Electric Vehicles Explained

Learn about electric vehicles

Easy to charge

  •  You have the freedom to charge at home, at work or on the go. Charging points can be found at many supermarkets, leisure centres and car parks
  •  A searchable map of the UK’s ever-growing network of public charging points can be found at www.zap-map.com
  •  It’s easiest to have an electric car charge-point fitted at your home, but all electric cars can be plugged in with a regular 3-pin socket.

Cheap to run

  •  Electric cars are extremely cheap to run, costing on average £2.80 to drive 100 miles
  •  The majority of Tesla drivers can charge for free at any Tesla supercharge station around the world!
  •  Many vehicles have rapid charge ability, where a 20-minute charge can replenish the battery to 80%
  •  Once registered with TfL, you can travel in and out of London for free as all Electric Vehicles are exempt from the London Congestion Charge
  •  Because they have fewer moving parts, electric cars require less maintenance

Better for the environment

  •  You can do your bit for the planet by switching to an emission-free electric car to reduce your carbon footprint.
  •  Electric cars don’t use any petrol or diesel so don’t emit any tailpipe emissions or greenhouse gases.
  •  Vehicle emissions are destroying our environment and are seriously harmful to our health.
  •  Every car that is replaced with an electric vehicle contributes a CO2 saving of around 133.1g/km. If every car on the road was an electric car, we’d all benefit from cleaner air in our lungs.

Know your acronyms


Internal Combustion Engines… generate mechanical power by burning a liquid fuel (such as petrol, diesel, or a biofuel) or a gaseous fuel (such as compressed natural gas). They are the dominant propulsion technology for on-road vehicles today.

These vehicles emit toxic tailpipe emissions which are harmful to the environment and our health.


Electric Vehicles… produce zero tailpipe emissions, are powered solely by one or more electric motors and are sometimes called BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles).

EVs plug into off-board sources of electricity and store the energy in a battery. Many models (such as the Nissan Leaf) will also charge through regenerative braking whilst being driven.


Hybrid Electric Vehicles… These are powered by an ICE that runs on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery.

HEV batteries are charged by the ICE and through regenerative braking. HEVs are not plugged in to charge.


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles… These are powered by an ICE and by an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery.

PHEVs can be plugged into off-board sources of electricity to charge the battery.


Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment… This delivers electrical energy from an electricity source to charge an EV’s battery. It communicates with the EV to ensure that an appropriate and safe flow of electricity is supplied. EVSE units are often referred to as “charging stations” or “charge points”.

V2G Charging

Vehicle-to-grid Charging (V2G)… describes a system in which plug-in electric vehicles, such as electric cars (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV), communicate with the power grid to sell demand response services by either returning electricity to the grid or by throttling their charging rate. More information about our V2G chargers here.

The healthy choice

If you live in an urban environment – which four out of five of us now do – then you are exposing yourself to a cocktail of airborne pollutants that could be seriously damaging your health. According to one study, if you live in a “major city” then the air pollution you suck into your lungs each day could be shortening your life expectancy even more than the radiation exposure suffered by survivors of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

The World Health Organisation reports that transport-related air pollution causes a wide range of health problems including “cancer, adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes, and lowering of male fertility”.

Did you know… a pedestrian walking down Marylebone Road in London would draw in the equivalent pollution of one cigarette in just 48 minutes.


  • "I have been driving a Nissan Leaf supplied by DriveElectric for over three years. The car is fantastic, is well engineered and a pleasure to drive. It feels very futuristic and clean and conventional internal combustion cars now seem primitive in comparison, so I will never buy another. I love the way the Leaf's satnav helps me to find charging points and have used it to travel quite significant distances without any problems."

    Dan Grierson Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • "It's not just a great EV, it's a great car. It's quiet, it's comfortable, and it's spacious. It's safe. The driving experience is fantastic."

    Tesla Model S driver Buckinghamshire