In 2022, transport accounted for 34 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, with the majority of this share deriving from road transport. Electric Vehicles (EV) play a major role in reducing carbon amongst this emissions-heavy sector, since the average EV generates significantly less tailpipe emissions than their petrol and diesel counterparts.
This has lead to an increase in demand for EV technology as more consumers make the switch and a growing number of businesses focus on fleet electrification and on-site charging as part of their carbon reduction strategies. By the end of August 2023, 48,450 public EV charging points were active across the UK; a 42 per cent increase compared to August 2022.
What is an EV?
An EV is a vehicle powered at least in part by an electric motor which draws electricity from a battery. These include battery-electric EVs, plug-in hybrid EVs, and extended range EVs.
A battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is a fully electric car. They produce zero tailpipe emission and generally have a range of roughly 100-300 miles on a single charge which varies across models. BEVs get their power from an external power source such as a street-side charger, or a chargepoint installed in the home.
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) uses a combination of an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor and battery. It can operate using either the electric motor, the ICE, or both.
Using the electric motor alone, PHEVs have a range of about 50 miles per charge, but the car can switch to the ICE to continue the journey after this point, eradicating the mileage fear that some drivers of pure BEVs may find.
Extended range electric vehicles
Extended range electric vehicles (E-REVs) are similar to PHEVs. They combine a battery and electric motor with an ICE, with the ICE taking over once the electric battery runs out of charge. However, the range of these vehicles is higher than a PHEV, with the electric motor carrying the average E-REV 150-300 miles per charge.
What is EV charging?
You will also need to have an understanding of the different types of EV charging, Level 1, 2, and 3.
Level 1 charging involves plugging your EV’s cable into a standard outlet. This is the slowest means of charging, giving your EV roughly 4 - 5 miles of range over an hour of charging.
Level 2 refers to a charge point which has been installed on a wall, pole, or as a standalone charger for your EV. They are prevalent at residential and commercial sites and charge a vehicle 5 – 15 times faster than a Level 1 charger. The range Level 2 chargers can give your vehicle will depend on the wattage of the charger.
Level 3 chargers are “fast chargers.” They deliver more power at quicker speeds making them well-suited to service stations and fleet depots. However, Level 3 chargers are much larger than other types, meaning not all sites will have capacity for them.
Read here: 5 things you need to know about EV charging