What’s the difference between an electric and hybrid vehicle?
An all-electric vehicle, or zero-emission vehicle, is powered entirely by electricity.
A hybrid vehicle has both an electric motor and a conventional petrol or diesel engine.
Here’s a more in-depth look at both types of vehicles
1. Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV)
ZEV’s don't have a combustion engine and their wheels are powered by electric motors.
There are currently 2 types of ZEV’s, the main difference is where the electricity to power the motors comes from.
Battery electric vehicle (BEV) - These are the most common type of ZEV. They have a large battery that’s charged by plugging into an external charging unit. They're also capable of generating some electricity through regenerative braking.
Fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) - These are less common and use hydrogen. The hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air in a fuel cell which produces electricity to power the car.
Models of BEVs include:
- Nissan Leaf
- Vauxhall Corsa-e
- Peugeot e-208
- Renault Zoe
- Kia e-Niro
- Hyundai Kona
- VW e-Golf
- Tesla 3, S & X
- Audi e-tron
- Jaguar I-Pace
- BMW i3
2. Hybrid vehicles
Hybrid vehicles work by having both a battery-powered electric motor and a petrol or diesel combustion engine.
Most will be able to drive with zero-emissions (electric only), but how far depends on the size of the battery and whether you can plug-in to recharge. To get the best out of a hybrid, you'd ideally use electric for short journeys or when you're driving in urban areas. You'd rely on the combustion engine for longer journeys or if the battery's low on charge.
There are 4 main types:
Mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) - They use an electric motor and battery to assist the combustion engine but have no zero-emission (electric only) capability.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) – These are capable of some zero-emission (electric only) driving. You cannot charge the batteries externally instead they rely on electricity generated by braking, cruising and the petrol or diesel engine.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) - These tend to have bigger batteries and can be plugged in to recharge. PHEVs can offer a longer zero-emissions (electric-only) range than HEVs. Depending on your lifestyle, you might find that you only use the combustion engine for occasional longer journeys.
Range-extended electric vehicles (REEV) - The wheels are driven directly by electric motors and the battery can be charged by plugging in to recharge. But REEVs also have a small combustion engine. It runs a generator that produces electricity, so you can drive longer journeys without having to plug-in. Like HEVs and PHEVs, REEVs can be driven in 'electric only' mode.
Models in these categories include:
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
- Audi A3 E-tron
- Volvo S60, S90, XC60 & XC90 PHEV’s
- Toyota Corolla, CHR, Camry, Yaris & RAV4 Hybrid
- Lexus CT, IS, ES & NX
- BMW 330e, 530e, i3
- Mercedes C300e & E300e
- Kia Niro hybrid
- Hyundai Ioniq hybrid
- Toyota Prius
What’s the range of an electric car?
Wondering how far you can drive on a single charge? You’re not alone, it’s one of the most common queries we receive.
Each vehicle and manufacturer will have differing ranges, these can be influenced by your journey and driving style. A range of around 200 miles between charges isn't unusual in today’s cars with some doing significantly more.
Here are the official ranges of popular electric cars:
- Tesla Model S Long Range - 375 miles
- Kia eNiro - 282 miles
- Hyundai Kona Electric - 279 miles
- Renault Zoe - 186 miles
- Nissan Leaf - 168 miles
What’s the range of a hybrid car?
PHEVs currently have an electric (zero-emissions) range of up to around 30-40 miles however this has been increasing over the past few years with improvements in technology.
Remember PHEV’s also have a petrol or diesel engine, so range is effectively unlimited – assuming you top up with fuel!
Guide to EV charging
Charging is an important element of owning an electric or plug in hybrid vehicle and you could encounter many different options from public charging networks, charging at home, and charging at work.
You’ll find plenty of car charging points when you’re on the move. But different providers may have different payment methods, like an app, pre-paid card or fob.
There are several different charging options. They will have different power outputs and charging speeds.
Rapid chargers (>50kw) can charge compatible batteries to 80% full in around 30 minutes. Rapid chargers normally have a cable tethered to the unit.
Fast chargers (7kw or 22kw) take between 1 and 5 hours to charge a compatible vehicles, depending on the size of the battery and speed of the charger.
Standard AC chargers have been installed in many convenient locations workplaces including hotels, parking bays, service stations and popular tourist destinations.
You can also charge most electric or plug in hybrid vehicles from a standard 13-amp socket (but it’ll be very slow).
A full list of charging points can be found here
Charging at Home
Charging at home is often the most convenient way to charge your vehicle. Government grants are available for the installation of home EV charge points, and many companies offer a fully installed charge point for a fixed price.
From the 1 April 2020 the grant will be set at £350 towards the cost of purchase and installation of a charge point at home.
Most home chargers are 3 kW or 7 kW with higher powered units normally cost more than the slower 3 kW option. The higher the power rating the less time required to charge your vehicle.
In most cases, home-based charging requires off-street parking to avoid trailing cables across public footpaths and public areas.
Charging at work
An increasing number of companies are installing workplace charging units for use by employees and visitors. Power-ratings tend to be higher with more 7 kW and 22 kW units installed and they come in many different shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find a solution for your premises.
A Company will receive a grant to help towards installing charging units. Many companies are offering employees zero or low cost charging to incentive EV usage within the company and by customers and visitors.
The grant will be set at £350 per socket for voucher applications submitted on or after the 1st of April 2020 and will cover up to 40 sockets per company.
For Vehicles eligible for the Electric Vehicle charge grant click here
For full guidance on the Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure click here
Find a Charging Installer
Here’s a few local companies who can help you out, remember to tell them Fleet Financial sent you:
System Automation Monitoring
Unit 10 Silverwood Business Park
Tel: 02837 998244
Contact: Charleen Henry
BHC Distributors Ltd
2 The Diamond
Tel: 02820 76 9210
Mob: 07967 707008
Contact: Brian Walsh
For a full list of Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme authorised installers click here
How much does it cost to charge?
How much it costs to charge your hybrid or BEV depends on a few different factors. The energy tariff, the location of the charging point and the size of your car's battery will all have an impact.
Charging at home will usually be the cheapest option (unless your employer lets you plug-in for free).
You can calculate the cost of charging your car using this formula:
Size of battery (kWh) x Electricity cost of your supplier (pence per kilowatt hour) = Cost to charge an electric vehicle
Several charging calculators can be found here
Tax and Benefit in Kind
From April 2020, ULEVs with CO2 emissions below 50g/km and used as company cars will be taxed according to their electric (zero emissions) range.
The taxable 'benefit in kind' will be highest for vehicles with less than 30 miles' electric range, at 14% of the manufacturer’s list price. It'll be lowest for vehicles with an electric range over 130 miles, at only 2%.
For Zero Emission Vehicles (BEVs or FCEVs), it will be 0% in 2020/21 rising to 2% in 2022/23
For more information click here