WHAT IS AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE? 

Electric vehicle, or EV, refers to any vehicle with a plug and relies partially or solely on electricity. All-electric cars, sometimes called “BEVs” have an electric motor and store power in a lithium ion battery.  

Plug-in hybrid vehicles, sometimes called PHEVs, have both a battery and electric motor, as well as a back up gasoline tank and engine.  

EVs do not, however, include hybrid cars. Hybrid vehicles can only be refuled with gasoline, although they do leverage battery technology to improve their fuel efficiency and get better gas mileage.  

Benefits of Driving Electric

How to Charge an Electric Vehicle?

Cars spend the vast majority of their time parked. That’s a lot of time your car could potentially be charging.

More than 80% of EV charging happens at home, which is often the least expensive option. Compare your electricity costs and potential fuel savings here.

Other common places for EV chargers are workplaces, shops, restaurants, and public places such as parks and libraries.

LEVEL 1:

Sometimes called “trickle charging”. A Level 1 charger (120 V) delivers about 5 miles of range per hour plugged in. Most EVs come equipped with a Level 1 charging cable that can be plugged directly into an outlet. Level 1 charging can be useful for plug-in hybrid vehicles with shorter ranges, or places where vehicles are parked for longer periods of time, overnight at home, during the day at work, etc.

LEVEL 2:

The most common type of EV charging. A Level 2 charger (240 V) delivers about 25 miles of range per hour of charging. Most Level 2 charging requires a 240 V outlet (like those used for dryers and electric stoves), and often additional hardware. Some ‘smart’ chargers even have internet connectivity. Level 2 chargers are often found in homes, workplace parking lots, and public places like parking garages or shopping centers.

DC FAST CHARGE:

Direct current (“DC”) fast chargers are the most similar to the ‘gas station experience’. A fast charger can charge most batteries nearly 80% in less than an hour, and fast chargers can deliver anywhere from 50 to 350 kW of electricity. Given this high power, fast chargers are only available in public settings, such as shopping centers. Fast chargers are typically only available for all-electric vehicles. Fast charging tends to be harder on car batteries and more expensive, so most drivers use fast chargers sparingly, such as on road trips.

The ideal battery charge is between 30 and 80%. Batteries have to work harder to charge 0-30% and from 80-100%. Not to worry! Unlike early battery technology that “learned” charging patterns, it is perfectly fine to leave your EV half charged and only “top off”, or replace what you use day to day. In fact, your battery will likely last longer if you do!

Learn more about EV charging at https://www.energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/vehicle-charging

Find an EV Charging Station