What are my options?  How much mileage will I have?

Life is busy and who has the time or the inclination to read through pages on different types of zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) and low emissions vehicle abbreviations.  I know we would rather be reading a good book or even flicking through a gossip column with a glass of wine!

So we thought to make life easy we would simplify the bits and pieces you may want to know before looking for your next car in as few words as possible.

Okay, so the UK Government have laid out plans to end the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.  All new cars and vans will have to be a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) by 2035.  This basically means that your car will not be allowed to emit any exhaust gas or pollutants.

Here in the UK the average driver covers about 20 miles a day and I think that we all (unless you do long distances daily) believe that we do more miles than we actually do. When choosing a low emissions vehicle definitely have a realistic think about what you need this car for.  Plus if you do the odd long drive to visit friends, head to an event or go on hols then there are Apps….there is an App for everything…. to help plan your journey with charging points along the way.  The UK now has around 21,000 charging locations which is quite comforting when you realise there are fewer than 9,000 petrol stations.

Life and infrastructure is definitely starting to favour electric and manufacturers are funnelling us towards the 2035 goal.

Getting to grips with electric!

So here is a snippet and a breakdown of the types of the non-petrol / diesel cars on the market today:

BEV (EV) ‘Battery Electric Vehicle:

This is a fully electric vehicle which we tend to call an EV.  The car is fully operated by a battery which can be charged at home or at a public charging point.

Cars can now deliver 100-400 miles of electric mileage range depending on the model. Manufacturers designs are improving each year and no doubt battery range will improve further.

PHEV ‘Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle:

A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle has a petrol / diesel engine and an electric motor.  The electric part is recharged by the energy produced when you brake.  Unlike a regular hybrid car (HEV) they have a larger battery which allows you to plug-in and recharge.  At the moment a PHEV car on average can give you around 30 electric miles (depending on make / model).  This type of car can then switch to petrol / diesel when needed.

HEV ‘Hybrid Electric Vehicle :

A Hybrid Electric Vehicle only has a very small battery which is charged via the energy created when you brake (self-charging).  So, they are great for intown driving albeit they only deliver about 1 mile of electric driving compared to the 30 miles of the PHEV.

MHEV ‘Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles:

A Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle is similar to the HEV, but again it only has a very small battery.

The energy harvested via braking is stored in the battery.  The battery power is not used to drive the vehicle, but assist (like a generator) and power the vehicle when braking, coasting or even stationary.


Chemical energy transforms into electric energy.

Clean energy, but there is little infrastructure to support it in the UK.  We only have 14 charging points compared to over 30,000 public electric points.  Subsequently there are currently only 2 hydrogen cars available to buy (Toyota Mirai or the Hyundai Nexo) which are super expensive and start around £50k.

“You have to match the convenience of the gasoline car in order for people to buy an electric car.”

Elon Musk

So many of us are sitting on the fence thinking about when to change to an EV.

If you are able to charge from home then an EV or PHEV are a no brainer.   Admittedly if you live in an apartment or have difficulty parking outside your property then you need to do your homework and find the nearest charging points to your home or workplace before comfortably making the change.