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.
Similar questions
When electric vehicles are discussed, one thing I do not see mentioned is whether older drivers should change from manual to electric. Electric vehicles must be automatic or equivalent to an automatic....
I drive 4000 miles a year mainly in London. Which is the best new car to purchase - petrol/petrol hybrid or electric?
We’re seeing more hybrid and pure electric cars but very few electric range extender cars (e.g. BMW i3 REx). Why do we not see more of these? Your normal day to day mileage or even long motorway trip...
Related models
Cheap to run if you can charge at home and don't do many miles. Masses of space. Significantly improved for 2019.
Low emissions of 70g/km. Relaxed, quiet and comfortable. Spacious cabin. Lots of safety kit as standard. TNGA platform provides excellent ride, handling and steering.
Distinctive styling. Affordable to buy. Low running costs. Available with all-wheel drive. Surprisingly spacious rear seats.
Impressive real-world range (especially the E+ model). Relaxed drive. Plenty of space.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car