Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Explained

Types of electric vehicles


Battery electric vehicle (BEV)

A Battery Electric Vehicle or BEV is a vehicle which uses a battery as the only method of energy storage for the propulsion of the vehicle. A BEV does not have a fossil fuel engine or generator. It is driven solely by an electric motor with battery energy storage.


Hybrid Electric Vehicles use a combination of both electric power and petrol or diesel power to propel the vehicle. They can be ‘plug-in’ or ‘non plug-in’.

Hybrids (HEV)

Known as HEV’s, these vehicles have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The electric battery is only charged by the ICE, the motion of the wheels or a combination of both. Meaning that there is no charging connector.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

PHEV meaning: PHEV stands for Plug-in Hybrid and are like the HEV as they use both an internal combustion engine (ICE) and also an electric motor. PHEVs can be charged from an electricity source, while they also access cheaper and cleaner electric power. The battery's energy is recharged by the ICE, wheel motion, or by plugging into a charge point.

Another type of PHEV, is called a Range Extender Electric Vehicle (REEV). A REEV consists of a small petrol powered generator used to recharge the battery and to allow a larger range when the battery level is low. This is a more efficient method of propelling the vehicle as opposed to using the same fuel in a traditional engine.

Should I choose BEV or Hybrid?

Below are some points to consider whilst deciding whether to purchase a full electric or a hybrid. The importance of these guidelines vary depending on your specific needs and wants.

BEV Pros and Cons
  • Most efficient use of energy, meanint it is cheaper on fuel
  • Less moving parts which leads to reduced wear and tear
  • Less emissions and reduced use of fossil fuels
  • Cuts out the need for petrol and diesel


  • Smaller driving range than traditional vehicles
Hybrid Pros and Cons



  • Similar driving distances to traditional vehicles
  • Reserve fuel source for long distance journeys


  • Restriced electric driving distances
  • Needs to be plugged in frequently to recharge batteries
  • Not as efficient as BEV as a result of the weight of the dual drive systems
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