electric cars

Guide to Electric Cars

Everything you need to know about electric cars including how they can save you money, how they help to improve air quality, and independent reviews of all the EVs on sale in the UK.

What is an electric car?

Electric vehicles (EVs) include pure or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), extended-range electric vehicles (E-REVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Pure or Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) operate using an electric motor powered by a battery 100% of the time.

Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REVs or REEVs) operate as electric vehicles all the time, but a small engine can act as a generator for the battery if it becomes depleted.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) feature an electric motor powered by a small battery, and usually a petrol engine, or occasionally a diesel engine. PHEVs typically only have a short electric driving range, possibly between 20-40 miles (depending on make and model); the vehicle can operate on its petrol or diesel engine for longer journeys.

What are the benefits of electric cars?

  • EVs have lower running costs (fuel and maintenance, and total cost of ownership) than petrol or diesel vehicles
  • EVs have zero tailpipe CO2, NOx and particulates emissions at all times in the case of pure EVs, or have the ability for zero-emission running in the case of E-REVs or PHEVs
  • EVs are seen as a key solution to improve air quality
  • EVs are typically seen as a better driving experience than petrol or diesel vehicles.

What are electric cars like to drive?

“Electric vehicles aren’t good to drive” is a common statement from people who haven’t driven an electric vehicle. People who have driven electric vehicles have a very different view. Electric vehicles have instant responses when accelerating due to 100% of torque being available at all times, they’re extremely quiet, and very refined. Most EVs have their batteries in the floor, resulting in a low centre of gravity, and therefore good handling.

How many makes and models of electric cars are there?

The number of makes and models of electric cars is increasing month by month, and this trend is set to accelerate over the coming years. Already there is an electric vehicle in most car body styles, there are increasing numbers of electric vans coming to market, and there are even electric trucks and buses.

How much do electric vehicles cost?

Most electric vehicles cost from around £20,000 to £100,000. Some electric vehicles are more expensive to buy than similar petrol vehicles, but electric vehicles have much lower running costs – typically around one-fifth of the running costs of petrol vehicles – so electric vehicles are usually cheaper to run on a whole life cost basis than petrol or diesel vehicles. And forecasts suggest that EVs will reach cost parity with petrol vehicles in the years to come.

Electric Car Reviews