Electric vehicles and our transport plan

Page contents

What are Electric Vehicles (EVs)?

Electric vehicles are cars, vans and other motor vehicles that have battery powered electric motors instead of a petrol or diesel engine. This removes the exhaust pipe emissions generated by petrol and diesel engines that lead to climate change and poor air quality in our communities.

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030, and many car manufacturers now offer a selection of electric vehicles within their range.

Hybrid vehicles have both a petrol or diesel and an electric motor that reduces exhaust pipe emissions, but they will no longer be sold after 2035 as only cars with zero carbon emissions will be sold beyond that date.

We have answered some common questions about electric vehicles to help make your switch to electric easy.

Types of Electric Vehicle

There are four main types of electric vehicle:

  • Fully electric vehicles, known as a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV): a vehicle solely powered by batteries which needs to be plugged in to be charged. Sold beyond 2030 and 2035.
  • Plug in range extended vehicle, known as an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV): a vehicle powered by batteries, but with a small petrol or diesel generator fitted, that can help extend the range of the vehicle by topping up the batteries while driving. Decision awaited on whether these will be sold beyond 2035.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV): A vehicle which can be powered both by electric and a conventional diesel or petrol engine. It can be plugged in to recharge and refuelled at the pump. The vehicle is driven by either or both engines to generate maximum efficiency. Sale of new PHEV cars will be banned from 2035.
  • Conventional hybrid, known as a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): these vehicles have a conventional petrol or diesel engine that is supported by an electric motor, which means higher carbon emissions than any of the above types of vehicle. Decision awaited on whether these will be manufactured after 2030.

Electric vehicles are usually extremely quiet to drive and, thanks to producing no exhaust emission, do not contribute to local pollution levels. They cannot however be considered emission free, since generating electricity in the UK produces greenhouse gases which translate into carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of on average 70g per kilometre for fully electric cars.

EV uptake

EV ownership has increased in the UK from 2,254 new registrations in 2012 to over quarter of a million in 2021, for more information, please see Quick off the spark: electric vehicle sales continue to soar in green revolution (GOV.UK)

EVs and the Local Transport Plan 4

EVs and EV car clubs will be key in our aim to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on Surrey's roads to achieve net zero transport carbon emissions by 2050. Our policy area Promoting Zero Emission Vehicles sets out our plans to increase uptake by providing more chargepoints across Surrey and raising awareness of the benefits of EVs.

Find out about: