Sweet Bliss, Another EV Acronym To Remember: PHEVLER – Long Range Plug-In Hybrid

APR 22 2016 BY JAY COLE 70

"Oh Grandad, Don't Be Silly, It Isn't A Car, Its My New BMW i3 REx PHEVLER"

“Oh Grandad, Don’t Be Silly, It Isn’t A ‘Car’, Its My New BMW i3 REx PHEVLER”

For years now, electric vehicle enthusiasts have lamented how the current acronym situation for different types of electric vehicles is just too basic, too easy to remember.

Hey Is EREV A PHEVLER Too? No, Its About 7 Miles Shy

Hey Is That EREV A PHEVLER Too? No, Its About 7 Miles Shy.  Pfft!

Now with terminologies such as BEV, PHEV, EREV, FCV, FCEV, NEV, PEV, REx, ZEV, SULEV, TZEV, Enhanced ATPZEV all practically rolling off the common man’s tongue, a new player is in the game to bring further clarity!

Enter the PHEVLEROr the “Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle with Long Electric Range” if you will.

Yes, now the plug-in elitist in all of us can really show off when describing what our new 2017 Chevrolet Volt kinda is to Nana at this year’s Christmas party!

Ok, so now that we have sufficiently poked a little fun at the new terminology, introduced by Professor Andrew Alfonso Frank (CTO Efficient Drivetrains Inc. and UC-Davis Emeritus) and Bruce R. Thomas (marketing savant) – here are the bullet points for qualification:

(special bonus:they even mention the correct pronunciation)

“Abstract. The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle with Long Electric Range (PHEVLER – pronounced “fevler”) is a new category emerging in the electric vehicle marketplace. PHEVLERs are defined as PHEVs with sufficient battery capacity for all electric driving of twice the average daily distance. The average daily driving distance in the USA is 30 miles (48 km), so PHEVLERs are vehicles with at least 60 miles (97 km) of electric range. The 2016 Chevrolet Volt with an electric range of 53 miles is the first commercial car that almost qualifies as a PHEVLER.

PHEVLERs[ are a disruptive technology that will help revolutionize both the clean transportation and the clean stationary energy sectors of our economy. These vehicles are the green machines that will provide a critical part of the renewable and sustainable society that we need for the future.

For further details, check out the 17-point synopsis of what it is to be a “PHEVLER” via Green Car Congress here.


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70 Comments on "Sweet Bliss, Another EV Acronym To Remember: PHEVLER – Long Range Plug-In Hybrid"

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If you have long electric range, do you really need an ICE?

Yes. Especially outside of California where the charging infrastructure in very sparse or non-existent when driving to a weekend getaway in a rural area. Urban/city dwellers on the east coast who must get by with only one car due to parking constraints want a car that can take them to their weekend getaways (mountains/ski-house or lake-house/beach-house/beach-town) which are very often over 100 miles away.

+1. Even here in Dallas/Fort Worth area there are plenty of areas where charging stations are spaced at least 20 miles apart and never where you need them to be. Once you leave the city, there is nothing.

I can’t wait until every state across the nation and the entire world goes truely green…With electric vehicles every where…Hopefully soon….Very very soon… 🙂 !!!!!!! That would truely be happy times

Reminds me of this infamous e-mail:


I like the guy more and more!

Elon Musk wrote:

“The key test for an acronym is to ask whether it helps or hurts communication.”

Now there is something that should be tattooed on the soul of everyone who writes anything intended for public consumption.

There are already too fracking many acronyms used in articles about EVs. Case in point: What does “NEV” mean? Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, or New Energy Vehicle? Depends on who you ask.

SULEV, TZEV? Heck, even *I* don’t know what those mean. And don’t particularly care, either. I’ve been reading and posting about EVs for years, and I’ve managed to struggle through without needing such acronyms.

