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. They get all their power from the electricity grid when you plug them 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.


These run mainly on fuel like petrol or diesel but also have an electric battery too. These let you switch between using your fuel engine and using 'EV' mode at the touch of a button.

How do electric cars work?

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

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.

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 the best 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. Find out more about our GoElectric tariff

How far you can travel on a full charge differs from vehicle to vehicle. Each model has a different range depending on its electric motor. 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.

Everything EV

Electric vehicles are the future: the new generation of travel. And as the UK leader in low-carbon energy and travel, we’re here to get you on the road and set up with all things electric.

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

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

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Which type of electric car has the largest battery?

A bigger battery means it can hold more energy. This means you can travel more miles on a single charge. The largest batteries at the moment are in the Tesla models S and X. The S can travel up to 295 miles on a single full charge and the X can travel up to 335 miles.

Tesla Model S 

Can travel up to 295 miles on a single full charge

Tesla Model X 

Can travel up to 335 miles on a single full charge

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?

Our GoElectric tariff

Get 100% renewable energy with our special electric car tariff – designed for electric car owners. Enjoy off-peak charging weeknights and all day on weekends.

Read more about our tariff


Our electric car options

We offer a range of EV options. From tariff-only options to charging and leasing an electric car – discover an option that's right for you.

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The home charger

Say hello to the smart charger – a home charger that's compatible with all electric cars.

Read more


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