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Types of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are vehicles where battery powered electric motors replace or supplement the petrol or diesel engine.

The four main types of EV

Full EV (BEV)

A vehicle solely powered by batteries, which needs to be plugged in to be charged (although they can also be partly charged by regenerative braking)

Plug in range extended EV (E-REV)

A vehicle powered by batteries, but with a small petrol/diesel generator fitted, that can help extend the range of the vehicle by topping up the batteries while driving

Plug in hybrid (PHEV)

A vehicle which can both be plugged in and fuelled conventionally. The vehicle is driven by either or both engines to generate maximum efficiency.

Conventional hybrid

These vehicles have a conventional petrol or diesel engine and a supporting electric motor. 

Further information

The range of modern electric vehicles has been increasing rapidly over recent years and the latest consumer models (E-REV) can have a range of up to 250 miles on a full charge. 

Information on electric vehicles is available from Next Green Car.

The Energy Saving Trust also has useful information on their website, including Electric Vehicles: debunking the myths.

EVs are usually extremely quiet and smooth to drive and, thanks to producing no exhaust emission, do not contribute to local pollution levels. They contribute much lower levels of carbon dioxide emissions than conventional petrol or diesel cars, although they can’t be considered completely emission free at present as electricity generation in the UK produces greenhouse gases.

Electric cars often cost more to buy than a conventional vehicle, but typically have much lower running costs. Government grants are available towards purchasing a new vehicle. 

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