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Which electric vehicle?

Discover which electric vehicle is right for you.

Which EV 1

An ultra-low emission vehicle is a car or van with tailpipe CO2 emissions of 75 g/km or less.

They usually have an electric battery of some sort, but a number of different technologies help achieve the low emissions.

The three most common types are:

• Pure electric vehicles
• Plug-in hybrids
• Extended-range electric vehicles

Pure electric vehicles

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Pure electric vehicles run on an electric motor powered by a battery 100% of the time.

At the moment, most pure electric vehicles on the market offer a range of around 100 miles, though many offer more.

You can charge a pure electric vehicles directly from a normal plug socket, but to speed up recharging times there are also fast and rapid chargers available.

On the road, pure electric vehicles only need a single gear, giving very even acceleration and deceleration.

As they rely entirely on electricity for power there’s no tailpipe emissions. And with none of the heavy and noisy components of a traditional engine, they’re extremely quiet.

Most electric vehicles also have their batteries in the floor, resulting in a low centre of gravity and excellent handling.

Plug-in hybrids

Plug-in hybrid vehicles have a battery and a combustion engine. Like pure-electric vehicles they can be charged from a normal socket or a rapid or fast charger.

They have a smaller battery engine, than a pure electric vehicle, which will drive the wheels at low speeds or for a limited range.

When the battery has been used, the car continues to function using the combustion engine. So they offer an increased range of more than 300 miles.

The electric motor and battery help these vehicles to use less fuel and produce less pollution than conventional cars, even when in hybrid mode.

But as they also use conventional fuel they do have higher emission levels than a pure electric or extended range vehicle.

Extended-range electric vehicles

Extended-range electric vehicles are similar to a pure electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle in that they have a plug-in battery pack and electric motor to drive the wheels.

So you can charge them easily from a socket at home or at work and the range will be sufficient for most journeys.

But if you need to travel farther and battery is depleted, an internal combustion engine kicks in and acts as a generator to keep the battery at minimum level until you can next charge it.

So unlike plug-in hybrids, the electric motor always drives the wheels.

Range extenders can have a pure electric range of up to 125 miles. This typically results in tailpipe emissions of less than 20g/km CO2.