Knowing your AFV

from your PHEV

Nissan Leaf, 2018, charging
Nissan Leaf, front
BMW i3, side, static
Volkswagen e-Golf, 2017, side
Renault Zoe, 2019, front, action

WITH demand for alternative fuelled vehicles such as electric cars and hybrids booming a baffling array of new terms and acronyms has arrived on the automotive scene.

To help drivers get to grips with the ‘new language' of motoring experts at HPI have come up with an explanation of some of the terminology being used.

Last year, hybrid and electric alternative vehicle registrations rose by around 25 per cent and while diesel vehicles remain a sensible choice for high mileage drivers, hybrids and plug-in hybrids appeal as tax-efficient business motoring alternatives offering cost-effective motoring over urban driving cycles.

MHEVs diesels (Mid Hybrid Electric Vehicles) have seen an unprecedented 949 per cent increase with a total of 19,490 registrations for the year to date compared with just 1,857 across the whole of 2018.

The latest models of electric vehicles offer driving ranges of over 200 miles on a single charge and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) use a petrol or diesel engine alongside the electric motor removing any range anxiety.

Car manufacturers are expected to introduce at least 35 new makes and models of AFVs in 2020 and HPI believes that with such an array of new vehicle acronyms hitting the market, it could lead to widespread confusion amongst motorists.

To help you know your AFVs from you REXs, HPI has compiled the following to help consumers avoid confusion:

Alternative Fuel Vehicles - vehicles not powered by petrol or diesel internal combustion engines Battery Electric Vehicle - vehicle powered solely by a battery charged from an external power source Benefit In Kind - non-wage compensation to employees; includes company cars Clean Air Zone Electric Vehicle - the broadest category of vehicle, including all types of electrified vehicles Hybrid Electric Vehicle - vehicle combining a conventional internal combustion engine with an electric propulsion system Internal Combustion Engine - a conventional petrol or diesel engine Low Emission Zone vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle - a vehicle with an internal combustion engine assisted by an electric generator; mHEVs cannot run on electric power alone New European Drive Cycle - test to assess the emission levels and fuel economy of passenger cars WLTP-derived CO2 values translated back to NEDC-equivalent values Plug-in Electric Vehicle - includes both PHEV and BEV Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle - an HEV in which the battery may be charged from an external power source Plug-in Car Grant - UK Government-funded plan to subsidise the price of plug-in cars (PHEVs and BEVs) Range Extender - small internal combustion engine used to provide power to a BEV when the battery is exhausted Ultra-Low Emission Zone - an area within which all vehicles need to meet exhaust emission standards Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure - replaced NEDC in the UK from September 2018.

Chris Plumb, an EV specialist at HPI, said: "Most car manufacturers are making significant investments in their EV ranges in particular. As a result, the UK will see a rapid expansion in the number of models available and the technology used."

"The rise in the number of alternative fuelled vehicles about to hit the market marks a radical step forward. Many manufacturers are planning to electrify their entire product range by the middle of the next decade."

The top four best-selling new electric vehicles throughout 2018 were the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Volkswagen Golf-electric and Renault Zoe electric.


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