Enough already! “PHEVLER” does not add to the ability to communicate; it only creates unnecessary obfuscation. In fact, so far as I can tell, it means exactly the same as “EREV”. So if someone thinks “PHEV” is not a precise enough term, why not use that?

I like FCEVs, just enough fuel cell to extend the range.

Then you are liking something that doesn’t exist and with the fact that do to the unchanging harsh realities of the physics of inefficient hydrogen is unlikely to ever exist.

With the ever-increasing improvements to batteries, hydrogen is basically DOA as a transportation fuel despite the wildest fantasies of big oil companies and Coyota.

When you make assumptions, you can be wrong.

LOL, physics never change.

Hydrogen is by far the worst fuel for a little-used range extender since there needs to be very high amounts of energy used to kept it under intense pressure and chilled to be useful because of its very low energy density and the fact that as the smallest molecule it will escape virtually any containment over time and it embrittles all metals it contacts.

So good luck with that!

Is “embrittle” actually a word?

You ASSume I advocate hydrogen tanks. Liquid hydrocarbons can be reformed on the vehicle. SEE, jumping to conclusions makes one look foolish. Don’t bother responding, your credibility is SHOT.

17 c0uld b3 w0r53. wh47 1f 3v3ry0n3 ju57 u53d l337?

Meh. Just put the numerical average electric range (AER), followed by a dash, in front of PHEV and call it a day.

A PHEV with a 52 mile AER would be a 52-PHEV, although I would prefer to use EREV instead of PHEV, ie: 52-EREV.

On second thought it might be better to put the AER figure after PHEV or EREV, ie: EREV-52.

I like it, but I do think there is a distinction between a hybrid like the i3 and the Volt. The i3 isn’t fully functional without battery power (you can’t hit highway speeds on a dead battery). The Volt, you could drive across the country at highway speed without ever plugging in.

To add to that, not all AERs are alike. The 38-mile AER on a Gen1 Volt is not just 18 miles more than a Ford Energi; it’s able to run normally (and fully) during those 38 miles, whereas an Energi is either hobbled or has to turn on the engine.

It’s like ordinary people are not sufficiently confused… DITCH THE ICE!

Oh, good grief! Ordinary people would not know that ICE is an acronym, and would think that you’re telling them to throw away their frozen water.

Mine is an EBIKE…Extreme Bliss Inducing Kinder Electric.

110 miles electric only range, increased to 150 miles with assist from my CO2 and methane belching motor. 🙂

Impressive electric range!

Yup. Seven salvaged Leaf modules get me twice as far as forty eight in the car. And it is way more fun, and better for me and the planet too.

Wish this had been possible all those years I was commuting.

Well I have a PHEVWNEERSUV Outlander,

That’s a PHEV With Not Enough Electric Range SUV !

I still love it though,

Going for a lie down now as my head hurts !

LOL. I just commented about FCERHEV (fuel cell extended range hybrid electric vehicle) being ridiculous, now this! TLA (three letter acronym) was never enough, EFLA (extended four letter acronym) is not enough. Let’s use SEMLHTURLA (super extended multi letter hard to understand ridiculously long acronym).

Ah, the nostalgia of the good old days when EV meant battery, hybrid meant gas-electric, plug-in hybrid meant hybrid with a plug.

Widespread use of diesel-electric train locomotives started in 1939. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche built a hybrid ICE-electric car in 1898.

“Electric vehicle”, or “EV”, has never meant only BEV. You just thought it did.

Most people think EV as BEV. Show them Prius, and they’ll say hybrid or gas-electric hybrid, not hybrid electric vehicle. “Hybrid” is used as a noun, not an adjective, and electric vehicle doesn’t even enter into the picture.

Show them Tesla, and it’s electric vehicle (EV), not BEV. Same with Leaf.

These extra long terms may be popular with us EV weenies (with utmost respect), but have little meaning in the world.


