Buy or Drive an Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicle charging

What is an electric vehicle or EV?

Electric vehicles (or EVs as they’re often called) are cars or other motorised vehicles powered by electricity instead of traditional fuels such as petrol, diesel or gas. That sounds straight forward; however, there’s also then a couple of other options in terms of type of electric vehicle (which is where it can get tricky, so we’ll describe the difference).

What are the different types of vehicles?

When it comes to choosing an electric vehicle, there’s a few options to consider.

Battery Electric Vehicles (often called BEVs) are completely electric. That is, they’re powered 100% on electricity. Their battery is charged using an electric vehicle charging unit which sits separate to the vehicle itself; and, they don’t have a fuel tank for petrol, diesel or liquefied petroleum gas (or LPG); or an exhaust pipe.

Conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles only use an internal combustion engine system with energy sourced from traditional fuels such as petrol, diesel or gas.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (often called FCEVs) may provide greater range than Battery Electric Vehicles and are often fuelled by hydrogen. They use either a fuel cell in combination with a battery or supercapacitor, or standalone instead of a battery to power the electric motor.

Non Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (often called HEVs) use electricity generated by the vehicles breaking system to recharge the battery in a technique known as regenerative braking. Regenerative breaking can also be used to charge BEVs, FCEVs and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (often called PHEVs) include a combination of electric and fuel-based components. They can be charged using a special electricity plug attached to the vehicle (when a user has access to an electric vehicle charging unit which sits separate to the vehicle itself) and have a fuel tank for traditional fuels such as petrol, diesel or gas. This allows the vehicle to switch between using electricity as a source of energy, or fuel.

What are some terms used to describe electric vehicles and the technology they use?

Buying an electric vehicle can be confusing. There are so many terms and new concepts to consider, and that’s why we provide this list of electric vehicle related terms in addition to other information on our website about electric vehicle types.

Charging electric vehicles is the process of restoring electrical energy into the battery of a battery-operated vehicle by connecting it to a power supply. The electric vehicle type will determine if charging occurs within the vehicle itself or by connecting to an external power supply.

Charging blackspots are areas where there may be limited or inconvenient accessibility to public charging infrastructure or charging stations.

Charging infrastructure (also known as charging stations, charging supply points or electric vehicle supply equipment [EVSE]) is the equipment that delivers energy from an electricity source to charge an Electric Vehicle battery. There is a range of different charging infrastructure available dependent on the electric vehicle type being charged.

Charging levels describe the amount of power being delivered to a vehicle through charging infrastructure. Level one is the lowest and level three is the highest. Different electric vehicle types determine how long an electric vehicle takes to charge.

Fleet vehicles are vehicles owned or leased by a business.

Heavy duty vehicles are defined as vehicles over 4.5 tonnes in gross vehicle mass.

Light commercial vehicles are constructed to carry goods or specialised equipment. They are defined as being less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes in gross vehicle mass and can include utility vehicles (often known as utes), panel vans, or cab chassis vehicles.

Light vehicles are defined as vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes in gross vehicle mass.

Low emission vehicles more commonly include battery electric vehicles (BEVs), fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), non-plug in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Essential Energy owned charging infrastructure is the equipment owned by Essential Energy to deliver energy from an electricity source to charge an Electric Vehicle battery. Essential Energy owned charging facilities may have limited or publicly accessible charging points.

Privately owned charging infrastructure is equipment owned by a private owner to deliver energy from an electricity source to charge an Electric Vehicle battery. Private charging facilities may have limited or publicly accessible charging points.

Public charging is a way to charge an electric vehicle at a facility that is available to the general public.

Vehicle-to-grid (also known as V2G) is the idea that the technology that charges an electric vehicle can send a signal to store/discharge energy from the electric vehicle battery (or in some instances other home energy solutions such as a rooftop solar system) to support power supply to the electricity grid.

Zero emission vehicles can operate with zero emissions from an exhaust pipe. Lifecycle emissions depend on the emissions intensity of the electricity or fuel supplied to the vehicle.

Are there electric vehicle rebates or incentives available for those considering purchasing?

Essential Energy does not offer incentives or rebates for those considering purchasing an electric vehicle. However, as a facilitator of electric vehicle adoption, we suggest seeking further information on the NSW Government’s commitment to improve electric vehicle affordability for those who want to live, work and invest in our regional, rural and remote communities.

Further information can be found by searching “electric vehicle rebates nsw” in your preferred search engine or visiting www.nsw.gov.au