The Toyota RAV4 EV is scheduled to be released in 2012. It's just one of dozens of EVs hitting the market by 2015.

If you are a business or individual looking for electric vehicles, the number of choices will continue to grow through 2015, when most major manufacturers plan on releasing at least one electric vehicle—some as many as four or five.

Electric Cars Come in Many Shapes, Sizes and Types

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). BEVs are vehicles that use only batteries as their source of energy to move a car. They typically have ranges of 100-200 miles between charges, but given the proper charging infrastructure effective daily ranges can be much larger.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). PHEVs are vehicles that use both batteries and fuel to move vehicles. They differ from conventional hybrids in that the batteries are bigger to store energy from being plugged in, and they can operate on electric power only for between 15 and 50 miles before switching over to using fuel (electric range depends on the vehicle).

  • PHEVs are split into two categories:
  1. Vehicles like the Toyota Prius PHEV which are conventional hybrids with a bigger battery pack. This means they can use either an electric motor to drive the wheels, a combustion engine, or a combination of both—with both the combustion engine and the electric motor directly connected to the wheels. The Prius PHEV can go about 13 miles on battery power only.
  2. Vehicles like the Chevy Volt which only use their electric motors to drive the wheels and the combustion engine is basically just used as a generator, providing electricity to power the vehicle when the battery is drained. The Volt can go about 40 miles on battery power only.

Passenger and Light Duty Commercial Vehicles

For standard passenger and light duty commercial BEVs and PHEVs there are two organizations that provide comprehensive listings of upcoming release dates and available vehicles:

Plug In America’s list of upcoming electric cars

  • Plug In America is a non-profit electric vehicle advocacy organization.

PluginCars.com’s list of upcoming electric cars

  • PluginCars.com is a internet news outlet devoted to electric cars.

Medium and Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles

Many companies have also released, or are planning on releasing, medium and heavy duty commercial BEVs and PHEVs. Plug In America’s list of electric vehicles does include some of the medium and heavy duty vehicles that are either available now or have been announced. Please contact the PluginCenter to discuss which of these might meet your needs.

Electric ATVs, Electric Tractors and Light Electric Vehicles

Many other traditionally gas-powered work vehicles are now available in electric form. There is also the option to convert your own gas-powered work machinery to electric. If you’re interested in hearing about these options, please feel free to contact the PluginCenter.