If you want to understand how electric cars, or EVs, work and what the difference between hybrid and pure electric cars is then read on.
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Electric cars function by plugging into a charge point and taking electricity from the grid. They store the electricity in rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor, which turns the wheels. Electric cars accelerate faster than vehicles with traditional fuel engines – so they feel lighter to drive.
You can charge an electric vehicle by plugging it into a public charging station or into a home charger. There are plenty of charging stations around the UK to stay fully charged while you’re out and about. But to get the best deal for home charging, it’s important to get the right EV electricity tariff, so you can spend less money charging and save more on your bill.
How far you can travel on a full charge depends on the vehicle. Each model has a different range, battery size, and efficiency. The perfect electric car for you will be the one you can use for your normal journeys without having to stop and charge up halfway through. Explore our EV leasing options.
There are a few different types of electric vehicles (EV). Some run purely on electricity, these are called pure electric vehicles. And some can also be run on petrol or diesel, these are called hybrid electric vehicles.
EVs have 90% fewer moving parts than an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car. Here’s a breakdown of the parts that keep an EV moving:
Kilowatts (kW) is a unit of power (how much energy a device needs to work). A kilowatt-hour(kWh) is a unit of energy (it shows how much energy has been used), e.g. a 100 watt lightbulb uses 0.1 kilowatts each hour. An average home consumes 3,100 kWh of energy a year. An electric car consumes an average of 2,000 kWh of energy a year.
You can charge an electric vehicle either by plugging it into a socket or by plugging into a charging unit. There are plenty of charging stations around the UK to stay fully charged while you’re out and about. There are three types of chargers:
Three-pin plug – a standard three-pin plug that you can connect to any 13 amp socket.
Socketed – a charge point where you can connect either a Type 1 or Type 2 cable.
Tethered – a charge point with a cable attached with either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector.
There are also three EV charging speeds:
The weather affects how much energy your electric car consumes. You have a larger range in summer and smaller range in winter.
Don’t forget to download the Zap-Map app to find the nearest charge station when you’re out and about.
An EVs range is dependent on the battery size (kWh). The higher the EV battery kWh, more power, the further you travel. Here are examples of how far some electric cars charge will go: