Find out if an electric vehicle is suitable for you

There are a number of different types of electric vehicle, and although a full hybrid cannot be plugged into an external electricity supply, it is still capable of a few miles in zero emission mode, and brings additional fuel economy benefits over petrol models.  

The main technologies available are:

Pure Electric

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) run off one power source only - the electric battery. There is no combustion engine present which means they are the cleanest option and never produce tailpipe emissions and hence the most sustainable.

They do however have range anxiety, if you run out of electricity that’s it, just like if you ran out of petrol or diesel; hence there are some additional things you need to consider before purchasing a pure electric vehicle.


EVs are suitable for the majority of drivers now with official ranges typically between 150 and 350 miles on a single charge, more than enough for most people’s daily journeys. High mileage drivers may want to consider both the range of the vehicle on a full charge, and the maximum charging speed for the vehicle (to minimise charging time on public chargers) to ensure an electric car fully meets their needs.

Models include
• Jaguar i-Pace
• Nissan Leaf
• Renault Zoe
• Tesla Model S

Extended Range EV

Range-extended electric vehicles (E-REVs) essentially bridge the gap between plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars. The vehicles run on electricity only, but unlike pure electric vehicles they also have a generator on board to recharge the battery when it is depleted. This eliminates range anxiety as the vehicle will run as long as it is refuelled with petrol. The vehicle is never directly powered by the petrol engine like other hybrids and is always driven by the electric motor. This provides fuel consumption and emission benefits over a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).


Suitable for much longer journeys due to larger battery and on board generator. These vehicles can be used in urban and extra-urban use and for higher mileage scenarios than a pure electric vehicle.

Models include
• BMW i3 Range Extender

Plug-In Hybrid

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) use the same technology as a full hybrid, but they have a larger battery capacity and can therefore travel for extended distances in pure electric mode - typically between 10 and 30 miles. Unlike conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids can be recharged, and if used for short, frequent journeys will achieve the same zero emissions as a pure electric vehicle.

Only once the battery is depleted will the combustion engine kick in and power the car like a conventional petrol/diesel vehicle. Plug-in Hybrids are most efficient when regularly charged and cover a high percentage of driving in electric only mode.


Suitable for a high frequency of short journeys to maximise electric vehicle mode which is typically ten to thirty miles. No range anxiety but to provide maximum environmental and cost benefit, electric vehicle mode needs to be optimised.

Models include
• Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
• Mercedes C Class C350e
• Range Rover Sport P400e
• Volkswagen Golf GTE

Full Hybrid

A hybrid vehicle makes use of both a conventional combustion engine and an electric motor, either working independently or in conjunction with one another. It uses an electric motor to assist in providing more power to the vehicle when needed, and can also run on pure electric alone for a mile or so when driving at very low speeds. The full hybrid system works at its best when the vehicle is regularly accelerating and braking, as regenerative braking is used to recharge the battery.


Suitable for mixed driving scenarios both urban and extra-urban, however most benefit comes from stop-start driving. There is no requirement to plug the vehicle in but electric vehicle mode is very limited.

Models include
• Ford Mondeo Hybrid
• Lexus IS 300h
• Mercedes C-Class C300h
• Toyota Prius


Take a look at our fuel type decision tree to find out if an electric vehicle is suitable for you.