The popularity of electric cars in the UK has shot up over the last few years, with more than 220,000 plug-in vehicles on the road in 2019, compared with just 3,500 in 2013. This huge increase in electric car sales has come about because of a greater level of choice for drivers, a shift in the public's attitude towards electric cars and a constantly improving public recharging network. Combined, this means that UK electric car buyers have a greater selection of vehicles to choose from than ever before.
Electric Vehicles are made up of three main types: battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and range-extended EVs (REX).
The key differences are that battery EVs have no combustion engine, relying only an on-board battery which provides energy to an electric motor. Plug-in hybrid EVs have an electric powertrain together with an on-board combustion engine, which enables operation in full-electric mode, using conventional fuel, or a blend of both. Range-extended EVs are plug-in hybrids with a particular configuration. The ‘series hybrid’ set up sees a small engine act as an on-board generator to top up the battery’s charge, and only the electric motors drive the wheels.
In general, pure-electric vehicles are perfect for city driving, commuting, regular delivery routes, and all short- to medium-distance trips which are predictable. However, successful use of a BEV also requires access to a home or workplace recharging unit and, to permit longer journeys, access to the public charging network. In contrast, PHEVs and REXs offer longer range and fuel flexibility in that they can be charged directly using any suitable source of electricity or can be refuelled using petrol or diesel.
If you need any information about a specific car model in regards to range, battery capacity, range, charge port and charging speed please refer to our partner EV Database.