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What is an Electric Vehicle?

An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that runs partially or completely on electricity, instead of gasoline.

The Technology

How It Works

  • Electric vehicles use electricity to charge a battery, which then discharges its energy to propel the vehicle.
  • There are two types of electric vehicles: pure battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), that run solely on electricity, and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which have a back-up gas tank.
  • Instead of requiring gasoline fill-ups at a gas station, electric vehicles are plugged into a charging station connected to the electric grid to charge an on-board battery.
  • Homeowners can charge their electric vehicle at home, either through Level I charging, which uses a regular 110-volt household outlet, or through a Level II charging unit, which uses 240-volt outlet and requires an electrician to install. You can buy a Level II charging unit online or at a home improvement store.
  • Owners of electric vehicles can also charge through public charging, available at many public parking garages, retail parking lots, supermarkets, and some town centers, or through workplace charging, which many companies now offer in their parking lots.


Comedian Tom Papa Tells Us Why He Bought an Electric Car

Drive Change. Drive Electric. | 4 min. 15 sec.

Why Should I Consider an Electric Vehicle?

Electric Vehicles reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and reduce the costs and hassle of owning a vehicle (no more oil changes!).

Information on Electric Vehicles is sourced from the Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance Drive Green Program. MassCEC is a proud supporter of the Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance Drive Green Program.

Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than driving a gasoline-powered vehicle

Cost Competitive

Spend less upfront on an electric vehicle by taking advantage of the electric vehicle incentives and save money over time on both fuel and maintenance

No Hassle

Electric vehicles require much less service than gas-powered cars, reducing or eliminating time spent on oil changes and maintenance

Improve Air Quality

Reduce the amount of particulate matter and harmful pollutants, like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ground-level ozone released into the environment.

Things to Consider

Is an Electric Vehicle right for me?

It is cheaper to drive a mile on electricity than it is to drive a mile on gasoline and electricity prices are much less volatile than gas prices.

Nearly every home supports Level I charging; all you need is a 110-volt household outlet. Homeowners can also install a Level II charger by adding a 240-volt outlet with the help of an electrician.

If you are thinking of buying a new gasoline-powered car, consider purchasing an electric vehicle instead. With today’s available incentives, electric vehicles are cost competitive to a gasoline-powered car and you will save money over time by reducing your fuel costs and service visits.

Electric vehicles are often considered safer than their gas-powered counterparts because of the way the weight is distributed in them and the lack of an internal-combustion engine.

Electric vehicles require much less service than gasoline-powered cars. Electric motors do not require any regular maintenance, like oil changes. Due to regenerative braking, the brake pads of electric vehicles also last much longer than on its gasoline-powered counterpart.

Electric vehicles reduce the amount of particulate matter and harmful chemicals, like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ground-level ozone released into the environment, improving the air quality for you and your neighbors.

Your Guide to Electric Vehicles

Videos about the EV Lifestyle

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