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Electric Cars and Their Differences

Added: 10 February 2020

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Introduced and developed more than 100 years ago, electric cars are back and continuing to grow, and it is clear they have a lot of potential in ensuring a more sustainable future. Their huge reduction in the C02 that they produce significantly helps improve air pollution and makes them more environmentally friendly when you compare them to Diesel and Petrol powered vehicles.

What is the difference between an Electric, Hybrid & a PHEV?

Hybrid Icon
Electric Icon
Plug-In Icon

Hybrid Vehicle

Electric Motor and Petrol Engine

A hybrid vehicle combines petrol or diesel with an electric motor. The motor is initially what starts the engine, and then the petrol takes over. The battery is charged whilst the vehicle is in motion.

Electric Vehicle

Electric Motor Only

An electric vehicle (EV) doesn’t have an engine and solely runs on electric power. The battery is charged from an external power supply and the vehicle consumes less fuel and emit less Co2.

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle

A more powerful engine and Electric Motor

A plug in Hybrid has a smaller petrol engine and a more powerful electric motor. The vehicle has a longer range of electric only power in comparison to the hybrid. The battery is recharged via an electrical source.

Charging Your Electric Vehicle

There are now more than 29,000 car charging points over the UK which are found in several different locations. If you are unsure on where a charging point may be near you, you can use Google Maps to search for EV Charging stations which will instantly pull up nearby locations to use.

Google Electric Charging Points

Of course, there is also always the option to have a car charging point installed at your home instead. This will allow you to charge your EV at a time that is convenient to you without having to leave the comfort of your own home. The OLEV Government Grant is available to those who have purchased an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle from 1st October 2016 onwards. This grant offers drivers £500 off the total cost and installation of a smart home charger.

How Long Will The Battery Last In The Car?

The battery of an electric vehicle has been researched and developed at great lengths to ensure the life of the battery is a long and successful one. On average the battery of an electric vehicle will last approximately 8 years often even longer, you should not need to have to replace the battery as it should last as long as the car does.

One of the key elements that manufacturers have worked on is ensuring that there is additional spare capacity in the vehicles to help reduce the number of cycles every battery goes through and ultimately ensure its life stays stable.

The spare capacity is stored within the cars battery pack and prevents owners from lettng the battery reach 0% as this would accelerate the depletion of the battery if you were to be charging from 0% - 100%.

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The Time It Takes To Fully Charge Your EV Depends On:

  • The size of the battery - the larger the battery the longer it will take to charge.
  • The temperature – colder temperatures mean it will take slightly longer for the battery to charge.
  • How charged the battery is once when you plugged in - charging from empty will take longer than trying to charge from 50%.
  • The charging rate of the vehicle - if your vehicle can charge at 11kW but the maximum charge at the chargepoint is 7kw, then it will only charge to 7kW.

Tax Charges and How EVS Differ:

Electric Vehicle

As these vehicles produce zero emissions, they have zero rated standard tax for the first year and all the years to follow however, vehicles worth £40,000 will fall into the premium rate category.

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle

The tax for a PHEV commonly costs between £10 and £100 for the first year, and up to £140 each year after depending on the C02 emissions.

Premium Rates

This is for any vehicles that are worth £40,000 or more. The tax will need to be paid for the first 5 years the vehicle is on the road.

Remember, you must still tax your car even if it is exempt. For more details on tax, take a look at the government website -

We hope this explains electric cars a little better in an informed and engaging way. Please contact one of our dealerships for more details here.