An EV is a shortened acronym for an electric vehicle. EVs are vehicles that are either partially or fully powered on electric power. Electric vehicles have low running costs as they have less moving parts for maintaining and also very environmentally friendly as they use little or no fossil fuels (petrol or diesel). While some EVs used lead acid or nickel metal hydride batteries, the standard for modern battery electric vehicles is now considered to be lithium ion batteries as they have a greater longevity and are excellent at retaining energy, with a self-discharge rate of just 5% per month.
There are two main types of electric vehicles:
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Fully powered by electricity. These are more efficient compared to hybrid and plug-in hybrids.
Advantages of a BEV:
- Creates very little noise
- No exhaust, spark plugs, clutch or gears
- Doesn’t burn fossil fuels, instead uses rechargeable batteries
BEVs can be charged at home overnight, providing enough range for average journeys. However, longer journeys or those that require a lot of hill climbs may mean that the fuel cells require charging before you reach your destination, although regenerative braking or driving downhill can help mitigate against this by charging the battery packs. The typical charging time for an electric car can range from 30 minutes and up to more than 12 hours. This all depends on the speed of the charging station and the size of the battery.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV):
Uses both an internal combustion engine and a battery charged from an external socket. This means the vehicle’s battery can be charged with electricity rather than the engine. This makes them better for travelling long distances as you can switch to traditional fuels rather than having to find charge points to top up the battery.
Advantages of a PHEV:
Go electric-only on a day-to-day basis
- Faster charging due to a smaller battery
With electric vehicles still sanding on some pretty strong legs in both the car and heavy truck world, many motorists and commercial fleets still have reservations, especially when it comes to the price tag.