What's the difference between a BEV, PHEV, HEV and MHEV?

I have been viewing July's sales figures and I'm confused by the BEV, PHEV, HEV and MHEV classifications. Could you please give me an example of each?

Asked on 5 August 2019 by Jim Walkden

Answered by Andrew Brady
A BEV is a battery electric vehicle. This is a typical electric car such as the Nissan Leaf.

A HEV is a hybrid electric vehicle. Also known (controversially) as a 'self-charging hybrid', a HEV combines an electric motor with a petrol engine. An example is the Toyota Prius.

A PHEV is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Like a HEV, this combines an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine - but, unlike a HEV, a PHEV requires charging to get the best from it. The advantage of a PHEV is that they can usually travel 20-30 miles under electric power alone. An example is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

A MHEV is a mild hybrid electric vehicle. This is similar to a HEV, but its electric motor isn't powerful enough to power the car on its own - it can only assist the engine. An example is the Suzuki Ignis SHVS.
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