What are the different types of electric cars?

Get your electric car facts sorted! Understand the difference between hybrid and pure electric cars and how they work.

What is an electric vehicle?

Keen to know more about the future of travel? We’re here to help.

An electric vehicle, or EV for short, runs on electricity. They need to be charged the same way you charge anything battery powered, like a mobile phone or a laptop.

There are a few different types of electric vehicle. Some run purely on electricity, these are called pure electric vehicles. And some can also be run on petrol or diesel, these are called hybrid electric vehicles. 

Types of electric cars

Plug-in electric

This means the car runs purely on electricity and get all their power when they're plugged in to charge. They don't need petrol or diesel to run so don't produce any emissions like traditional cars.

Plug-in hybrid

These mainly run on electricity but also have a traditional fuel engine so you can use petrol or diesel too. If you run out of charge, the car will switch to using fuel. When it's running on fuel, these cars will produce emissions but when they're running on electricity, they won't. Plug-in hybrids can be plugged in to an electricity source to recharge their battery.


These run mainly on fuel like petrol or diesel but also have an electric battery too, which is recharged through regenerative breaking. These let you switch between using your fuel engine and using 'EV' mode at the touch of a button. These cars cannot be plugged in to an electricity source and rely on petrol or diesel for energy.

Electric vehicles are surprisingly simple! Let’s break it down.

How do they work?

Electric cars work by plugging into a charge point and taking electricity from the grid. They store the electricity in rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor – which turns the wheels.

How do they charge?

You can charge an electric vehicle either by plugging it into a socket to take electricity from the grid or by plugging into a charging unit. There's plenty of charging stations around the UK to stay fully charged while you're out and about. But to get the best deal for home charging, it's important to get the right electricity tariff. We offer a very competitive tariff for EV owners – so you can spend less money charging and save more on your bill. Because of the electric motor, electric cars can accelerate faster than vehicles with traditional fuel engines. This means they feel light and less laboured to drive than vehicles with traditional fuel engines.

How far is the range?

How far you can travel on a full charge differs from vehicle to vehicle. Each model has a different range depending on its battery size and efficiency. The perfect electric car for you will be the one you can use for your normal journeys without having to stop and charge up half way through.


The Power of Wind

One explorer. An 86 year old skydiver. And an electric car powered by the Scottish wind. We challenged Camilla Thurlow to go back to her roots in Scotland and skydive with the fearless Dilys Price.

This is the fifth and final episode of Electric Adventures!

Everything EV

Electric cars are the future: the new generation of travel. And as the UK leader in low-carbon energy, we’re here to get you on the road and ahead of the curve.

We offer a range of electric car options – from the stand-alone EV tariff all the way up to our complete option that includes the tariff, charger and an electric car lease. Enjoy 10,000 miles for a year(1) and a free charge point when you go electric with us.(2)

A new era of travel starts here. Are you ready?

The world of electric travel

EVs are making a huge impact on our roads – and we’re not just talking about cars. There are amazing innovations in electric vehicles happening all the time.


There is already work happening to help freight and fleet operators, vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and procurers to increase the availability and uptake of low emission commercial vehicles. Watch this space.



Did you know in the efforts to make London zero carbon by 2050, there are taxi-only electric charge points? Read more about how our capital is developing a green taxi solution.




Who knew that the era of electric buses was just around the corner? As well as being a cheaper a cost effective way to get around, electric buses will also help tackle urban air pollution.

We offer complete commercial electric vehicle solutions

Which electric car is right for you?

A new era of travel is here. And it’s time to get ready. We’re all going electric, so let’s go!

Looking for the best electric car option for you? There are many different options to choose from. Depending on how far you travel and how much you want to spend, there's an electric car perfect for you.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering which electric vehicle is right for you:


Want to know more about electric cars?

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100% renewable GoElectric tariff

Get the special electric car tariff, designed for electric car owners(3)

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Smart charge your car at home

Say hello to the EO Mini Pro – a home charger that keeps you in control.

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See our handpicked leasing deals

We have a range of electric cars to lease including specially selected deals.

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