged by plugging into the electric grid, but by capturing energy from deceleration and braking.


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Will winter affect my PEV?
Just like with traditional vehicles, extreme temperatures will affect the mileage and performance of a PEV. Extensive use of the climate control settings and other electronics will decrease a PEV’s all-electric range. The current type of battery technology used in PEVs is somewhat sensitive to extreme cold and hot climatic conditions. However, PEVs are designed with features to minimize these weather effects. PEV batteries are temperature-controlled by either advanced air or liquid-cooling systems that keep them operating at optimal temperatures during the average commute. Most PEVs offer owners the ability to start cooling or heating the battery pack and cabin before using the vehicle, which maximizes its electric range. Rather than heating the whole vehicle, advanced heated seats in many PEVs offer a more efficient way to keep passengers comfortable in cold weather.


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How much will it cost to operate my PEV?
Your actual cost for charging will depend on several factors: how much you drive in electric-only mode each day, how large the battery in the vehicle is and the time of day and rate you choose for charging. As mentioned earlier, PEV maintenance costs are lower than conventional vehicles. Research from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is showing that the lifetime operating cost for plug-in electric vehicles ranges from $.02 to $.06 per mile at current gas prices.


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