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Common terms for EV owners explained

Common terms for EV owners explained

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So..EV's, BEV's, PHEV's, and HEV's. These are words you're probably just getting familiar with lately, but what do they stand for? And what do they mean exactly? Well, we're going to explain this, and what it means going forward in the electric vehicle industry in the drive towards Net Zero. Electric Vehicles (or EVs), as they are commonly referred to, are the basis of any vehicle consisting of a battery and electric motors for its means of power. These are certainly becoming more and more mainstream for vehicle owners. This is due to the government’s drive to net zero. The legislation around vehicle sales has confirmed that new petrol and diesel vehicles will no longer be permitted after 2030. So what are these other words about? 

PHEVs and HEVs are both also following in the footsteps of petrol and diesel vehicles similarly. PHEVs (or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) consist of a general combustion engine and a hybrid capacity that allows some amount of pure electric power. This is stored in a separate battery and can be charged by plugging into an EV charging station. These are due to meet the changes in sales permitting in 2035, as they are seen as a crossover to fully electric. The only real difference between a PHEV and a HEV is the plug-in charging element.

tesla driving in tunnel

The HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) doesn't allow for a plug for an EV charger. However, it uses any excess energy and replenishes this back into a battery for reuse. The energy is usually collected from thermal energy generated from braking and other heat exchanges and sourced back for later use. The fact of not needing an EV charge point doesn't mean it isn't a good time to get one. It actually has never been a better time to consider having an EV charger installed. 

As mentioned, the changes in legislation in the years to come mean EV charging will certainly become a common practice for most vehicle owners. This has seen many PHEV and HEV owners take the steps of having an EV charger installed, either for current charging needs or to get ready for the future. With common lease/hire or finance periods on vehicles remaining shorter, or flexibility with changing vehicles, you may find yourself needing a charge point sooner than you think. 

tesla driving on winter road

There are some other terms that may not be clear for EV owners going forward, and these are in relation to EV charging directly. Smart charging is seen almost everywhere when looking for an EV charge point, but it's not exactly clear what it means. Smart charging means there is a capability for connecting to Wi-Fi and having use/ control over a smartphone. This control may allow for timers to be used, taking advantage of cheaper charging rates by setting a scheduled charge period. 

What about off-peak charging in relation to smart charging? This is where your energy provider offers a window of cheaper electricity, thus allowing you to take advantage and charge primarily at these set times. This, over time, could potentially save hundreds or thousands, depending on the scope of your demand. So, this is certainly worth looking into and getting familiar with things going forward as an EV owner. You may also want to shop around when renewing energy contracts as some companies offer benefits such as cheaper off-peak charging. Also, specific energy contracts for EV owners are now commonly seen from energy companies.