Gas Crutch Electric

I think vehicles like the Volt really should qualify exactly the same as per electric vehicles from a perspective of government compliance. Besides some dumb corporate lease deals, I can’t see any consumer buying a Volt and NOT plugging it in. And the battery range is sufficient to guarantee most people a gas-free lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

If Volt comes with DCFC, even as an option, I might consider that argument. But 3.3kW L2 only? No, it’s not an EV.

Wearing fire suit again, EV without DCFC are toys!

Will try not to flame here SparkEV… 😉

But the problem with your argument is you’re taking your scenario and assuming it fits the world-view.

The whole idea of a Volt is that it has sufficient electric range for normal daily driving, with gas range for longer trips.

In other words, DCFC is not needed, by design. And that’s part of the benefit of the Volt. While some might like it to have DCFC, that’s only going to be confusing for mass market appeal, and even those who would use it would likely only offset a very small amount of additional gasoline over what the Volt already provides. Unless they’re at the extreme end of the bell curve for a daily 200 mile trip, every single day of their lives. 😉

Put another way, if 95% of Americans can charge the Volt over night at 3.3kW and not use gas for any of their daily commutes, the Volt is effectively an EV.

You may feel that it is not by “your” definition, but we should be able to agree that an EV is defined by if a vehicle has a charge port, and not what kind of charge port it has.

And given how much gas the Volt successfully avoids while giving owners the freedom to drive as much as they want without concern, and without sacrificing performance or speed, I would argue it’s not only an EV, but a pretty damn good EV at that. 😉

An “electric vehicle” is a vehicle designed and built to use one or more electric motors for propulsion.

For example, a diesel-electric train locomotive is an EV. A car which used battery swapping, rather than an onboard charger, would also qualify. In neither case is a charge port in the vehicle needed.

What you have defined is PEV: Plug-in EV. Not the broader category of EV in general.

The Volt is not simply an EV, it’s a Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid.
It’s not because GM’s lobby agents pressured governement agency to classify it as an EREV and steal incentives that it makes it very different than other PHEVs, it is not an EREV. Now making the definition of EREV match it’s particular planetary transmission and software to suit agendas is sometimes happening.
Actually the Volt is a MMPHEV
Yeah! Another acronym!;-)
Multi Mode Plug In Hybrid.
Only the i3 is an EREV.

I still don’t understand why you continue to claim that GM, who defined the term EREV specifically for the Volt, is misusing the term EREV. Instead, you are misunderstanding the term.

It would seem they’re the more qualified entity to make that determination, since, well, they defined it.

Exactly my point GM define what is an EREV. It should be law makers regarding the ZEV credits and other incentives who define categories.

AN EREV in common understanding is a serial hybrid. not a multi mode hybrid like the Volt.
An EV with a mean to recharge the batteries to achieve more range.

There is nothing common about the term EREV.

EREV is invented by GM and marketed by GM, coin phrased by GM and built into a product by GM.

RexxSee said:

“It should be law makers regarding the ZEV credits and other incentives who define categories.”

Perhaps you’d me more comfortable living in France, where the Académie française issues official rulings on what words are, and are not, to be used in the French language.

In English-speaking countries, we have a more democratic — if less organized — way for new words to be added to the language, and old words to acquire new meanings. If enough people use a word to mean a certain thing, then that gets added to our dictionaries.

Personally, I’m glad I don’t live in a society where the government gets to dictate how language evolves.

And what does the EPA officially classify it it as?
A Plugin Hybrid.

2011 Volt label said “dual source”….

EREV is a sub category of PHEV.

So is BEVx (aka i3 REx).

Maybe it’s the ‘EV’ bit he doesn’t like – I certainly don’t. The Volt is a hybrid. Most people understand the implication if not (in an automotive sense) precidely that it means it is a combination of BEV and ICEV. But it isn’t an ‘EV’ and for GM to imply it is by including ‘EV’ in its made up name, GM is just conning people and helping to delude them into thinking they are buying into a ‘greener’ and more politically/morally agreeable idea when in the vast majority of cases they are not. Why? Because most hybrid owners just carry on as usual burning fossil fuel because it is just too complicated (or impossible) for them to plug their car in to charge it up every day, let alone twice a day.

