An electric vehicle or ‘EV’ is a vehicle that runs on electricity. This is compared to a traditional internal combustion engine or ‘ICE’ vehicle that runs on gasoline or diesel.
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There are several kinds of EVs, including hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Each type of EV is listed below in the table and as well as an image that provides a comparison between them.
There are three main types of charging equipment or EV supply equipment (EVSE) that exist, and PEVs (plug-in electric vehicles) can be charged in a variety of places. However, not all EVSE are suitable for every location or activity. This is because, depending on several factors, including your EV model and what kind of EVSE you are using, the rate at which your battery charges can vary substantially. Therefore, with a wide range of possible charging times, different EVSEs are classified by how quickly they can charge a battery. The different classifications, which are in order from slowest to fastest charging rate, include Level 1, Level 2, and Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC), detailed below.
For more information on the differences between the different types of EV chargers and their required connectors, check out the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Upfront costs are dropping for all electric vehicles, with many new EVs already being cost-competitive with new ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles. Consumers can also take advantage of purchasing incentives to help further reduce the price of an EV. There is also a growing used EV market where EVs are available with more affordable price tags. In addition, because EVs require far lower fuel and maintenance costs, you can save significantly by driving electric over the lifetime of your EVs compared to the higher lifetime costs of buying, operating, and maintaining an ICE vehicle.
For more information about currently available EV models and their prices, used EVs, purchasing incentives, and the benefits of driving an EV, check out VELOZ's Electric For All website.
There are currently EVs that have a range of over 200 miles per charge, which will only increase in the future. The majority of EV models on the market today have great performance, accelerating must faster than traditional ICEs by going from 0-60mph in less than 8 seconds, some in less than 3.
In the U.S., over 45,000 EV charging stations are available for public use.
While many resources exist to locate EV charging stations, two regularly updated maps created by the Alternative Fuels Data Center and PlugShare provide locations of all public charging stations in the U.S. They are both also available as applications on mobile devices. In addition, several automakers currently have information on charging station locations built into their onboard information systems, and many apps, including popular navigation ones, also provide this feature.
All light-duty cars and trucks sold in the United States must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including EVs. To meet these standards, vehicles must undergo an extensive, long-established testing process, regardless of whether the vehicle operates on gasoline or electricity. Separately, EV battery packs must meet their own testing standards. Moreover, EVs are designed with additional safety features that shut down the electrical system when they detect a collision or short circuit.
For more information about EV safety, visit DOE’s Alternative Fuel Data Center.