Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are powered by both conventional fuels as well as electric power stored in a battery. All-electric vehicles use a battery to store the electrical energy that is the sole source of power to the motor. EVs provide a more economical, “greener”, sustainable solution for drivers today.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will need a way to charge the vehicle in your home or at another charging facility. Although some vehicles will be provided with a Level 1charging system that can be used from a standard household outlet, it is recommended that prior to purchasing an all-electric vehicle a potential owner investigates the purchase and installation of a Level 2 charging station for home use.
Vehicle range can vary depending on battery capacity, ambient temperature, and driver habits. Typical EV’s can travel between 100 – 300 miles on a single charge, more than enough distance for most daily commutes.
The cost of charging an EV is significantly less expensive than the equivalent cost of gasoline. For example, A conventional vehicle getting 27.5 mpg and traveling 600 miles per month will cost the owner about $800 a year (assuming gasoline at $3.00/gallon). However, a customer would expect to pay between $60 to $160 (dependent on the rate plan) in electric costs for the same distance.
Many EVs from larger manufacturers are coming to market with 8-year warranties. Manufacturers fully expect that the batteries will serve the vehicle well past the warranty period; however, slight degradation will eventually occur, thus shortening the vehicle’s range.
Electric vehicles require less maintenance as they have roughly one quarter of the moving parts of a conventional vehicle. For example, EVs do not require air cleaners, oil filters, spark plugs, engine oil, fan belts, radiators, fuel filters, and various other components of gas-powered vehicles. With EVs, the battery is the most critical component and requires little to no maintenance.
EVs come equipped with cords and equipment that allow them to be plugged into conventional 120-volt outlets that are standard in your home or garage. However, EV owners can also purchase advanced, Level 2 chargers (240-volt) that will cut charging time in half. When considering home charging options, please consult with a licensed electrician as modifications to your home’s electrical wiring will likely be needed. EVs can also be charge at public stations currently being installed across the country, For more information visit Public Charging Stations.
Yes, the home charging station’s coupler is standardized (SAE J1772) and compatible with 99% of the EV models from large automakers.
The first step is to have a licensed electrician perform an assessment at your home. They will be able to identify the scope of work needed to accommodate the charging equipment. In extreme cases, an electric service upgrade to your home may be required. In that case, your utility company may have to perform work required to supply the additional electric load. Your licensed electrician should be able to identify this problem and can work with the utility company to provide the service upgrade needed.
Yes. A Level 2 charging station requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit.
The technical name for these products is EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), commonly called a charging station or charging dock. These charging stations are built into the EV charging standard for electrical safety; first for the user, then the vehicle and then the power grid. The charging stations primary function is as electrical safety equipment. A standard home charging station, whether it is a Level 1 (120V) station or a Level 2 (240V) station, will provide pass through AC power to the vehicle for charging. The vehicle will convert this AC power to DC power and utilize that to recharge the batteries, the actual charger is on-board the vehicle. A charging station implements several layers of redundant safety features to protect the user from potential electrical hazards while connecting and disconnecting the station to the vehicle for charging. Once connected to the vehicle the station will inform the vehicle that power is available and at what level. From that point the vehicle takes over, initiates and takes full control of the power transfer, unless an electrical fault occurs, in which case the station will stop the power transfer immediately.
This is the first of three types of connectors currently present on EVs and first introduced. Originally it was implemented to be the industry standard, developed through the collaboration of five different Japanese automakers.
Shortly after the CHAdeMO was introduced, a second connector called the Combined Charging System (CCS) was implemented as an additional charging standard. Where CCS connectors differ from CHAdeMO, is that they allow for AC/DC charging on the same port. his connector is the preferred mode of charging amongst European and American automakers.
A Level 1 charging station uses a 120 volt / 15-amp circuit. The EVSE plugs directly into a standard home outlet. Most PEVs from major car manufactures will have a Level 1 EVSE included with the car. These are considered to be “trickle” chargers by manufacturers of battery-only Electric Vehicles.
A charging station using a 240 volt/15-60-amp electrical circuit. Usually hard-wired, it requires a dedicated electrical circuit.
Reduced charging time (up to 60% in most cases) and increased safety – no dangerous plugs for prying little fingers.
There are currently federal and state incentives for the purchase of qualifying EVs and charging stations. These incentives together can reduce the cost by upwards of $10,000. For more information, click here Glossary:
- EVSE: Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (or Charging Station)
- PEV: Plug-In Electric Vehicle
- PHEV: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- BEV: Battery Electric Vehicle
- ICE: Internal Combustion Engine
- NRTL: Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory
- NEC: National Electric Code
- ETL: Like UL, is an OSHA-certified Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) that tests, certifies and inspects products to UL, ANSI, CSA, ASTM and NFPA standards for safety and performance. An ETL listing is the same as a UL listing.
- OEM: Original Equipment Manufactured (term commonly used by car manufacturers)
- DOE: Department of Energy
- EIA: Energy Information Administration