Electric Vehicles (EVs) come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be light-duty delivery vehicles or heavy-duty trams and buses. Because the range of an EV (approximately 80 miles) is limited by weight, design, and the type of battery used, EVs are particularly well suited to short-distance, high-use applications—those that demand frequent starts and stops. In addition, many EV models satisfy Energy Policy Act vehicle acquisition requirements for fleets.
Some manufacturers produce neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), which use similar battery technology and are often used in limited on-road fleet applications. NEVs are zero emission vehicles, but most do not satisfy EPAct requirements for fleets. See our neighborhood electric vehicles page for more detail on NEVs.
In an EV, batteries and other energy storage devices are used to store the electricity that powers the electric motor in the vehicle. EV batteries must be replenished by plugging in the vehicle to a power source. Some EVs have on-board chargers; others plug into a charger located outside the vehicle, but both must use electricity that comes from the power grid to replenish the battery. Although electricity production may contribute to air pollution, an EV is a zero emission vehicle and its motor produces no exhaust or emissions.