Making EV easy: What is an electric car?

Making EV easy: What is an electric car?

It’s our mission to make buying an electric vehicle (EV) as straightforward as possible. In our “Making EV easy” series of blogs, we ask the plug-in car experts at Nathaniel Cars to give us their hints and tips on buying and owning an electric vehicle.

We’ve already looked at what you should know before buying a new electric car, now we’ll answer the question, what is an electric car?

Thinking of buying a new electric car?

If you’re considering buying a new electric vehicle, you’re not alone. There are around 239,000 of them on the UK’s roads. In 2020 alone, more than 100,000 zero-emission electric vehicles were registered.

Demand is increasing, especially with a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars being introduced in the UK in 2030. As a result, more people are making the decision to buy an electric car instead of a petrol car. In fact, in 2020 the sales of Battery Electric Vehicles almost tripled in the UK.

But you may be wondering what kind of electric cars are on offer and what the differences are between them.

If you don’t know your BEVs from your plug-in hybrids, this handy guide should make buying an EV a little easier.

Types of electric vehicles

“Electric vehicles” is the broad term for electrified cars. But there are many different types of electric vehicle.

It’s likely that when you use the term “electric car”, you probably mean a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).

What is a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)?

A BEV is a car with an electric motor that’s powered by batteries, so it doesn’t have a petrol or diesel engine. It also doesn’t have a tailpipe, so it produces zero emissions. This is just one of the reasons why electric cars are better for the environment.

You can charge a BEV through a wall charger at your home or place of work. On the go, you can use one of the public charging points across the UK.

The zero-emission BEVs in our own range of electric cars include the:

What is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)?

As well as electric vehicles powered solely on electricity, some EVs can use both electricity and petrol or diesel. These are commonly known as hybrid vehicles.

A PHEV, or plug-in hybrid, has an electric motor that’s powered by batteries and an engine that’s powered by petrol or diesel.

A plug-in hybrid will usually start by using the electric motor on battery power until the pack runs down. Then the engine will take over. This is what will typically happen on a longer journey.

You can also choose to save the electric power and only use the engine. This will allow you to use the battery to cover short-range urban travel.

You can charge the batteries in the same way as a BEV, although the range of the batteries won’t take you much more than 40 miles, depending on the vehicle.

The PHEVs in our own range of electric cars include the:

Which electric car is right for you?

As we approach the 2030 ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, more people are starting to consider an electric vehicle. So, it’s really important that you choose the type of electric vehicle that best suits your needs.

Hopefully, we’ve helped to make choosing an EV just a little easier. And if you have any further questions, the plug-in car experts at Nathaniel Cars will be more than happy to answer them. Just fill in the “Ask our EV Experts” form.

Or pop into our Cardiff or Bridgend showroom and you can check out our range of electric vehicles for yourself.

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