Definition and classification of new energy vehicles

With the gradual formation of the “automobile society”, the number of cars is constantly on the rise, while resources such as oil are stretched. On the other hand, vehicles that swallow a large amount of gasoline continue to emit harmful gases and pollutants. The ultimate solution is of course not to restrict the development of the automobile industry, but to open up new energy sources to replace petroleum and develop new energy vehicles.

The definition of new energy vehicles: different countries have different formulations.
In Japan, it is often referred to as “low-pollution vehicles.” In 2001, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry formulated the “Low-Pollution Vehicle Development and Popularization Action Plan.” The low-pollution vehicles referred to in the plan include five categories, namely: natural gas-fueled vehicles, hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, methanol-fueled vehicles, and clean gasoline vehicles with the strictest emission and fuel efficiency restrictions.
In the United States, new energy vehicles are usually referred to as “alternative fuel vehicles.”
In China, new energy vehicles refer to vehicles that use new power systems and are completely or mainly driven by new energy sources, including plug-in hybrid (including extended range) vehicles, pure electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.

Below we describe the classification of China’s new energy vehicles.
New energy vehicles include pure electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid (including extended range) vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.

①Pure electric car
Blade electric vehicles (BEV) are vehicles that use a single battery as the energy storage power source. Pure electric vehicles use batteries to provide electrical energy to the motor and drive the motor to run, thereby driving the car to travel.

Definition and classification of new energy vehicles
Pure electric car

②Plug-in hybrid (including extended range) cars
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a new type of hybrid electric vehicle. Different from conventional hybrid vehicles that combine traditional gasoline power and electric drive, plug-in hybrid vehicles have the same drive principles and drive units as pure electric vehicles. The only difference is that the vehicle is equipped with an engine. The battery of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles is relatively large, can be charged externally, and can be used for long-distance driving in pure electric mode. When the battery is exhausted, the plug-in hybrid vehicle will then run in a hybrid mode (mainly internal combustion engine) and charge the battery in a timely manner.

Definition and classification of new energy vehicles
hybrid car

The extended-range electric vehicle is a transitional model between pure electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles, and has the characteristics of pure electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. Range-extended electric vehicles are mainly composed of power batteries, range extenders and drive motors. The range extender is an integrated body of a small engine and generator. When the power battery is insufficient or consumed to a certain extent, the engine in the range extender starts to drive the generator to generate electricity. Part of the electric energy generated by the range extender drives the motor to propel the vehicle; part of it maintains the power of the power battery at a critical level.

③Fuel cell cars
A fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) is a car that uses hydrogen and oxygen in the air under the action of a catalyst to generate electrical energy through an electrochemical reaction in a fuel cell as the main power source. Fuel cell electric vehicles are essentially a kind of pure electric vehicles. The main difference lies in the working principles of power batteries. Generally speaking, fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy through electrochemical reactions. The reducing agent required for electrochemical reactions generally uses hydrogen, and the oxidizer uses oxygen. Therefore, most of the earliest fuel cell electric vehicles developed directly use hydrogen fuel. The storage of hydrogen can be in the form of liquefied hydrogen, compressed hydrogen or metal hydride hydrogen storage.

Definition and classification of new energy vehicles
Fuel cell cars