Man holding electric car charger

Types of EV & Hybrid

Wondering if an electric car is right for you? Discover more about electric cars and what makes them go.

What EV or hybrid is right for me?

Before even thinking about whether to buy a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle, every prospective owner should want to know what they are and how they work.

Electric and Hybrid vehicles can be split into a few main types, best summarised into:

All-electric vehicles (AEVs)

Hybrid electric Vehicles (HEVs)


Types of Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEVs)

Full hybrid electric vehicles (FHEVs)

FHEVs have both a combustion engine and a battery. They can run solely on the combustion engine or solely the electric engine or a combination of the two. It’s worth noting that the battery can only be recharged by running the combustion engine so you wouldn’t be able to plug it in to charge.

Mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs)

MHEVs have both an electric and combustion engine however, unlike the FHEVs, the electric part of the engine can’t power the car on it’s own. Instead, the electric battery will assist the engine, but not enough to power the car fully, basically a milder version of the full hybrid electric. The mild hybrid recharges its electric battery through regenerative braking.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)

One of the most commonly seen types of hybrid vehicle, the PHEV is usually what comes to mind when people use the term ‘hybrid car’. The plug-in hybrid type, as the name suggests, requires plugging into a power source to charge the electric battery. Unlike regular hybrids however, the plug-in varieties tend to have a higher battery capacities and can drive short distances on all-electric power.

Types of All-Electric Vehicle (AEVs)

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)

BEVs are fully electric vehicles that run on rechargeable batteries alone. You can charge them up using a domestic plug, although this does take longer, a wall mounted charger installed at home or a public charging point.

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)

FCEVs are powered by hydrogen, more efficient that the internal combustion engine, and produce no harmful tailpipe emissions emitting only water vapour and warm air. Instead of needing to charge them up you can refill them with pure hydrogen gas at hydrogen fuel stations.

Should I buy an electric car?

What are the pros of buying an electric car?

  • Low fuel consumption
  • Pure electric vehicles are tax exempt
  • Zero emissions that are harmful to the environment
  • Fewer moving parts can equate to less need for maintenance
  • Overall, research estimates that EVs work out less expensive to run over 60,000 miles
  • Batteries can be guaranteed for up to 8 years​

What are the cons of buying an electric car?

  • The way you drive your car really affects how far you can go before re-charging
  • You may struggle to find a charging point whilst out and about and if someone else is there before you, you may have to wait
  • EVs can be more expensive to insure, as there is not a lot of information about the costs of servicing and repairs
  • There can be an element of "mileage anxiety" when you worry about if you will have enough charge to make it to the net convenient charging point

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