Find out how different types of electric and hybrid vehicles work
Electric cars are greener than internal combustion engine vehicles by a number of key measures, with the exception of the carbon intensity of the manufacturing process.
• MHEV: internal combustion engine and electric motor combined. The battery is charged by the internal combustion engine and by regenerative braking. It does not allow to drive in all-electric mode.
• HEV: internal combustion engine and electric motor combined. The battery is charged by the internal combustion engine and by regenerative braking. Battery performance allows for short trips in all-electric mode.
• PLUG-IN HYBRID: internal combustion engine and electric motor combined. The battery is also charged from an external source (charging socket) and through regenerative braking. Battery performance allows long journeys in all-electric mode.
• BEV: traction is provided exclusively by an electric motor. Driving is electric and charging is achieved only through an external source and regenerative braking.
• REEV: has a small petrol powered generator to recharge the battery and allow extended range when the battery level is low.
Charging your electric car at home is the main charging option for most EV owners. It's important to be on the best home energy tariff to keep this cost as low as possible because the cost of charging will be included in your normal electricity bill.
How much charging costs will depend on the amount of
charging you do, the type of charger you have and also how much you use public
The cost of installing a home charge point is around £1,000 but with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) grant, you could reduce the upfront cost by up to £350.
Before you get an electric vehicle, you may want to think about how it will impact the cost of your home electricity bill. For instance, if you travel 8000 miles per year in your car, this might equate to around 2800 kWh of additional electricity on your yearly bill if 1 kWh equals 3.5 miles. Therefore it pays to look for the right energy tariff.
For example, you might want to look at off-peaks prices, as many energy companies offer lower electricity prices at night when the demand on the grid is reduced and energy prices are cheaper. Another thing to consider is the number of off-peak hours available to charge your electric car. If for instance you own a Tesla Model S with a 100 kW battery, the charging time will be greater than a Renault Zoe with a 30 kW battery. Therefore, you might want to look for a tariff which offers longer off-peak charging periods.