Which Electric Vehicle is for me?
EVs are vehicles with an electric motor that are partially or completely powered by electricity. They are usually recharged through a cable that connects to different types of chargers that can be in your home; at your work; or in public spaces but could also be fuelled by a hydrogen fuel cell. EVs can be passenger cars, buses, trucks, trains, planes, bicycles, and motorbikes. For the purpose of this site we are talking about EVs that most people would use as passenger vehicles.
Types of Electric Vehicles
EVs are vehicles with electric motors and include: battery EVs, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The main difference between EVs and internal combustion engine vehicles is the energy source used to fuel the vehicle. The focus of this site is on anything that requires plugging into an external electricity source to charge – Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs):
BEVs are 100% powered by electricity and have no tailpipe and no tailpipe emissions. They have an electric motor and a large battery that can be recharged by plugging into an external electricity source. The battery can also be recharged while the car is driving through regenerative braking.
Because of the simplicity and reliability of the electric motor, BEVs have lower running costs.
BEVs particularly suit people who mostly travel within the battery range and can charge overnight at home or during the day at work and can also be used on longer trips where there’s a charging network established.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs):
PHEVs have two different motors – an internal combustion engine fuelled by petrol or diesel and a battery-powered electric motor that can be charged from an external electricity source. PHEVs can be recharged by plugging into an external electricity source and also refuelled at petrol stations. PHEVs can also be recharged while driving by the internal combustion engine and through regenerative braking.
Most PHEVs start in electric mode and switch to the petrol/diesel engine once the power stored in the battery is used. Some models can travel 15km on the electric engine alone, while newer models can travel 60km. During heavy acceleration, like when driving up a steep hill, both motors work together. PHEVs can also be recharged while you are driving by the internal combustion engine and through regenerative braking meaning that the range of the electric motor is continually topped up!
PHEVs particularly suit people who often need to use the EV to travel beyond the battery range and can also charge overnight at home or during the day at work.
Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, do not plug in to an external power source to recharge. Hybrids also have both an electric and petrol motor and are more fuel efficient than a comparable petrol or diesel car because power for their electric motor is generated by recapturing the energy used when braking or from electricity generated by the engine.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCEVs):
HFCEVs convert compressed hydrogen into electricity to power an electric motor and, like BEVs, have zero tailpipe emissions. While some HFCEVs are being trialled in Australia they aren’t for sale to the general public at the moment. It is expected that while this technology would generally be more expensive, it will offer the advantages of longer operating ranges, lighter weight and rapid refuelling capability, which may suit the types of driving that is typically fuelled by diesel fuel, for example long distance freight operation, busses and some light passenger vehicle trips.
EVs for sale in Australia
EVs can be more expensive to purchase than their ICEV equivalent. But they are cheaper to run. If you look at the total cost of operation they could be a more cost effective option.