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Basics Around Electric Vehicles

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What is an EV?

There are two main types of electric vehicles (EVs), classed by the degree that electricity is used as their energy source:

  • Pure electric cars are the battery electric vehicles (BEVs). They are powered by an electric motor so there is no engine, so the car does not require petrol or diesel. As they run on electric you are able to charge at home or at an electric car charging point.
  • The plug-in hybrids (PHEV) work by combining a traditional petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. This means that PHEVs can be plugged in and charged from mains power – but they will need petrol or diesel to run for long distances.
The Renault Zoe is a fully electric BEV

How popular are EVs?

September was a record month for the electric car market, with more than 7,700 pure-electric models registered. Combined with more than 5,000 plug-in hybrid registrations, the total electric vehicle figure for September 2019 was almost 12,900 units. The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show significant growth for the EV market.

Which EVs are most popular?

The Department of Transport Statistics report that by the end of March 2019, more than 25,500 Nissan Leafs have been sold in the UK, making it the best-selling pure-EV in the UK.

For the same period, Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV is the most popular plug-in vehicle with almost 40,500 units sold.

What is the trend?

Probably around 20 pure electric vehicles will be released in the next two years, with dozens more hybrid alternatives. An average of 5,000 new registrations per month during 2018. By the end of 2018, almost 60,000 plug-in cars had been registered over the course of the year.

By the end of 2018, plug-in cars as a proportion of total UK registrations reached 3.8%, and averaged over 2018 electric cars represented 2.7 per cent of the total new car market in the UK.

In the first six months of 2019, more than 27,000 plug-in cars have been sold, and a rolling 12-month total to the end of June has seen more than 57,500 new electric vehicles hit the road.


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