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What is a battery electric vehicle (BEV)?

A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is powered by at least one electric motor in the absence of a petrol or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE). Electric vehicles (EVs) produce zero CO2 emissions.

Just like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), BEVs need to be plugged-in for charging but there is no ICE as back-up like there is with a PHEV.

Fully electric vehicles are constantly in all-electric mode and, as the battery is considerably larger than in a PHEV, they can travel much further on a single charge.

Should I buy a battery electric vehicle?

How does an electric car work?

Electric cars are powered by an electric motor instead of a petrol or diesel internal combustion engine.

EVs have a large on-board battery, which stores energy to power the electric motor, this is instead of an engine. The bigger the battery the higher the EV's mileage range.

A single-speed transmission features in EVs, sending power to the wheels from the electric motor.

An intelligent regenerative braking system is able to replenish some battery charge during journeys, however, most of the charging comes from plugging the vehicle in to a power source.

White and black BMW i3 All-Electric driving on the road.

What are the different types of electric vehicles?

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Electric cars frequently asked questions

How and where do I charge an electric vehicle?

Charging an EV is simple and the process can be completed by numerous methods.

The slowest option is using a domestic 3-pin plug socket at home but to speed up the home-charging process you can have a dedicated wallbox installed which will significantly decrease charging times.

Public rapid charging stations are also available.

What are the benefits of an electric vehicle?
  • Better for the environment
  • Less expensive running costs
  • Zero CO2 emissions
  • Lower maintenance costs
Does an electric car have a gearbox?
No, electric cars just have a singe gear, although high performance electric cars may feature a multispeed gearbox which inflates the car's price. 
What is the cost to charge an electric vehicle?
This all depends on method chosen. But it is significantly cheaper than a petrol or diesel engine car. 
How long does charging take?
Charging via rapid chargers methods can take as little as  30 minutes to get around 80 percent charge in some cases. Most charging will be done overnight or less when using a wallbox.
What happens when an electric vehicle runs out of charge?
The same as a petrol or diesel car really, the car will come to a halt, although it is not recommended as it can damage the battery. The car will have a range expressing how many miles the electric car has in range left. 
What is meant by range anxiety?
Thinking you may run out before you get to a destination. But now most BEV have considerable ranges and so reduces this anxiety. 
Is there any Government grants available?
Yes, although this will depend on the car and the various grants on offer by the Government at a particular time. 
When will all cars be electric?
In the UK, the government has imposed a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030. But it will still be okay to drive non-electric cars.
What are the best electric cars?
This will all depend on taste, but there are plenty of manufacturers now offering some properly impressive electric cars. 
Should I buy a used electric car?
Just like any ICE car, a used electric car could be an ideal way for you to get the benefits of electric whilst saving money over new too. 
What are electric cars like to drive?
Instant torque and acceleration, along with smooth and quiet makes electric cars enjoyable to drive. 
How long do electric car batteries last?
Manufacturers tend to offer an 8-year or 100,000 miles battery warranty, which would suggest they are confident in the reliability of the batteries in electric cars.
What electric car has the longest range?
Many premium electric cars now offer ranges of well over 300 miles, like the BMW iX and i4. The Mercedes EQE and EQS can both return over 400 miles also. Performance electric cars like the Porsche Taycan can return circa 200 miles. 
Can I get an electric company car?
Yes, and it can significantly reduce costs in paying for your company car too, due to a lower BIK (benefit-in-kind).
Are electric cars available on the Motability scheme?
Yes, please check our Motability section for the latest cars. 

Find your perfect electric vehicle

Now you have discovered the benefits of an electric vehicle and understand how they work, perhaps you have decided an electric vehicle is the right vehicle for you.

Whether you are looking for a new car or used car; we have plenty of fully electric vehicles available from popular manufacturers such as BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz,MINI, Porsche and smart.