Electric Vehicle Facts
There are various electric vehicle (EV) types; these are the three most common types:
HEV- Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Hybrid Electric Vehicles have an electric motor AND a gas-powered internal combustion engine and don't plug-in for charging. HEV can have substantial range on a single tank of gas, but they still burn fossil fuel, produce carbon emissions, require trips to the gas station and scheduled engine maintenance. HEV may be an ideal choice for those with extended commutes and limited charging system access.
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.
Battery Electric Vehicles have a battery and an electric motor instead of a gas tank and an internal combustion engine. Sometimes EVs 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.
Charging your EV requires plugging into a charger connected to the electric grid, also called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). 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 and does not require installation of additional charging equipment. Level 1 can typically deliver two to five miles of range per hour of charging. Level 1 is most often used in home applications, but is sometimes used at workplaces. A full charge may take up to 24 hours with level 1 120 V 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 60 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 2 is used in homes, workplaces and for some public charging. Studies have demonstrated that 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% battery charge or 60 to 100 miles of range for most EV models in about 20-30 minutes of charging. This is the format used most often 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 240 V level 2 charging system. This may also provide you with additional functionality (like cost estimation or remote on/off) and allow you to participate in future utility programs designed to reward people for charging at specific times, like after midnight, when area power demand is low.