Electric Vehicle Facts
Things you should know about EVs:There are various types of EVs available; these are the three most common:
Battery electric vehicles have a battery and an electric motor instead of a gas tank and an internal combustion engine. Sometimes BEVs are also referred to as “all electric vehicles” or "plug-in vehicles" (not to be confused with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles). They run entirely on electricity and do not produce any exhaust from the burning of fuel.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have an electric motor AND a gas-powered internal combustion engine. Some PHEVs operate exclusively, or almost exclusively, on electricity until the battery is nearly depleted, then the gasoline-powered engine turns on to provide power. Like battery electric vehicles, PHEVs can be plugged in to charge the battery when the vehicle is not in use. A PHEV is a suitable choice for those with short daily commutes but a regular need for long trips.
Hybrid electric vehicles have an electric motor AND a gas-powered internal combustion engine, and don't plug-in for charging. HEVs can have substantial range on a single tank of gas, but they still burn fossil fuel, produce carbon emissions, and require both trips to the gas station and scheduled engine-maintenance. An HEV may be an ideal choice for those with extended commutes and limited charging system access.
Range refers to the number of miles an EV will travel before the battery needs to be recharged. Electric vehicles typically have a shorter maximum range than fossil-fueled cars. However, EVs can be charged at home - no gas station required - and the overall operation cost is typically substantially less than a gasoline-powered vehicle. It's worth noting that 78 percent of all commuters in America drive fewer than 30 miles per day according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, thus if they are driving an EV, they can go multiple days without recharging. Many of today's EVs have a range well over 100 miles per charge, with some models reaching more than 300 miles per charge.
Charging your EV requires plugging into a charger (also called electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE) connected to the electric grid. There are three major categories of chargers, based on the amount of power the charger can provide:
AC Level 1
Provides charging through a 120 V AC plug (a standard household plug) and does not require installation of additional charging equipment. Level 1 charging can typically deliver two to five miles of range per hour of charging, which means 20-50 miles of charge if your EV is parked overnight for 10 hours, perfect for recharging after a short commute. Level 1 is most often used in home applications, but is sometimes used at workplaces. A full charge from a low battery may take up to 24 hours with level 1 charging.
AC Level 2
Provides charging through a 240 V plug and requires the installation of additional charging equipment by a qualified electrician/installer. Level 2 chargers typically deliver 10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging, or 100-200 miles of charge if your EV is parked overnight for 10 hours. Level 2 is used in homes, workplaces and for some public charging. Level 2 charging systems provide slight energy efficiency benefits over level 1 chargers - savings estimates vary based on length of charge time.
Provides charging through 480 V AC input and requires specialized, high-powered charging equipment and special equipment in the vehicle itself. DC fast-charging can deliver an 80 percent battery charge, or 60 to 100 miles of range, for most EV models in about 20-30 minutes of charging. This format is used in public charging stations, especially along heavy-traffic corridors. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles typically do not have fast charging capabilities.
Depending on how far you drive each day, you may be able to meet your driving needs with basic level 1 charging at home. To reduce charging time, you may want to install a 240V level 2 charging system. This may also provide you with additional features (like cost estimation or remote on/off). Be sure to consult with an electrician and/or your utility before purchasing a high-amperage charging system, as some high-power systems may require significant electrical upgrades to your home. In some cases the transformer that supplies power to your home may need to be upgraded. AMP’s rebates can help you with the purchase and installation of a level 2 charger for your home or business. Learn more here.
Electric vehicle batteries are typically designed to last for the expected life of the vehicle, but battery life should still be considered when calculating the extended cost of ownership, as all batteries eventually wear out and must be replaced. Battery replacement is typically costly, but keep in mind that gas-powered vehicle equipment, such as motors and transmissions, have a lifespan too. The rate at which batteries expire depends on the type of battery and how they are used. Battery life can be prolonged by behaviors such as keeping the vehicle in moderate temperatures, keeping the vehicle charged between 20% and 80%, and primarily charging with level 1 or 2 chargers.
The failure rate of some electric vehicles batteries already on the road is as low as 0.003% according to the U.S. Department of Energy. There are also high mileage warranties on electric vehicle batteries available with many manufacturers. Several manufacturers offer multi-year and 100,000 mile+ warranties on the batteries in their vehicles. Review manufacturer information carefully when selecting an EV model.
How to purchase an EVPurchasing an EV is a little different from purchasing a gas-powered vehicle. It is important to understand key elements, such as vehicle range-per-charge and how tax credits work. Here are the typical steps you can take when considering an EV:
Is an electric vehicle right for you?
Is your daily commute under 250 miles?
Most of today's electric vehicles have a driving range-per-charge between 80 and 330 miles. If your daily commute is less than 250 miles per day, there is likely an affordable EV model that will fit your needs.
BUYER TIP: When you're looking at EVs, be sure to check the "range-per-charge" for the vehicle. This is the number of miles the car can typically drive between full charges. For example, if the range per charge for an EV is 100 miles and your daily commute is 30 miles, you should be able to go about three days between charges (30mi + 30mi + 30mi = 90mi). EV range varies significantly between models.
Do you frequently take long road trips?
Long road trips can present challenges for many of today's electric vehicles. Public charging infrastructure and battery technology is continually improving, but planning is still required for long trips. There are many EV models available with a range-per-charge of 150 to 250 miles. There are some high-end EVs that can get over 330 miles on a single charge.
Does your household have more than one car?
If you live in a household with more than one car, an EV likely represents a big opportunity for your family to save a lot of money, while improving the quality of our environment. Use an EV for commuting and use the other vehicle for long distance drives... it's just that easy!
Do you have off-street parking at your home?
Plug-in electric vehicles require charging. Charging can be done with a standard household (120V) outlet, or you can have a 240V charging station installed in your garage or driveway. Level 2 240 V chargers reduce charging time substantially and are more energy efficient. Some models allow you to schedule charging times, which may allow you to take advantage of special electric rates.
Do you want to save money AND pollute less?
EVs cost less to drive and pollute less, period. An EV uses electricity that is typically generated from sources that are cleaner than burning gasoline or diesel in a vehicle.
An all-electric EV might NOT be right for you at this time if...• You commute 300+ miles per day, because there are fewer models to choose from with this range.
• You do not have off-street parking, because it may be difficult to charge your EV at home.
• You regularly take long road trips, because EV charging may not be convenient enough where you drive.
Note:There are BEV models with ranges from 250 to more than 300 miles per charge, which is similar to the range of many gas-fueled vehicles, and BEV range is increasing every year.
BUT, keep in mind, if a BEV doesn’t work for you, there is probably a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that would be a good fit. While PHEVs still use gasoline and require oil changes, they have an overall driving range similar to gas-only vehicles, and many models have an all-electric range that meets daily commuting mileage needs.
These facts are provided by ChooseEV. Some numbers and statistics in this content may be estimates and subject to interpretation. Many factors must be taken into account to determine the total cost of ownership of EV and traditional gas-powered vehicles. This information is provided to give consumers a general understanding of EV concepts and opportunities. Customers should review information from EV manufacturers before making a purchase decision.