Switching to an electric vehicle
Are you ready to plug in? There are a variety of things to consider before switching to an electric plug-in vehicle. From vehicle types and tax incentives to charging options and driving range, here’s what you need to know before making the switch.
What you need to know
Electric vehicles use batteries to store the electrical energy that powers the motor. The batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. They can also be charged in part by regenerative braking, which generates electricity from some of the energy normally lost when braking.
The current electric vehicles can travel up to 400 miles on a single charge, depending on the model. Range typically varies on driving/charging habits, conditions and battery age.
Benefits of electric vehicles:
- Better fuel economy
- Lower emissions
- Lower fuel costs
- Increased energy security
- More fueling flexibility
Electric vehicles are typically more expensive than similar conventional and hybrid electric vehicles. However, the cost can be offset by fuel cost savings and tax credits or other incentives.
When it comes to charging your electric vehicle, there are a few types of charging equipment. Each are classified by the maximum amount of power it can provide to the battery. That’s why you may see different options when you park at a public charging station. To determine your charging needs, consider the following:
- Driving habits
- Type of car you purchase
- Amount of time to charge
|Charging Option||Use||Charging Time*|
|Level 1||Requires a 120-volt AC plug that can be used with a standard wall outlet. Most EVs will come with a Level 1 cord so that no additional charging equipment is required.||10-20 hours|
|Level 2||Requires a 240-volt AC plug and requires installation of a charging station. Ideal for overnight charging in homes.||4-6 hours|
|DC Fast Charging||Requires a 480-volt plug. While quick charging is a new addition to the public charging infrastructure landscape and not widely available, it is the most convenient for travelers.||Less than 30 minutes|
*Charging time will vary depending on battery type, vehicle and how depleted battery is before charging.