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 20-50 miles (depending on make and model); the vehicle can operate on its petrol or diesel engine for longer journeys.
“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.
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.
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.