Types of electric vehicles
There are two main types of electric vehicle.
- Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) - these are a purely electric vehicle, fuelled only by the battery which is charged by plugging into an electric power point, for example the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Tesla S are types of electric car. The Renault Kangoo and Nissan eNV200 vans are also available in New Zealand.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – these have two engines – one fuelled by a battery which is charged by plugging into an electric power point, the other engine runs on a fuel tank and generally uses petrol or diesel. Examples include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, BMW i3 (range extender model) and Audi e-tron.
Conventional forms of petrol hybrids aren’t considered electric vehicles as they aren’t charging by ‘plugging in’. Their batteries are only charged by re-capturing energy when braking or from electricity generated by the engine. The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid are examples of these kinds of hybrid electric cars.