Electric vehicles use electricity either as their primary fuel or to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicle designs. There are some major differences between gasoline and electric cars. When you drive an electric car, often the only thing that clues you in to the fact that it is electric is that it is nearly silent. Vehicles that run only on electricity produce no tailpipe emissions. When charging plug-in vehicles, it tends to be more cost effective compared to gasoline, especially if drivers take advantage of off-peak rates offered by many utilities.
There are three types of electric vehicles:
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): Powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor which uses energy stored in batteries.
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): Uses batteries to power an electric motor and uses another fuel, such as gasoline or diesel, to power an internal combustion engine. PHEVs generally have larger battery packs than hybrid electric vehicles.
All-Electric Vehicles (EVs): Uses a battery to store the electrical energy that powers the motor. EV batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source
The benefits of using electric vehicles include:
Energy efficient: Electric vehicles convert more electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels than conventional gasoline vehicles.
Environmentally friendly: EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants.
Performance Benefits: Electric motors provide quiet, smooth operation and stronger acceleration and require less maintenance.
Reduce Energy Dependence: Electricity is a domestic energy source.
EVs have the benefit of flexible fueling. They can charge overnight at a residence, workplace or at public charging stations. Public charging stations are not as universal as gas stations but charging equipment manufacturers, utilities, municipalities and government agencies are establishing a rapidly expanding network of charging infrastructure.
Residential equipment frequently will be installed in garages, but outdoor installation and use are also safe, even if the vehicle is being charged in the rain. Outdoor installations require outdoor-rated charging equipment. Charging at a multi-family residential complex requires additional considerations and may be more similar to public charging than to charging at a single-family home.