Electric vehicles are powered solely by electricity. They don’t have an engine or a fuel tank – instead, they have a motor and a large high-voltage battery. Electric motors have much more torque (turning force) than petrol or diesel engines, and they can deliver this torque from zero rpm, so they have excellent power delivery – making them surprisingly quick.
As they have instant and linear power available, they don’t need gearboxes – so you have just “drive” and “reverse”. This means that acceleration is smooth and direct, with none of the hesitation or flat spots you may have experienced with traditional automatic gearboxes.
Electric cars are very cheap to run – typically costing 2 or 3p per mile in electricity, versus 12 to 15p per mile for a petrol or diesel car. This means that the average driver covering 12,000 miles per year could save up to £125 on fuel costs every month.
A hybrid car is one which is powered by two forms of propulsion – normally, this is a combustion engine, together with an electric motor.