Types of Electric Vehicles
100% Electric Vehicles or BEV (Battery operated Electric Vehicle)
100% electric vehicles, otherwise known as “battery electric vehicles” or “pure electric vehicles”, are wholly driven by an electric motor, powered by a battery that can be plugged into the mains. There is no combustion engine.
When the vehicle is slowing down, the motor is put into reverse to slow the vehicle down, acting as a mini-generator to top-up the battery. Known as “regenerative braking”, this can add 10 miles or more to the range of the vehicle.
As 100% electric vehicles rely entirely on electricity for fuel, they do not produce any tailpipe emissions.
Plug in Hybrid or PHEV
The battery is much smaller than in a 100% electric vehicle and tends to drive the wheels at low speeds or for limited range. However, it is still sufficient in most models to cover well beyond the majority of the average trip lengths for UK drivers.
After the battery range has been utilised, the hybrid capability means that the vehicle can continue journeys powered by its conventional engine. The use of an internal combustion engine means that plug-in hybrid vehicles tend to have tailpipe emissions of around 40-75g/km CO2
Extended-range electric vehicles or E-REV
Extended-range electric vehicles have a plug-in battery pack and electric motor, as well as an internal combustion engine.
The difference from a plug-in hybrid is that the electric motor always drives the wheels, with the internal combustion engine acting as a generator to recharge the battery when it is depleted.
Range extenders can have pure electric range of up to 125 miles. This typically results in tailpipe emissions of less than 20g/km CO2.