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What is an electric vehicle?

An electric vehicle is powered by electricity instead of petrol or diesel.

They run off batteries, which can be charged at your home or by plugging into a charging station while you’re out and about.

​​​All in all, they are cheaper to run and can be a lower carbon option than a conventional car¹ – particularly if you also have solar panels installed at home.

Why get an electric vehicle?

There’s a pretty vital difference between electrical vehicles and conventional cars. ​​While vehicles are traditionally fuelled by combustion engines (typically running on petrol or diesel), electrical vehicles run their motors directly off battery power.

As you can probably imagine, that offers some great benefits.


Conventional cars need to use combustion to inefficiently convert fuel into energy inside their engine, whereas electric vehicles can just send power directly to your wheels – the energy you need is already sitting right there in your battery. That efficiency makes for much cheaper running costs.


While conventional cars need to be refuelled at petrol stations, electric vehicle batteries can be charged at home – with the option of using public charging stations if you’re out and about, or on a longer trip.


Electric vehicles can be better for the environment and create less CO2⁴ emissions than cars with combustion engines – especially if they’re being charged from a renewable power source like home solar panels.

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