Driving a zero emission vehicle

Zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) run on electricity instead of petrol or diesel.

There are 2 types of ZEVs:

  • Battery electric vehicle (BEV): Powered by an onboard rechargeable battery and does not have an internal combustion engine (ICE). These ZEVs have no tailpipe emissions and can drive between 260 and 500kms per charge.
  • 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 with oxygen from the air. It does not ‘burn’ hydrogen, electricity is generated via a chemical reaction. FCEVs only emit water and have a range of up to 650km.

Plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrid vehicles are not ZEVs. Hybrids use a small battery and electric motor to make an ICE vehicle more efficient. A hybrid’s pure electric range is limited and when the battery is exhausted the internal combustion engine starts and generates emissions.

Most ZEVs are very similar to conventional vehicles as they have a push-start button and drive like an ICE vehicle. ZEVs 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.


Regenerative braking is unique to ZEVs and may take some getting used to. Every time a driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, the ZEV starts slowing down and the energy that is usually wasted in an ICE vehicle is used to charge the ZEV’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 ZEV will slow down significantly when easing off the pedal.

One-pedal driving also means the ZEV 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.

Zero emission vehicle induction videos

QFleet has created induction videos for drivers of zero emission electric vehicles to better explain the above concepts and ease the transition.

How to order a zero emission electric vehicle

QFleet has a number of ZEVs 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 ZEV.

Common concerns