Is An Electric Vehicle Right For You?
Alternative fuel and electric vehicles, or “EV’s” are gaining momentum in the marketplace and many Americans are making the switch from their typical gas powered car to fully electric or hybrid vehicles. Making the jump from a typical gas powered vehicle to an electric vehicle can seem like a daunting task because of all the different types, and new questions that come with an electric vehicle. Here is what you need to know to find out which type is right for you.
3 TYPES OF EV’S
There are 3 main types of EV’s: Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV).
BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLES (BEV’s)
Battery Electric Vehicles are Fully electric vehicles with rechargeable batteries and no gasoline engine. BEV’s store electricity onboard with high-capacity battery packs. Their battery power is used to run the electric motor and all onboard electronics.
PLUG IN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLES (PHEV’s)
Plug in hybrid electric vehicles or PHEV’s can recharge the battery through both regenerative braking and plugging in to an external source of electrical power.
HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLES (HEV’s)
Hybrid Electric Vehicles or HEV’s are powered by both gasoline and electricity. The electric energy is generated by the car’s own braking system to recharge the battery. This is called regenerative braking. A process where the electric motor helps to slow the vehicle and uses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes. HEV’s have two motors, one for gasoline and an electric motor. HEV’s use an internal computer to switch between the two motors giving the best fuel economy.
EV’s charging ranges vary from model to model but most will easily cover the average daily commute and other trips on a single charge. EV’s can last anywhere from 150 miles in the Nissan Leaf all the way up to 300 miles in some Tesla models, all on a single charge. There are 3 different levels of charging systems for electric vehicles, 1 being the slowest and 3 being the fastest. Level 1 chargers use a standard household 120 volt outlet and they take around 8 hours to charge for 75-80 miles of range. Level 2 chargers take around 4 hours and level 3 take around 20 minutes for the same range.
In addition to saving money and helping the environment; with an electric vehicle, you become eligible for the Alternative Fuel, and Energy Efficient issued license plates. The great thing about these license plates is that they allow drivers to use the HOV lane at any time, even with no passengers in the car. This plate could be very useful for that daily commute to and from the office. The state of Arizona only offers 10,000 energy efficient license plates and they have all been claimed. However, there are still alternative fuel plates available. To qualify for the alternative fuel plate, your vehicle must be powered only by an alternative fuel. Arizona statute defines an alternative fuel as one of the following:
- Natural gas / CNG or LPG
- Blend of 70 percent alternative fuel, 30 percent gasoline (unavailable in Arizona)