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Electric vehicles – Your questions answered

What is an electric car?

EVs have electric motors which are powered by batteries, rather than an internal combustion engine (ICE). Instead of filling up with petrol or diesel, batteries can be recharged with electricity. There are three main types of electric car:

Electric Vehicle

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. Most BEVs will also recover some charge through regenerative braking whilst braking (and often when being driven downhill).

Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles… These are powered by an ICE and by an electric motor that uses energy stored in a smaller battery than a pure electric vehicle – check the battery size because the electric range may vary greatly from 10 to 50 miles. Once the battery is empty you will be back to petrol.

PHEVs can be plugged into off-board sources of electricity to charge the battery, however the Government has dramatically reduced incentives for these, partly because people didn’t plug them in at all!

Hybrid

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 very small battery.

HEV batteries are charged by the combustion engine and through regenerative braking. HEVs are not plugged in to charge and simply improve the vehicle efficiency by recovering some energy.

How far can an electric car go?

Huge advances in battery capabilities has led to a big increase in the typical range of electric cars. Most new EVs can cover 150+ miles per charge these days, even affordable electric models such as the Mini Electric offer around 130 miles of “real world” range. Cars such as Hyundai Kona and the Tesla Model S Long Range meanwhile are able to cover around 300 miles (‘real-world’ range) on a single charge.

325miles 'real world' range

Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus

210miles 'real world' range

150miles 'real world' range

130miles 'real world' range

How long do electric car batteries last?

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