Department of Environmental Protection


Air Quality, Energy & Sustainability

Drive Green

Electric Vehicle Basics

TYPES OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES: BEV, PHEV AND HEV. Between all of the different acronyms, it’s easy to get confused. Here we have a basic breakdown of the main types of electric vehicles that either plug in or have no harmful tailpipe emissions.

Battery Electric Vehicles

Battery Electric Vehicles(BEV) like the Chevrolet Bolt use electricity stored in a battery as their sole means of propulsion. The battery is recharged off of the grid and by regenerative braking. Charging times and electric range vary by make and model.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles(PHEV) like the Chevrolet Volt use electricity stored in a battery & a gasoline powered internal combustion engine(ICE) as a means of propulsion. In some models, the ICE will kick on to power the car when the battery is depleted, and in others the ICE is just used to recharge the battery.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles(FCEV) like the Toyota Mirai are fueled with Hydrogen gas. The Hydrogen reacts with Oxygen in a fuel cell to generate the electricity that powers the motor. No harmful tailpipe emissions are produced, with only water & heat as byproducts.

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV) are pure battery electric vehicles that use electricity stored in a battery as their sole means of propulsion. These vehicles are classified as low-speed vehicles, and typically have a top speed of 25 miles per hour.

New Jersey In RGGI

Electric Vehicles in New Jersey

As of December 2018, there are 23,267 electric vehicles registered in New Jersey. This number includes Battery Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. A few short years ago, in 2012, there were only 338 electric vehicles registered in the state, and now we have more than sixty times that! The chart below shows how the number of electric vehicles registered in New Jersey has grown over the past few years.

New Jersey In RGGI

NJ Electric Vehicles &
Plug In Hybrid Registrations
by County

Updated 9.10.2019

Cold Weather? No Problem.

Living in the Northeast, we know cold. On more than one occasion, I’m sure you’ve gone outside to find your car completely encased in ice. Word on the street is that electric vehicles don’t work quite as well when it is cold out. This is completely true, but this is also completely true of internal combustion engine cars, albeit for different reasons. The battery packs in electric vehicles do lose a bit of range in the winter due to their chemistry. Things just don’t work quite as well cold. Basic science classes taught us that heat speeds up everything from atoms to chemical reactions. Similar to popping popcorn, when you add heat, atoms bounce around quicker. This causes more of them to bump into each other, which effectively speeds up any reaction taking place. In the absence of heat, the reactions that take place in the battery of an electric vehicle slow down, and this is what causes the decrease in range.

The chart below shows a composite of the daily temperatures from three locations in the state over six years, and breaks it down into the percentages of days where the weather would result in Ideal Operation, Minimal Reduction of Range, Moderate Reduction of Range, and Large Reduction of Range.

•80% of days over six years, temperatures considered to be ideal for operation of an electric vehicle.
•14% of days fell in a range, results in minimal reduction in operation of electric range.
•6% of days fell in a range, results in moderate reduction, AND
•more than 1% of days fell in a range, results in large reduction.

New Jersey In RGGI