Types of electric vehicle

Electric cars and vans come in many shapes, sizes and styles but perhaps the most important aspect when deciding on the right EV for you is understanding the different types of electric vehicles available.

There are different types of EV and each with specific benefits depending on your driving needs.

Zero emission 100% electric vehicles

100% electric vehicles produce zero emissions which means that they do not emit any harmful CO2 or other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere while driving. They are the cleanest cars on the road and are generally powered entirely by a rechargeable electric battery. Owners can charge their 100% electric vehicles either at home using a specially designed car charging unit, or at one of the more than 25,000 public charging points across the UK.

Businesses are also increasingly turning to fully electric vehicles as a cost efficient alternative. They are reliable, easy to run and fun to drive with a wide range of options to suit every type of budget.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles

A plug-in hybrid pairs a battery and electric motor with an economical petrol or diesel engine.

This gives you around 20 or 30 miles of pure electric driving for the city plus hundreds of miles using the petrol or diesel engine. You will need to plug the car in to keep the electric battery topped up.

Hybrid vehicles (non plug-in)

A hybrid car still pairs a battery and electric motor with an economical petrol or diesel engine, but these cars do not need to be plugged in to keep the electric battery topped up.

Instead, the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine. The extra power provided by the electric motor can potentially allow for a smaller engine, meaning these cars are economical to run.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are advanced EVs that are powered by an electrochemical process which combines hydrogen and oxygen. This process happens in an intelligent fuel stack which fuses highly pressured hydrogen gas with oxygen, thereby creating a reaction that produces the electricity required to power the vehicle’s motor and drive its wheels. This process means the only exhaust it produces is water.

Because hydrogen fuel cell cars are powered by the chemical process of fusing hydrogen and oxygen, they do not need to be recharged and can be driven as long as they are fuelled by a supply of hydrogen. Filling up the car takes less than 5 minutes and the average range of hydrogen fuel cell cars is around 300 – 350 miles. They can be used in much the same way as conventional petrol powered vehicles, for shorter commutes as well as much longer journeys.

However, currently the amount of hydrogen refuelling sites in the UK is limited.

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