Electric Vehicles Explained

There are three main different kinds of electric vehicles: Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). All three varieties use electricity for propulsion, but there are differences in how they operate, their respective powertrains and electric range. See our guide for further information.

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Electric Vehicles

Battery electric vehicles, are often just called electric vehicles (EV). BEVs are powered entirely by batteries, with a full-electric drivetrain. Specifications can vary in terms of battery size, efficiency and range limitation. The vehicle is charged by an external power source, ie at a home or public charge point. These vehicles do not produce any tailpipe emissions.

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Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which uses energy stored in batteries. A hybrid electric vehicle cannot be plugged in to charge the battery. Instead, the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine. Together, these features result in better fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

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Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

This is a vehicle that has a battery, electric drive motor and an internal combustion engine. It can be driven using the combustion engine, the electric drive motor, or both, and can be recharged from an external power source. Typically, pure electric range will be less than 50 miles but due to the combustion engine there is no range limitation. PHEVs are only efficient if charged regularly.

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