EV terms

Types of Electric Vehicle

EV:


An Electric Vehicle. EV is the standard term used to describe 100% fully electric cars and vans.




PHEV:


A ‘Plug in’ Hybrid vehicle. They have a petrol or diesel engine and also an electric motor. You charge their batteries just like a normal EV by plugging into a charging point.




Hybrid:


Similar to PHEV’s, they have a petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor. The difference being that Hybrid vehicles charge their batteries when you are driving. You don't plug them in to a socket or charge point.





Batteries

kWh:


A Kilowatt Hour. This is a ‘unit’ of electricity. Your electricity meter at home shows how many ‘units’ you have bought in from your electricity supplier. As an example, if you switch a 3kW (3000W) heater on at full power for one hour you would have used three ‘units’ or 3kWh of electricity. In relation to an EV, the kWh figure is referring to the capacity of the battery. In other words, how much electricity it can store when it’s full up. If your car has a 24kWh battery then can store 24 'units' of electricity. It would therefore take 24 kWh, to fully charge from 0-100%.




Lithium-ion:


This is the type of battery used in most EV's. They last longer than older lead acid type batteries and they don't suffer the same deterioration issues. This is why EV manufacturers give long warranties on the batteries and can guarantee their performance level.





Range

NEDC range:


This is a figure in miles or kilometres quoted by the manufacturer of the EV. It is normally higher than the range you are likely to get in the real world. NEDC range figures are useful though when comparing makes and models, similar to how you would compare different cars by their MPG figures.




WLTP range:


This is a new standard that replaces NEDC. Cars are tested in more varied conditions and over a longer period of time. It is supposed to be a more realistic figure.




Real world range:


In our experience this is around 20-30% less than the NEDC figures. However, it does depend on how and where you drive. Interestingly with EV’s the range is the opposite from Petrol/Diesel cars. Range in an EV is typically better around town and worse on the motorway. This is down to the effect of regenerative braking. If you see a range figure quoted against any of cars for sale, it will be a real world range figure.




Regenerative Braking (‘Regen’):


An EV is a fairly simple machine compared to a Petrol/Diesel vehicle. It’s really just a big battery powering an electric motor that turns the wheels. There is a real benefit to this when you are coming to a stop or going down a hill. You don’t then need the battery to power the motor. The momentum of the vehicle moving is now turning the wheels and the electric motor is now effectively a generator (hence regenerative). It’s using the momentum of the vehicle to charge the battery!





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