Electric Vehicle Info
Thinking of buying an electric vehicle?
Why buy an electric vehicle?
- Save on fuel costs
- Less dependency on foreign oil
- Fewer emissions
- Enjoy a quiet drive
- Tax credits and other incentives
- Plus they look cool!
Things to consider …
What type of electric vehicle to buy?
Your driving needs and charging availability will play a role in what type of vehicle works best for you.
When and where you will charge your vehicle?
Home charging is an option, and charging stations should become more common as electric vehicle usage grows.
You may need to make modifications to your home’s electrical wiring for home charging, which would require an electrical inspection by the appropriate local inspection agency.
Here are some more questions you might have …
Are electric vehicles powered 100% by battery?
- All-Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) run 100% on battery power. Zero emissions!
- Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREV) are battery powered, but have a gasoline generator that kicks in after the battery has discharged.
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PEHV) differ from today’s hybrids by having a larger, plug in battery. It is powered by both gasoline and battery. When the battery is discharged it will run on gasoline only.
Be sure to discuss the benefits of each type of vehicle with your automobile dealer when shopping for your electric vehicle.
How do I recharge the battery and how long does it take?
That depends on the size of battery and the charging method:
- You can recharge your battery at home at a standard 120V grounded receptacle. This type of charging could take almost an entire day to completely recharge a fully depleted battery (the larger the battery, the more time required).
- Faster charging can be achieved at home with the installation of a 240V charging station. You should be able to fully charge most batteries overnight with the 240V charging station.
- “Fast-Charge” stations are not available for home use, but will be available at commercial locations and charging stations and can fully charge a battery in as little as 30 minutes. Charging stations will become more common as the use of electric vehicles increases … one day being as common as gas stations are today! Vehicles are equipped with charging station locators.
Be sure to discuss these options with your automobile dealer when shopping for your electric vehicle.
How far can I drive before recharging?
Again, this depends on the size of the battery and, much like mpg, driving conditions. At present, BEVs are expected to have a range of 80 to 100 miles on a full charge. PHEVs and EREVs have about half that range in electric mode, but can get up to 300 more miles from the gasoline engine.
Do I have to re-wire my home?
Probably not, but contact Huntsville Utilities Electric Engineering Services Department (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free analysis of your service capacity. Standard 120V charging will likely require NO modifications. Faster, 240V charging will require installation of a 240V charging station with its own dedicated circuit breaker. Your home is likely already wired for 240V appliances, but the installation of the charging station (with special receptacle) will require an electrician, permit, and inspection by local agency.
How much less does it cost to operate?
That depends on the cost of gasoline, the cost of electricity, and driving conditions.
An all electric vehicle should cost around 2 to 5 cents per mile to operate at an energy cost of 9 cents per kWh. A gasoline powered vehicle getting 20 mpg will cost 17.5 cents per mile to operate at a fuel cost of $3.50 per gallon.
Do I get a tax break?
Federal tax incentives are available and will be phased out. Some states (not Alabama) have additional tax incentives. Other incentives may include priority parking and use of HOV lanes.
Already own an electric vehicle?
Make your choice even MORE GREEN by charging only during off peak hours! This way you utilize existing grid capacity rather than requiring the construction of additional infrastructure and power plants.