The gist is that the automobile industry in the midst of its upheavel is not only trying to reinvent itself but also has car companies trying to separate themselves from one another. Flashy acronyms such as ER-EV, E-REV, ReEV, PHEV, HEV, etc, are designed to lure consumers into a sense of driving something highly technical.
Different Views Of The Same Technology. While Fisker’s Karma sticks to the traditional plug-in hybrid, PHEV moniker, it is using an advanced series PHEV design. Chrysler and GM, on the other hand decided to re-brand the series PHEV, S-PHEV with terms of their own. An extended range electric vehicle, whether it is an ER-EV, Re-EV or E-REV is a plug-in hybrid that only uses an electric motor to power the wheels of the car and uses an ICE as a generator to recharge its battery pack that does not power the wheels directly.
GM And Chrysler, Re-brandings Technology. GM introduced the E-REV term which means extended range electric vehicle, which also confused many people as to what the definition of an electric vehicle, EV. To recap, an EV is a car that uses electricity alone with no other motor than the electric one. It does not have an internal combustion engine, ICE, rotary or otherwise. GM’s website says its Volt is an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) that uses electricity as its primary power source and gasoline as its secondary power source to propel the vehicle by recharging the battery pack.
Chrysler chose to re-brand the S-PHEV moniker by calling it, Range-extended Electric Vehicle. According to their website, their range-extended electric vehicles use an electric-drive system powered by electricity for the first 40-miles and then rely on electricity that is produced by an on-board integrated internal combustion engine and generator.
In the end, whether we talk about Fisker’s Karma series PHEV, GM’s Volt E-REV or any of the Chrysler’s ENVI Re-EV “extended range” EVs, they all use a form of series plug-in hybrid design that operates along the same lines, an electric motor that propels the car for a certain distance and relies on an on-board ICE to generate electricity for the battery pack. So the questions still remains. Why all those terms to mean the same thing?
Old habits die hard with traditional car makers and while the industry is facing a new dawn, some are still clinging on to old marketing practices that have been over-used and have confused consumers more than educate them.