Electric Vehicles Explained

All the major motor vehicle manufacturers now have an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid vehicle in their range, and the increasing popularity is impossible to ignore. And all the biggest motoring sales markets, including China, Europe and the US are seeing an increase in switching from traditional fuel to alternative fuelled vehicles.

There was a 160% increase in EV sales in the first half of 2021, equating to 2.6 million unit sales, and while this still only represents 26% of new car sales in the global market, the trend is only going one way.

Switching to green motoring is being encouraged by Government initiatives and grants, and also by an increase in employee benefits such as salary sacrifice schemes, which offer a financial incentive for leasing and driving an EV. But first of all, let’s explain what the different electric vehicles are, and what benefits each might offer you.

Three types of electric vehicle

Essentially there are three basic types of EV and hybrid vehicle:

  • BEV – This stands for Battery Electric Vehicle and is the archetypal 100% electric vehicle. This operates on a large battery pack and an electric motor, gives out zero CO2 emissions and has 90% fewer moving parts than a traditional internal combustion engine-car.
  • PHEV – This stands for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. This is a vehicle which combines an electric battery and a normal internal combustion engine, and could be considered a stepping stone to switching to full EV driving. Naturally the PHEV has lower CO2 emissions than a standard petrol/diesel vehicle. The driver is required to plug-in and charge the battery as per a standard EV, but the battery is used for short distances and lower speeds, and then the engine takes over using traditional fuel.
  • HEV – This stands for Hybrid Electric Vehicle. This works in the same way as the PHEV but instead of having to charge the battery through plugging it into a charger, it is charged through what is known as regenerative braking. This uses the kinetic energy produced by braking and transforms it into power to charge the battery.

Currently, EVs are exempt from paying road tax in the UK, but hybrid vehicles are required to pay £130 annually after the first year of registration. EV drivers can also qualify for a Government grant (EV Homecharge Scheme) of up to 75% of the cost of installing a home charging point, up to a maximum of £500, but the EV and PHEV driver faces a number of charging options.

Charging an electric vehicle

  • Slow – This is a standard three-pin mains socket found at home or at work, where you can leave the vehicle to charge overnight on a 3kW charge and it might take around 8-10 hours to fully charge the battery.
  • Fast – A socketed connection using a Type 1 or 2 cable can be installed at home and offers a faster 7-22kW charge. These can also be found in public places such as car parks, supermarkets, leisure centres and retail parks. A full charge can be achieved in between 3-4 hours.
  • Rapid – These use a 43kW charge but can only be used by EVs with a rapid charging capability. Full charge can be achieved here in between 30-60 minutes.

Another major difference between EVs and Hybrids is that the UK Government has announced a commitment to cease the manufacture of petrol/diesel vehicles in 2030, and of hybrid vehicles after 2035. So even hybrid vehicles are being phased out, and clearly 100% electric BEVs are seen as the future. This is increasingly the case now that EV technology is improving the range of vehicles and therefore their appeal to serious motorists.

The VW e-Golf has a range of 125 miles on a full charge, but the Hyundai Kona Electric has a range of up to 250 miles. This of course depends on how and where you drive, just like the cost-efficiency of a petrol/diesel vehicle, and essentially, driving an EV will still mean you choose a vehicle with the capacity to match your type of driving and your motoring needs.

Benefit financially through a salary sacrifice car scheme

Salary sacrifice schemes are a way by which employees can exchange a portion of their monthly pre-tax salary for a non-cash benefit. Car schemes exist which enable employees to lease ultra-low emission cars (less than 75g/km CO2) under this scheme, which includes BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs.

The Pink Salary Exchange salary sacrifice scheme is a tried and tested product designed by professionals with over 20 years’ experience in salary sacrifice schemes, fleet management and leasing vehicles. Our scheme is the only one in the industry to offer used EVs as well as brand new vehicles, and as such is a great way for organisations to get on the ‘road to net zero’ and reduce their carbon emissions. We offer a flexible product which is a pioneering next generation scheme, and which incorporates multi-bid competitive lease deals, 12-month lease contracts and an easy, accessible online management system.

Contact Pink Salary Exchange today and you can benefit from the very best emerging EV and Hybrid vehicle technology and a versatile product that looks after the needs of both the employee and the employer.