Servicing the motoring
needs of Expats in

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Types of EV

Currently there are 4 types
of Electric Vehicle EV available:

White Tesla Model S Charging Charging Station

01. Battery Electric Vehicle BEV

These are fully powered by a battery powered electric drivetrain. The electricity is stored in a large battery bank charged through an external charging outlet. They also generate a small amount of charge under braking or deceleration called regenerative charging. DC battery power is converted to AC power for the electric motor/motors which drive the wheels. The driving range of BEV depends on the storage capacity of the battery bank and the power of the motor or motors, generally between 150-650Km.

02. Hybrid Electric Vehicle HEV

These vehicles use both Internal Combustion Engines (ICE), usually petrol, and a battery powered electric drivetrain. The engine is used to both drive the car and charge the battery bank. These also use regenerative charging. The electric drive train can be used either at the same time as the engine to reduce fuel costs or separately for short periods, usually in heavy traffic or when moving from parked. HEV are more efficient than conventional ICE vehicles but less so than BEV, PHEV or FCEV. The driving range using electric power only is very limited.

03. Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle PHEV

These vehicles also use both Internal Combustion Engines (ICE), usually petrol, and a battery powered electric drivetrain. The battery bank can be charged via the engine, regenerative charging and can also be connected to an external charging outlet. The biggest difference between these and HEV is larger battery storage capacity and more powerful motors. The driving range using electric power is up to 60Km meaning it is possible to undertake journeys under electric power only, making them considerably more efficient than HEV or ICE vehicles. PHEV will use battery power until it is depleted, or the driver requires more power. More advanced PHEV can also offer both electric power and engine together to give better performance, both for high performance engines and to allow manufacturers to used smaller, more efficient engines.

04. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle FCEV

These are also known as zero emissions vehicles. The emissions are only water and heat. They use the same electric drive train as BEV and use fuel cell technology running on Hydrogen to generate the electricity required to power the motors and charge the small battery or supercapacitor.

FCEV have a driving range from 4-600Km. An advantage of FCEV is they can be filled with hydrogen in a similar time it takes to fill and ICE car with conventional fuel. The disadvantage is the availability of hydrogen filling stations.

EV battery and charging

There are three levels of plug-in charging for EV.

Level 1

Level 1

Home charging via a cable plugged into a common household 220v AC outlet. These are slow to charge and not recommended for use with BEV.

Level 2

Level 2

Home or private business charging via a dedicated charging unit connected direct to the 220v AC supply. These can be fitted by the dealership or bought aftermarket. Highly recommended for EV owners.

Level 3

Level 3

This is DC fast charging DCFC only found at dedicated charging stations, some businesses may offer this level of charge but they are uncommon and mainly found in high traffic areas. Tesla offers fast charging at their charge stations.

Charging capability at private businesses and charge stations varies depending on the supply and the equipment used. Power delivery also depends on whether the unit is connected to 2 or 3 phase supply. Charge location apps often include details of cost and power delivery available.

Some businesses such as hotels and shopping centers offer free charging, the majority calculate the cost of charging per kWh.

There are mobile phone apps available showing location, availability, price and power delivery of external charging outlets.

Some EV have charge delivery limits and cannot take advantage of higher power charging units.

Manufacturers recommend charging to 80% for normal usage to prolong long term battery life. The charging rate also decreases dramatically after this level.

Personal charging options is an important factor in the ownership of an EV. General advice would be to only buy a BEV or PHEV if the buyer is able to charge their vehicle at home or at work. Charge times and cost make it difficult to rely on external charge stations.

Range anxiety is common, especially for those without prior experience of owning an EV. It is common to stop for partial charges while on a longer journey, adding to the range during a scheduled stop rather than charging to 100% thus extending the range. For those undertaking longer journeys on a regular basis a PHEV may be a better option than BEV.

EV battery capacity degrades on average by around 2.3% per year. Most manufacturers offer a warranty of 8-10 years with some expecting battery life to be closer to 20 years. Factors such as heat, rapid charging, rapid discharge and not following optimal charging guidelines can reduce battery life.

Some EV allow for Vehicle to Load V2L. This is a bi-directional power feature that allows the owner to use the stored energy in the battery to power external devices such as camping equipment, power tools, off grid home power systems and share charge with other EV.

Safety is always a concern. EV battery fires are especially dangerous, however, studies show the risk of fire in the event of an accident is up to 20 times lower than with ICE vehicles (Source: Australian EV Firesafe report)

Which EV should I buy?

There are many types of EV from short range commuters to longer range vehicles, small city cars to SUVs to full blown sports cars. As the range of EV becomes more extensive it would not be ideal to list specific cars here. As with conventional cars there are EV to suit most budgets and specific requirements. 

There are important questions to consider before buying. While most are the same as buying an ICE vehicle there are some specific to EV.

You need to consider if this will be your only vehicle? 

Will it fulfill all your motoring requirements? 

Typical driving range. This could help you to choose between a BHEV or PHEV. 

What charging options do you have? 
Most people who live in condos and apartments will not have personal charging options.

Currently Bangkok has many EV charge options and heavy usage roads around the country but the charging infrastructure outside of the Capital is still under development.

Who will be driving the car?
Often EV have the potential to be much faster than ICE cars which could present a problem with inexperienced drivers. Note: Most EV do have ways to limit power delivery.

EV are generally more expensive than ICE cars to buy.

One difficult question to answer is resale value. Currently EV depreciate faster than their ICE equivalents. It isn’t possible to predict if this will change as they become more popular or as ICE cars become less popular.

Are Ev More Environmentally Friendly

Are EV more environmentally friendly?

From the moment of purchase BEV and FCEV have zero exhaust emissions and PHEV have less than ICE cars.

Production and eventual recycling or disposal of Lithium-ion batteries is an important and contentious issue.

While it is broadly accepted EVs have a smaller carbon footprint over their lifetime there are more factors to consider than the operational life of a vehicle. The answer to this ‘ECO friendly’ question is complicated and there are many conflicting opinions. It is best researched and considered carefully by the individual before making the decision to buy.

Pros & Cons


Zero or less exhaust emissions

BEV have zero exhaust emissions, PHEV have less than ICE cars, FCEV emit only water.

Lower operational cost

PHEV will need to be serviced at usual ICE car intervals. BEV have 12 month service intervals to check brake pads, brake fluid and windscreen wipers and should therefore be less expensive than PHEV or ICE cars.

Low maintenance costs

PHEV will need to be serviced at usual ICE car intervals. BEV have 12 month service intervals to check brake pads, brake fluid and windscreen wipers and should therefore be less expensive than PHEV or ICE cars.

Driving performance

Electric motors output instantaneous power. It is well documented how fast they accelerate. EV are also heavier than their ICE counterparts and many feel this is beneficial to a more comfortable driving experience.


As previously mentioned, studies have also shown EV are less likely to combust in the event of an accident than their ICE counterparts.


Higher cost up front

Currently EV are more expensive to buy than the ICE equivalent.

Range anxiety

It is common with drivers new to EV to worry the vehicle will not reach their destination before the available power is depleted.

Charging infrastructure

EV are relatively new to Thailand. The external charge network within Bangkok is substantial and expanding on major routes and in other cities. There are helpful mobile phone apps available showing location, availability, price and power delivery of external charging outlets.

Charging time

Charge time for EV cannot compete with fuel filling times for ICE vehicles.

Battery degradation

Batteries will degrade and will eventually need to be replaced. Battery packs for EV are very expensive and charged to the owner once the battery warranty expires.