• The Difference Between Electric and Hybrid Cars
  • The Difference Between Electric and Hybrid Cars

The Difference Between Electric and Hybrid Cars

Understand the road to a greener future of travel

  • Published: 22 October 2021
  • Category:

From battery electric to hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the world of EVs can be a confusing place.

We are electric car experts at Wilsons Epsom, so with our help, you can feel confident about making the switch to an electric vehicle. If you’re thinking about investing in an electric car, you’ll want to know what options are available to you... 

What is the difference between electric and hybrid cars?

The simple answer is that a fully electric vehicle operates exclusively from the electric energy stored in its battery, whilst a hybrid vehicle uses a combination of electricity and conventional fuel (petrol or diesel). 

Because hybrid cars are powered by both a conventional engine and an electric battery, they can run on fuel AND the energy stored in its batteries. However, unlike an electric vehicle, a hybrid - unless it’s a plug-in hybrid - cannot be plugged into a charging point to recharge the battery. Instead, the car itself charges the battery through regenerative energy sourced from braking and cruising. 

The range of miles per charge is variable between electric and hybrid cars. Typically, an electric vehicle will perform between 200-300 miles on a single charge. A plug-in hybrid car ranges anywhere between 15-50 miles powered by the electric battery, before resorting to the conventional fuel-powered engine.

Types of electric and hybrid cars

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

A battery electric vehicle (BEV) does exactly what it says on the tin; it runs purely off power stored in a rechargeable battery. A BEV requires regular charging (often overnight) through a home-installed charging unit and depending on the miles driven each day, may also require top-up charges at public charging points.

If you’re looking for a BEV then we stock a fantastic selection of cars, including the brand new Hyundai IONIQ 5, Fiat 500e, and MG ZS Electric amongst others. To view our selection of new and used BEVs, please click here.  

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powers the car in two ways; via an electric battery and a conventional fuel engine using petrol or diesel. As the name suggests, the electric battery needs to be plugged into a charging point to be replenished.

Start your PHEV journey right here and browse through our current stock, including the award-winning Peugeot 3008 and the all-new Hyundai Tucson. Follow this link to view our selection of new hybrid cars and this one to view our used hybrid cars.  

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) has an electric battery to partly power the car, alongside a conventional fuel engine using petrol or diesel. The main difference between an HEV and a PHEV is that an HEV cannot be plugged into a charging unit. It instead recharges the electric battery through energy recovered from driving a vehicle, such as braking and cruising. 

Explore our selection of striking HEVs, including the Renault Arkana and Renault Captur E-Tech models available now. To view our entire selection of new and used HEVs, please click here

Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs)

An extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) is a fully electric vehicle powered by a battery that runs on electricity but also includes an auxiliary power unit - known as a range extender. This is in place to further power the electric generator so that it can charge the battery to increase the range of miles available per charge. 

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)

A fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) is powered by hydrogen. Similarly to electric vehicles, it uses a propulsion system whereby energy is stored as hydrogen and then converted to electricity using the fuel cell. Like BEVs, FCEVs produce no harmful emissions into the atmosphere. 

Long Range Electric Vehicles (LREVs)

A long-range electric vehicle (LREV) is a fully electric vehicle with an extended range of miles per charge. Due to consumer demand, EV technology is developing at a rapid rate with a real focus on the amount of miles that can be driven on a single charge. 

If you’re in the market for an LREV, why not consider the all-electric brand-new MG 5 EV Long Range which boasts an impressive 249-mile range? 

Go electric with Wilsons

Accelerate your journey into EV ownership by exploring our fantastic selection of electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid cars in stock. 

As the largest family-run new and used car supermarket in the South of England, we offer our customers an extensive choice of vehicles all at unbeatable value and a service they can trust. 

Not convinced? Read why should you buy a hybrid vehicle or learn more about the differences between EVs and hybrid vehicles here. 

Discover the brand new Hyundai IONIQ 5 or the sought-after range of MG EV models, alongside the very best nearly new and used Tesla’s to welcome you into the world of electric travel. Click here to find out more.  

Transport For London

Cars need to meet minimum emission standards when travelling in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the daily charge must be paid.

Minimum emission standards

Petrol: Euro 4
Diesel: Euro 6

The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age. However:

Information from Transport For London

Check this car on the TFL website before purchasing: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/

All our vehicles are subject to an Admin Fee. Our Admin Fee covers any additional administration needed during your transaction, including a thorough provenance check (HPI Check). The admin fee also includes the cost to fully valet, register and, if necessary, MOT your vehicle (if less than 6 months left of current MOT).

Our administration fee is a variable fee which covers the additional administration needed when transacting with different categories of customers as specified. Retail Customers £199.00 - (Private buyers - NOT an owner, partner or director of a new/used vehicle sales company). Retail Customers using a finance broker outside our official panel of lenders paying funds direct to Wilsons Epsom - £399.00. All fees are inclusive of VAT.