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Electric Vehicles Simplified

05 March 2020

A breakdown of the types of electric-powered vehicles available

Types of Electric cars and the benefits

The automotive industry has expanded over the last few years, with all types of electric powered vehicles entering the industry and they are now holding 7.3% market share of newly registered vehicles (2019) compared to 1.4% in 2013. In the UK, public charging stations are appearing all over the country, with over 31,000 charging points at over 11,000 different locations.

What benefits can they provide you?

An obvious benefit to most is just how environmentally friendly they are, with zero tailpipe CO2 emissions. Electric cars also provide low maintenance and running costs including low-NO road tax as well as toll savings. The rides are impressive whilst being quiet and comfortable too.

With all the different names out there it can be confusing so here is a breakdown of the available electric models:

Hybrid Vehicles

Traditional Hybrid Vehicles

Traditional Hybrid vehicles are where an electric battery supports a normal internal combustion engine. Usually, the battery is recharged whilst driving and can’t typically be charged up remotely.

These types of hybrids can operate in a couple different ways, dependent on the model. One method is dual power mode. This is where electric battery and engine will work simultaneously to help reduce the amount of petrol used. The second method works better for people who typically take short journeys, city driving. The vehicle will store enough electric on the battery so it can power these short trips purely on electric.

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV)

Plug-in hybrids have the same basic layout as the traditional ones, where an electric motor and normal internal combustion combine. The difference in plug-in is that the electric motor can only be charged remotely and doesn’t recharge whilst driving. The electric motors have more limited range when operating in 100% electric mode but switch to the traditional engine when the electric energy runs out.

Range averages at around 35 miles when in electric mode across the board, but there is no tailpipe emissions when using this mode. However, emissions go back to standard when switching to the petrol engine. Again, these hybrids are most efficient when being driving in shorter journeys or city driving.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)

100% Electric vehicles are just that. A car run entirely on an electric battery, with no alternative power source if the battery runs out of charge. Like the plug-in hybrid, these type of vehicle can only be charged externally and needs to be plugged in. There is three types of charging. Rapid, will charge your car in around 30-60 minutes at a rate of 43+ kW then there is fast-charging Stations (these two are mostly public stations) which charges at 7-22 kW and would usually take around 3-4 hours. Lastly, there is slow charging (main charger at home). This usually takes 6-12 hours and goes at a rate of 3-5 kW.

The range of these vehicles varies dramatically, with new advances seeing WLTP ranges of 250 miles+ in some cases. Cars with higher range tend to cost more, dependent on whether you own the battery or not. Market research has shown however, that two-thirds of families would only need to charge their vehicle once per week to cover the standard weekly activities like the school run and shopping. Only time range is an issue would be on long-trips but there are apps and websites to find public charging points to plan these trips effectively.

The electric vehicles are perfect for people who take frequently travel shorter distances, with zero tailpipe emissions and decent range. With technology advancing and more research going into electric, these cars will only improve over time!

If you want to know more then check out the electric options we offer: