All about EVs

Electric Vehicles (EVs) - such as cars, motorcycles and vans - encompass any vehicle that uses electricity as its source of power and is not just reliant on petrol or diesel.

Despite having originally been invented in the 1800s (who knew?!), the Electric Vehicle (often just referred to as an “EV”) is a relative newcomer to today’s automotive industry.

However, the last few years in particular have seen exponential growth of EVs - both in terms of supply and demand - and this rise means there is increasingly more choice to suit different tastes, lifestyles and budgets.

More charging points are being introduced all the time and as the market develops, there is a growing number of lease and second-hand electric vehicle options.

This, together with the introduction of the new Clean Air Zone, Bristol’s aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, AND the extinction of new petrol and diesel cars in the same year, means that switching to electric is now a very smart choice.


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Electric Vehicles (EVs) - such as cars, motorcycles and vans - encompass any vehicle that uses electricity as its source of power and is not just reliant on petrol or diesel.

There are several types of Electric Vehicles (EVs) currently available which are powered in different ways:

  1. Hybrid: a hybrid vehicle is powered both by electricity and an internal combustion engine (or “ICE”) which relies on fossil fuels (i.e petrol or diesel). Cars referred to as a Hybrid (or Self-Charging hybrid), have a battery that charges itself when the car brakes (called “Regenerative Braking”) - a feature which is also found on fully electric vehicles. A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle - or “PHEV” relies on an external power source to charge the battery.

  2. Fully electric: also referred to as “Pure-Electric” or “BEV” (Battery Electric Vehicle), this type of EV uses only electricity to run which it gets from a cabled power source. It has no internal combustion engine that can cause toxic emissions. This type is more environmentally-friendly than a Hybrid because there are no emissions, but for maximum green points, the electricity must be from renewable sources.

  3. Hydrogen: An emerging player in the EV space is the Hydrogen Electric Vehicle. Only a couple of manufacturers currently produce hydrogen cars which are powered through a process of combining hydrogen and oxygen. More about the different types of Electric Vehicles including a tool that advises which could be the best choice for you can be found on the Go Ultra Low website.

It’s electrifying!

Running an EV is only really greener and cleaner if the energy that it uses comes from sustainable sources, with dedicated EV energy tariffs available whether at work or at home, you can be assured it is not costing the earth. 

To help you on your journey, our partner Rightcharge enables you to compare the best energy tariffs available and also provides you with help to choose and install a charger that's right for you - easy! 

Unlike some other green energy providers, our partner and award-winning energy supplier, Good Energy, uses only 100% renewable electricity from sustainable sources and has both residential/domestic and business tariffs, so you have piece of mind that your energy is truly green. 

To find out more about why not all renewable energy is the same, read more here. 

Take charge

To use either a Fully Electric or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, you’ll need to have access to, or install, a charging point.

But getting the right charger that will last, powered by truly green energy and used in a smart way isn't always easy. 

Understanding how, when and where you are going to charge your vehicle are all important considerations, as well as:

  • Getting the right charger, one that will last and is perfect for your electric car, installed by trusted workman. 
  • Charging matters - making it work for you and your lifestyle so it's simple, not a chore are key. 
  • If you're a business, being able to track your fleet, giving you data and insights easily, are essential. 

If you install your own charging point, you can even rent it out and earn money with Co Charger!

To find out more about how you can make the right choices see our powered up guide here.





How much does an EV cost?

As the Electric Vehicle market has grown, so too has the choice of make and model, with an EV now available to suit most lifestyles.

Although the initial outlay is typically more than a petrol or diesel vehicle, an Electric Vehicle will cost less over its lifetime as there are less moving parts to go wrong (so less maintenance), and electricity is cheaper than fossil fuels.

A handy guide for businesses, produced by the Energy Saving Trust, compares the total cost of ownership between electric and petrol/diesel vehicle fleets which shows the significant savings in making the switch.

And the Electric Car Guide can also work out how much you could save on fuel and tax by switching to an EV, with its savings calculator

Since they’re better for the environment, EVs aren’t subject to Congestion or Clean Air Zone charges, and a fully-electric or “BEV” vehicle also isn’t subject to road tax.

What support is available?

To incentivise people to make the greener and cleaner choice and switch to an EV, the government - through the Office of Zero Emissions (or OZEV for short!) - has set aside various grants that can help with initial purchase price of a new EV, plus the cost of in-home charging point installation.

A full list of the electric vehicle types (including cars, motorcycles, vans and trucks) that are eligible for a grant to help towards purchase can be found here. There’s no application form to fill in, as dealers automatically apply the discount when you buy.

In addition, the Office of Zero Emissions is currently contributing towards the supply and installation of electric charging points for residents and businesses. Residents could be eligible for a grant up to 75% through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) while businesses can benefit from the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) which helps towards the upfront costs of charging point installation.

Make the switch

If a new EV isn’t affordable for you or you’d like to try before you buy, there are leasing and second-hand vehicle options for residents and businesses available through many dealerships including Wessex Garages, a local Bristol dealer. 

ALD Automotive is able to support businesses on their road to zero emissions by transitioning entire fleets to electric vehicles through their ALD Electric scheme.