-Department of Vehicles
All-electric vehicles, also referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged in to a wall outlet or charging equipment, also called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Because it runs on electricity, the vehicle emits no exhaust from a tailpipe and does not contain the typical liquid fuel components, such as a fuel pump, fuel line, or fuel tank.
Key Components of an All-Electric Car
How does the electric car engine work?
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.
How does charging work?
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 to charge an EV?
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.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
There are also three EV charging speeds:
- Slow – typically rated up to 3kW. Often used to charge overnight or at the workplace. Charging time: 8-10 hours.
- Fast – typically rated at either 7Kw or 22kW. Tend to be installed in car parks, supermarkets, leisure centres and houses with off-street parking. Charging time: 3-4 hours.
- Rapid – typically rated from 43 kW. Only compatible with EVs that have rapid charging capability. Charging time: 30-60 minutes.
Electric cars and their range
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.
What types of electric cars are there?
There are a few different types of electric vehicle (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.
- Plug-in electric – This means the car runs purely on electricity and gets all its power when it’s plugged in to charge. This type doesn’t need petrol or diesel to run so doesn’t produce any emissions like traditional cars.
- Plug-in hybrid – These cars mainly run on electricity but also have a traditional fuel engine so you can use petrol or diesel too if they run out of charge. When running on fuel, these cars will produce emissions but when they’re running on electricity, they won’t. Plug-in hybrids can be plugged into an electricity source to recharge their battery.
- Hybrid-electric – These run mainly on fuel like petrol or diesel but also have an electric battery too, which is recharged through regenerative braking. These let you switch between using your fuel engine and using ‘EV’ mode at the touch of a button. These cars cannot be plugged into an electricity source and rely on petrol or diesel for energy.
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