And if you don’t believe this then just ask yourself why none of the hybrid manufacturers have ever published data on this issue.

Apparently you’re yet another person laboring under the misapprehension that the term “EV” means only “BEV”.

The Volt is a PHEV. You will note the “EV” in “PHEV” does mean “Electric Vehicle”. Equally, “HEV” means “Hybrid Electric Vehicle”; the non-plug-in Prius is an EV, too.

If it’s a vehicle propelled by one or more electric motors, then it’s an electric vehicle, or “EV”. A diesel-electric train locomotive is an EV. A “fool cell” car is an EV. A fishing boat propelled by an electric trolling motor is an EV. Heck, a radio-controlled toy car powered by batteries is an EV.

So please stop trying to redefine the term “EV” to mean only “BEV”. It’s like trying to redefine “dog” to mean only “terrier”. It has never meant only that, and never will.

I don’t know that I’ve actually seen the term “HEV” used in many contexts. I tend to qualify an “EV” by its fuel source; if it can receive fuel from a plug, it’s an EV.

I can certainly see the argument that ICE hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, which have electric motors, are “EVs.” I just don’t think it’s a very useful interpretation, when both of those vehicles derive 100% of their locomotive energy from chemical fuel. I think “hybrid” and “FCV” are more accurate descriptors… and I believe those are the actual terms that automakers use for those vehicles. (For example, if you go to Toyota’s website, the Mirai is an “FCV” and none of their hybrids are referred to as “HEV”.)

Every time you say the Volt is a “PHEV,” you seem to misunderstand what the last two letters in that acronym stand for.

“Only the i3 is an EREV”

No, i3 is BEVx.

Both BEVx and EREV are sub category of PHEV.

Personally, I think the i3 REx better fits the term “EREV”. But GM invented the term specifically to describe the Volt, so we don’t get to redefine it… unless we can get a majority of people to agree with changing the meaning. In any case, we certainly don’t get to say that it’s “wrong” to call the Volt an EREV.

As far as “BEVx”: Bleah. What a horrible, awkward term. And fie upon an acronym that mixes uppercase and lowercase letters! I admit that despite its awkwardness it’s a more precise term, but I haven’t noticed it’s catching on.

“The key test for an acronym is to ask whether it helps or hurts communication.” — Elon Musk

Does “BEVx” help or hurt? It only helps if at least most of use understand what the term means.

BEVx is like SULEV or TZEV or AT-PZEV: it’s a government regulatory classification that is of little informational value to consumers.

I guess my Leaf is just a toy. Not a very fun one, mind you. But highly functional. What a weird toy.

The volt is designed to burn gas. Burn when charge is depleted and when gas is stale, It burns .4 gallons.
Does an EV do that?

“The volt is designed to burn gas. Burn when charge is depleted and when gas is stale, It burns .4 gallons.
Does an EV do that?”

Wrong. Volt is designed to be EV first and it would burn gasoline if the EV range is exhausted, thus the definition of EREV.

It defaults to EV first and always. It is designed to have Electric motors to be more powerful than gasoline engine and constantly attached to the axle for driving and NEVER OFF. Where the ICE can be cut off and it is only used as supplement power.

And when there is stale gas as the Troll said?……lol

Trollnonymous said:

“The volt is designed to burn gas. Burn when charge is depleted and when gas is stale, It burns .4 gallons.
Does an EV do that?”

The Volt is a switch-hitter; an EV which also has a gas-burning mode. And a very well designed one!

Asserting that it can’t be an EV if it also burns gas is asserting that nothing can be two things at once… which should only require a moment of reflection to realize is completely untrue. Many things are two things at once. I’m glad I live in a world in which amphibians, ambidextrous people, and the Duckbill Platypus are all possible.

