Interested in learning more about electric vehicles? Let’s start with the basics!

“EV” is the term used for any vehicle that has an electric motor. Throughout this website, we primarily focus on electric vehicles that have a battery and can be plugged in for charging.

Types of Electric Vehicles

When purchasing an EV, you have a few options. Each has their own benefits and associated costs. To see the most fuel savings, your options are between an all-electric and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

All-Electric Vehicles

All-electric vehicles have a battery and an electric motor, instead of a gas-powered engine. They run entirely on electricity and do not produce any exhaust from the burning of fuel. All-electric vehicles tend to cost more to purchase than plug-in hybrid EVs, but generally come with approximately 25% lower fuel costs and less maintenance costs. With a growing number of affordable models, and battery ranges between approximately 80 and 400 km, more and more people are choosing to go all-electric.

Charging Options: All-electric vehicles can be charged using Level 1, 2, and 3 chargers.

All-electric vehicles

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have an electric motor AND a gas-powered engine. They will typically operate exclusively, or almost exclusively, on electricity until the battery is nearly depleted, before switching to the gas-powered engine. The electric battery range will vary from vehicle to vehicle and depend on how you drive.

Plug-in hybrid EVs tend to cost less to purchase than all-electric vehicles, but come with more operating expenses. You’ll still have to buy some gas and will require typical gas engine maintenance such as oil changes.

Charging Options: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can be charged using Level 1 and 2 chargers. Certain models can be charged at Level 3 chargers. Check your owner’s manual before using a Level 3.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles have a small electric motor AND a gas-powered engine, and do not plug-in for charging. Hybrid vehicles use gas as their main power source, and generate electricity for the electric motor through regenerative braking. There are minimal fuel savings for hybrid vehicles when compared to all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The information on this site does not pertain to hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid Vehicles

Charging Options

Charging your EV requires plugging into a charger with connection to an electrical power supply. Over 95% of charging happens at home or work. There are three main types of chargers that differ based on the speed at which they can charge your EV:

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Level 1 - 120 Volt

EVs can be plugged directly into a standard 120 volt household outlet without the installation of charging equipment. Level 1 chargers typically deliver up to 8 km of range per hour of charging. A full charge can take approximately 9 hours for a plug-in hybrid and approximately 50 hours for an all-electric vehicle, depending on the vehicle model and range. Level 1 charging is most often used at home.

Vehicle Options: All-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can use Level 1 chargers.

Level 1 - 120 Volt

Level 2 - 240 Volt

Provides charging through a 240 volt plug and requires installation of charging equipment by a qualified electrician. Level 2 chargers typically deliver up to 30 km of range per hour of charging. A full charge can take approximately 2 hours for a plug-in hybrid and approximately 9 hours for an all-electric vehicle, depending on the vehicle model and range. Level 2 charging is used in homes, workplaces and public places like shopping malls.

Vehicle Options: All-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can use Level 2 chargers. All-electric owners typically install a Level 2 charger at home.

Level 2 - 240 Volt

Level 3 - 480 Volt

Delivers charging through a 480 volt plug and requires specialized, high-powered charging equipment. Level 3 chargers typically deliver up to 140 km of range per hour of charging. An 80% battery charge can take approximately 30 minutes and a full charge approximately 1 hour for an all-electric vehicle, depending on the vehicle model and range. Level 3 charging is used in public charging stations often found along highways and in other high traffic areas.

Vehicle Options: Level 3 chargers can be used by all-electric and select plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Level 3 - 480 Volt

Is an EV right for you? Click here to find out!