An electric vehicle (EV) has a different engine to a petrol or diesel fuelled vehicle – it has an electrical motor that is powered by a battery which is charged by connecting to an external source of electricity.
There are two main types of electric vehicle:
- Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) - these are a purely electric vehicle, powered only by the battery which is charged by connecting to an external source of electricity.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – these have two engines – one powered by a battery which is charged by connecting to an external source of electricity, the other engine is fuelled from a fuel tank and generally uses petrol or diesel.
Conventional forms of petrol hybrids aren’t considered electric vehicles as they aren’t charged by ‘plugging in’. Their batteries are only charged by re-capturing energy when braking or from electricity generated by the engine.
Find out more about EVs, including information about safety and regulations (external link)
Planning for electric vehicles