Frequently Asked Questions
Plug-in electric vehicles are connected, fun and practical. They can reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and smog and can even save you money. Rebates from TID make it even more economical to purchase and charge your plug-in electric vehicle.
The following questions are most frequently asked by customers about electric vehicles.
Simply stated, an electric vehicle (or EV) is a vehicle that uses an electric motor as a source of propulsion. Instead of gas, EVs use electricity as fuel which is stored in rechargeable batteries. There are three main types of EVs.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
An HEV has both an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor. Usually the electric motors in these vehicles are smaller and their batteries are charged by regenerative braking. The intent of the electric motor is to propel the vehicle at low speeds (up to about 15MPH), and are very useful in congested traffic situations. The combination of the ICE and the electric motor improves the fuel economy of the HEV.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
A PHEV is similar to an HEV except that the electric motor is larger, and there are substantially more batteries for storage of electricity. The ICE engine on a PHEV is available for long distance driving, but is not the primary method of propulsion as in the HEV. In fact, the PHEV can be driven entirely using the electric drivetrain as the battery storage capacity on some models allows for up to 35 miles of driving on a single charge. The PHEV does use regenerative braking to assist in charging the batteries, but primarily these vehicles are charged by plugging into an outlet. Depending on driving habits, a PHEV can reach a fuel economy of 83mpg or better.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
The BEV is entirely propelled using one or two electric motors. One advantage of a BEV is that it does not require some of the complex equipment of an ICE engine, such as fuel injection or exhaust systems. However, this means that the BEV depends completely on batteries to provide power, and can only go as far as the batteries’ capacity. The number of batteries and their capacity varies from one BEV to the next, with some having a range of 250 miles or more. These vehicles can have a fuel economy of 120mpg equivalent or greater, depending on driving habits.
Both PHEV and BEV vehicles are simple to charge and can be charged at home, work or a variety of public charging locations. Charging an EV is not much different than connecting an appliance to a typical wall outlet; all you need are an outlet, a vehicle and a cord set to connect the two. Generally, there are three types of charging, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 (also called DC Fast Charge). A description of charging types can be found here. https://www.energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/vehicle-charging
For the most part these terms are interchangeable, referring to equipment used to connect an EV to a power source.
EVSE stands for electric vehicle supply equipment; any type of equipment that connects the EV to an electric power source for charging vehicle batteries. This could be as simple as a cord set which comes with the EV used for a standard 120v outlet, or as complex as a web-enabled smart home voice controlled charger.
The term “charger” is commonly used in advertising to describe any EVSE except for the cord set. But because the term “electric vehicle supply equipment” is a little wordy, most prefer to use the term “charger” to cover any type of equipment used for charging.
Charging station is usually used to describe charging equipment outside the home. People often think of charging stations as locations where a consumer charges their vehicle and pays via a credit card. However, the term has been used in a variety of ways including describing EVSE in the home, work parking lots, and public areas.
Terms used for EVSE will continue to evolve as more consumers adopt electric vehicles and manufacturers produce varied methods for charging EVs. The important thing for a TID customer is choosing the right equipment for your needs. This will vary depending on your vehicle’s driving range, distance for your commute, wiring for your home, your driving habits, daily routine, and type of charging you want. If you want to install a charging system that is more complex than the standard cord set, TID recommends that you contact a licensed electrician. For a more technical examination of available equipment you may refer to this guide.
There are a lot of benefits when driving an electric vehicle, including low maintenance costs, charging at home, and drivability.
Additionally, there are many incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle or charging equipment.
Ultimately, choosing any type of vehicle is a personal decision, and electric vehicles are no exception. It might be helpful to use a shopping assistant to guide you toward the EV that is right for you.
TID’s BEV rebate applies to vehicles listed on the CVRP Eligible Vehicles website under the category ‘Zero-Emission Vehicles: Battery Electric.” Vehicles listed under other categories on this website do not qualify for the TID BEV rebate.
There are two popular websites for finding a charging station near you. Either provides an easy to use map that can guide you to charging stations nationwide.