Comparing the Types of Electric Vehicles

Subaru Solterra with bikes on a roof rack charging at an outdoor trail charger

Electric vehicles are quickly becoming a major member of our automotive society. Understanding the differences between the three major engine types is more important than ever. While anything that powers an automobile basically does the same thing in principle, there are different ways that each one of these powertrains actually operates and allows the vehicle to move on the road.

Subaru has a plan to build a dedicated EV production line at their Oizumi plant in 2027, as well as adding an EV production line at the Yajima plant around 2026. Each production line will be able to build 200,000 EVs per year. With a total number of 400,000 electric vehicles to be made per year and 4 electric SUVs brought to the market by 2026, expect Subaru to become a leader in the United States in EV sales and production.



A Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) features both a battery system and an internal combustion engine (ICE). The internal combustion engine basically charges the battery system as you drive, but they also work together to create more power and torque while minimizing the stress on the gas-powered motor during normal operation. Some hybrid vehicles can have an all-electric, or EV mode, where up to a certain speed and for a limited amount of miles, the car will run purely as an electric car. Hybrid cars tend to get very good fuel economy as they don’t need to make the gas motor do all of the heavy lifting during an ICE engine’s least efficient moments, such as when at idle and low speeds. Hybrids also employ technology called regenerative braking. This is when every time you hit the brakes, the vehicle stores the kinetic energy that is lost during braking and uses it to charge the battery system.

While Subaru does not currently have a hybrid vehicle, there is the possibility that the next generation Impreza and WRX models could feature a hybrid motor, as well as the next iteration of the STI.

Plug-In Hybrid

A plug-in electric hybrid, or PHEV, is basically the same as a hybrid, but instead of the gas motor being the only charger of the battery system, the vehicle has a plug and a charging door that allows you to utilize a 120-volt or 240-volt charging station, much like a fully electric car. The internal combustion engine essentially becomes a range extender.

A PHEV will typically use battery power to do most of the normal driving habits, and then the gas motor can kick in to either charge the battery system or help when driving down the highway when you may need extra power or range. The combustion engine acts as a range extender for longer trips.

Fully Electric

With a battery electric vehicle, or BEV, you no longer have the internal combustion engine to work in congress with the battery system. Instead, you have a larger and more powerful set of batteries. Instead of going to a gas station, you go to a public-use charger, or you can have a charger at your home. There are multiple levels of charge. Level 1 is your standard 110 or 120-volt outlet. This way of charging takes the longest for the vehicle to fully charge at 24 hours. Level 2 is a 240-volt charging system that is either in use at free public charging stations as well as what you will have at your home. With a Level 2 charger, you can expect roughly an 80% charge within roughly 4-10 hours, or about an evening of being plugged in. Level 3, also called Direction Current (DC) Fast Charging, is currently the fastest charging method on the market. DC Fast Charging will give you 80% of a charge within an hour. The Subaru Solterra is able to utilize all forms of charging and has an electric range of up to 228 miles.

The Future Is Coming

Subaru Charging at an EVGo station

Subaru is dedicated to the future of electric vehicles in its lineup. With a plan to reduce 90% of their vehicle emissions by 2050, they are well positioned to meet that goal with the expansion of the BEV models. The Subaru Solterra is just the first step in a great future for electric vehicle customers.

At Ewing Subaru of Plano, we have some of the best deals on new and used vehicles. With hundreds of vehicles to choose from, our sales team and finance department will work hard to get you the best price. Our service department will work tirelessly to ensure your vehicle is in the best possible shape to keep your travels safe and enjoyable.