Compare Vehicle Technologies
NREL researchers are exploring ways to optimize the legacy internal combustion technology used in the vast majority of vehicles today, while simultaneously developing electric, fuel cell, and biofuel technologies.
See how electric, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles compare to traditional internal combustion vehicles in the slideshow below.
All-electric vehicles (sometimes referred to as battery electric vehicles) are charged by plugging into an electric power source and are propelled by an electric motor.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Regenerative braking keeps the battery charged.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are fueled with pure hydrogen gas and store most needed energy in a fuel cell, rather than a battery.
Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles
Vehicles with internal combustion engines can be fueled with low-carbon fuels including biofuels, natural gas, and propane, or with gasoline.