I’m glad I live in a world in which there is a spectrum between pure gasmobile and pure BEV, rather than a binary, either/or case. I’m glad I live in a world in which not everything can be successfully pigeonholed.

“But 3.3kW L2 only?”

You are off by 10%. It is 3.6kW.

PHEVLER is too variable and vague.

That’s really it. While capacity affects range and power, power depends on chemistry, so they aren’t simply proportional.

The key questions to me are
– Is there anything to think about apart from whether I have enough charge to get me there?
– If so, what is it?

PHEV: Yes. Speed, acceleration, temperature.
I call the Volt …
FP(Full-performance)PHEV: Yes. Temperature.

I’d suggest that there’s more variation in how people would benefit from range than would benefit for EV acceleration and speed, so the main differentiator is not range, but performance.

Then by that logic, the i3 REx is also not an EREV, as you “must” worry about performance.

If I live in a climate where I literally never have to worry about ERDTT and the Volt still is not considered an EREV (because I could go somewhere where temperature is a concern?), then logically, even if I never drive at speeds or grades where the i3’s REx is a problem, I must also disqualify it as an EREV (because I could go somewhere where it is a problem).


Having this many acronyms for EVs is FUBAR!


Funny post, and even better comments!

+1 all around!

As an engineer, I love to know all the gory details, but I think it’s best to keep things much more simple for general public consumption. Today’s current four major categories (diesel, gasoline, hybrid and plug-in) are hard enough for many non-car-enthusiasts I’ve talked to to sort out, much less going into the minutia of each one. Even within pure gasoline cars we can split it up into those that take regular, require premium, or those that are flex fuel and can take E85. Virtually no one bothers to categorize cars that take both gasoline and E85 from those that will only take gasoline versus those that require premium. Splitting up PHEV’s is similar – most of the buying public just doesn’t rank it high enough in the list of options to define the car. This isn’t even to mention unicorns like CNG, LPG and hydrogen fueled vehicles. To me, adding more acronyms isn’t helping anyone – it just adds to the confusion for both the non-technical and technical observer alike. If every car that takes gas is a hybrid of some sort, then there might be an argument for further refining the type. But until then, it just makes… Read more »

It should be…

Just call it what is.

It is a Volt. It is awesome.

Don’t like it? Don’t buy it.

Want to be a hater? Join RexxSee and hibernate in his hole until Tesla Model3 is released and then you can hold hands and single songs in your Tesla camp…

New Volt is awesome, I agree. If I didn’t have Prius experience, I would love to have it. But the gas engine is a deal breaker. It’s awesome like some Italian sports car: something wonderful, but I would never own myself.

Don’t forget the most important part: you have to loudly decry the evils of a 90% plug-powered Volt while you drive a 0% plug-powered (and 100% petroleum-powered) Prius.

When have I ever decried Volt as evil? If anything, I give it very high praise.

Here’s my test of “awesomeness”. If the said car is 100% gas powered, how would it compare at post-subsidy price? Prius is lousy (as slow as Leaf). Volt is upper middle of the pack _and_ it gets better mileage. That’s why it’s awesome. That’s also why SparkEV is as awesome as Tesla P90DL, Bolt is meh, Leaf not.

I was referring to RexxSee, who insists that all PHEVs (no matter their real-world EV %) are filthy gas guzzlers, but drives a non-plug-in Prius because, well, BEVs just aren’t a practical purchase for him right now.

90% of them are just completely misleading anyway; as all of us *real* EVers know, ‘if it’s got an exhaust pipe, it isn’t an EV’!

“is a new category emerging in the electric vehicle marketplace”
Sure, a category that noone’s ever used or mentioned in any EV context outside these guys’ article. And why twice the daily mileage for AER? why not something actually reasonable, like a standard deviation away from the median?