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Driving an electric vehicle

Electric vehicles (EVs) run on electricity instead of petrol or diesel.

There are 3 types of EVs:

  • Battery electric vehicle (BEV): Powered by an onboard rechargeable battery that does not have an internal combustion engine (ICE), these EVs have no tailpipe emissions and can drive between 260 and 500kms per charge.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV): Contains a battery and electric motor as well as an ICE. These types of vehicles have a shorter pure electric range (usually 40–100km) and can be plugged in, meaning it can run on electricity alone. The ICE adds another 500–600km range and can be topped up at any service station.
  • Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV): These vehicles have an electric drivetrain and an onboard fuel cell instead of a big battery. A fuel cell creates electricity by combining hydrogen from its tanks and oxygen from the air. This chemical reaction does not ‘burn’ hydrogen, FCEVs only emit water.

Conventional (non plug-in) hybrid vehicles are not EVs. Hybrids use a small battery and electric motor to make an ICE vehicle more efficient. A hybrid’s pure electric range is very limited and it can’t be plugged in to be recharged.

Most EVs are very similar to conventional vehicles as they have a push-start button and drive like an ICE vehicle. EVs do not need to change gears because they only have one forward gear and one reversing gear. Drivers select drive, reverse or neutral using buttons on the dashboard or a lever on the steering wheel.

Braking

Regenerative braking is unique to EVs and may take some getting used to. Every time a driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, the EV starts slowing down and the energy that is usually wasted in an ICE vehicle is used to charge the EV’s battery. The more it slows down, the more energy is captured and put back into the battery. Imagine getting fuel back in your tank every time you slow down.

This effect varies between vehicles. It can be barely noticeable, as you might only feel the vehicle slightly slowing when taking your foot off the accelerator, or it can feature one-pedal driving which means the EV will slow down significantly when easing off the pedal.

One-pedal driving also means the EV will come to a full stop when you take your foot off the accelerator. Once drivers get used to this, it makes for a more relaxed drive, as you only use one pedal to accelerate and slow down. The brake pedal is only required if needing to stop quickly.

How to order an electric vehicle

QFleet has a number of electric vehicles (EVs) available in the passenger and SUV segments. View the list of EVs on CAS.

Contact your fleet consultant or fill in the QFleet order form to order an EV.

Common concerns