The world of motoring is undergoing a radical shift. The internal combustion engine – which has been powering the average vehicle in the UK for more than a century – is on the way out, displaced by battery-powered alternatives.
Whatever your opinion on this change, at this point it’s pretty much inevitable that we’ll all soon be driving electric cars. But what does that mean for motorists who are considering making a change right now? What different types of electric cars are available, and what are their advantages?
Battery Electric Vehicle
The battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, is powered entirely by a sizeable lithium-ion battery. This allows it to drive for distances that would rival many smaller conventional cars – though you’ll still be limited to a few hundred miles.
Fortunately, the charging infrastructure in this country is getting better – and the uptake of electric vehicles may yet reach a tipping point, beyond which rapid-charging facilities will become much more commercially attractive. What’s more, if you’re just travelling short distances, then you might determine that charging isn’t going to be a problem: you can simply use a home charging station.
The electric car is often touted as an environmental boon – but the production of a lithium-ion battery remains highly dubious, from a green perspective. You’ll be ahead of the game only if you’re putting in plenty of miles.
Fortunately, there’s a middle ground for those who aren’t quite ready to go for something fully electric. Hybrid cars come in two varieties. There are plug-in hybrids, which are charged in the same way as BEVs – alongside their conventional fossil-fuel engines. Then there are more traditional hybrid vehicles, which recycle energy from the engine to power the battery.
Hybrid vehicles tend to offer a compromise that’s more practical and adaptable. They can achieve rates of fuel economy that run far in excess of conventional fossil-fuel engines. And you can go on longer journeys without needing to worry about charging facilities. The Vauxhall Grandland, for example, can achieve an average fuel consumption equivalent to more than a hundred miles to the gallon.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, then the chances are strong that you’ll want to get an electric one – particularly if you’re concerned about the state of the environment. Making the switch to electric can present a little bit of a learning curve – but it’s one that just about every motorist is going to have to conquer sooner or later. According to industry statistics, the uptake of battery electric vehicles has more than doubled over 2021 – and other varieties of electric vehicles aren’t far behind. They’re cleaner at the point of use, cheaper to run, and offer superior performance. What’s not to like?