Can’t tell a PHEV from a BEV? You need to read this guide

There are so many options for motorists to consider in the electric car market, and the terminology can be confusing to some.



But now, the automotive data experts at HPI have published a definitive guide to help consumers avoid confusion.

  • AFVs Alternative Fuel Vehicles – vehicles not powered by petrol or diesel engines.
  • BEV Battery Electric Vehicle – vehicles powered solely by a battery that is charged from an external power source.
  • CAZ Clean Air Zone.
  • EV Electric Vehicle – the biggest category, including all types of electric vehicles.
  • HEV Hybrid Electric Vehicle – vehicles with both a conventional internal combustion engine with an electric propulsion system.
  • ICE Internal Combustion Engine – a conventional petrol or diesel engine.
  • LEZ Low Emission Zone.
  • mHEV Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle – vehicles with an internal combustion engine assisted by an electric generator; mHEVs cannot run on electric power alone.
  • PEV Plug-in Electric Vehicle – includes both PHEVs and BEVs.
  • PHEV Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle – HEVs whose battery can be charged from an external power source.
  • PiCG Plug-in Car Grant – Government-funded programme to subsidise the price of plug-in cars (PHEVs and BEVs).
  • REX Range Extender – small internal combustion engine that provides power to a BEV when the battery is exhausted.
  • ULEZ Ultra-Low Emission Zone – an area within which all vehicles need to meet exhaust emission standards.

“Most car manufacturers are making significant investments in their EV ranges in particular,” Chris Plumb, HPI’s Senior Valuations Editor & EV Specialist, said. “As a result, the UK will see a rapid expansion in the number of models available and the technology used.Many manufacturers are planning to electrify their entire product range by the middle of the next decade.”​