Electric Vehicle Benefits, Charging, and How to Find the Right One
EVs offer convenience, affordability, environmental benefits, and more!
An EV has far fewer moving parts than a gasoline-powered car. The battery, motor, and associated electronics require little to no regular maintenance. There are fewer fluids to change, and wear on brake systems is significantly reduced due to regenerative braking. EVs also have a fun factor: driving a BEV or FCEV offers instantaneous torque and quiet acceleration.
EVs are cheaper to recharge than filling up your tank with gasoline, keeping more money in your pocket. To help current and potential EV drivers better understand the cost of driving an EV, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created a metric called the “electric gallon”, or “eGallon.” The eGallon represents the cost of driving an EV the same distance a gasoline-powered vehicle could travel on one gallon of gasoline. Use the DOE's eGallon Calculator to find out how much it costs to charge an EV in Connecticut compared to the cost of fueling a similar vehicle with gasoline.
EVs are also better for the environment than gasoline-fueled vehicles. Much of the harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released in the U.S. come from gasoline-fueled vehicles. The reduction of pollutants and GHG emissions from the transportation sector can have an immediate impact locally that grows as adoption of EVs expands nationwide. Making the switch to an EV is one remarkable thing you can do personally to significantly lower your carbon footprint.
EVs are a safe and fuel-efficient option for American drivers. Commercially available EVs must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and undergo the same rigorous safety testing in the U.S. as gasoline-powered cars. EVs must also meet the electrical and safety standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Council, and others.
For more insight on types of EVs, how to charge your EV, where to charge, and more, visit EVConnecticut.
The transportation sector is responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions (37 percent) in Connecticut. Accelerating widespread use of EVs, and expanding deployment of EV charging infrastructure necessary to support EVs, are key to significantly reducing harmful emissions in this sector to ensure Connecticut is on the path to achieve its mandatory GHG reductions. Connecticut is also committed to several EV-related initiatives that drive the adoption of EVs across the states.
There are many choices in the EV market so it’s important to do your homework before choosing one. You need to consider the regular car buying points such as price, comfort, handling, and size—but you should also consider battery range and where you can charge your vehicle.
To get you started, here are some web tools that can inform your choices and help you navigate the EV shopping experience.
- Vehicle Explore Tool (Drive Change Drive Electric): The Drive Change Drive Electric's Vehicle Explore Tool helps you find a BEV or PHEV that meets your needs according to vehicle body style (i.e., crossover, hatchback, minivan, sedan, sports, or SUV).
- Pick an Electric Vehicle (Sierra Club): The Sierra Club's Electric Vehicle Guide is a web tool that helps you find BEVs and PHEVs compatible with your lifestyle. Your responses to six questions result in a list of EVs with details on electric range, availability, purchase price (after applying the federal tax credit), and whether the EV is all-electric or a plug-in hybrid.
- Shopping Assistant (Plug In America): Plug In America's Shopping Assistant is a web tool that asks for your driving needs to find out if an EV is right for you. You can also use resources available at Plug In America to browse for EVs, find a local test drive event, and find an EV dealer or retailer.
- Find a Car Tool: So how does the fuel economy of a BEV, FCEV, PHEV or a gasoline-fueled car compare with each other? Use the U.S. Department of Energy's Find a Car tool to compare fuel economy ratings.
EV GHG Emissions Calculator: The U.S. Department of Energy provides an EV GHG emissions calculator that allows you to estimate the total GHG emissions that would be associated with driving a BEV or PHEV, including GHG emissions from the production of electricity used to power the vehicle. Simply enter your zip code and identify the vehicle that you own or are considering buying.
- Compare Fuel Cell Vehicles (U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy): Interested in a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)? The U.S. Department of Energy's Compare Fuel Cell Vehicles webpage provides a side-by-side comparison of the FCEVs currently for sale or lease in the U.S. Also check out the DOE's webpage on How Fuel Cells Work.
Overnight charging at home meets most EV drivers’ needs, since 80% of EV charging is done at home. But where else can you charge up while you're at work or out and about?
To meet your "on-the-go" charging needs, it's easy to locate and get to public charging stations by using mobile apps on your smartphone or mobile device, or via a dashboard program available on some EVs. Some EVs may have a station locator built into their dashboard system, so check the owner's manual for your EV to see if it does.
Maps with public charger locations and details are also offered by EVConnecticut and the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center. The network of public charging spots is rapidly expanding all over Connecticut, throughout our region, and across the U.S., especially along major roadways and travel corridors, and more workplaces are offering EV chargers for their employees’ use.
For more insight on flexible charging options for EV drivers, check out Drive Change Drive Electric's facts about convenience.
Wondering what the etiquette is for charging your EV at the workplace and other public EV charging stations where resources are limited? Whenever possible, check with the host of the charging station for any rules, guidelines, and/or restrictions in place for the public use of its chargers and parking spaces.
ChargePoint and EVgo also offer useful tips for EV charging etiquette at ChargePoint's 5 Ways to Master EV Etiquette and EVgo's 8 Dos and Don'ts for Courteous Electric Vehicle Charging.
Currently, SunHydro, located at Proton OnSite's headquarters, 10 Technology Drive, Wallingford, is the sole hydrogen refueling station publicly accessible to FCEV drivers in Connecticut.
Connecticut is currently evaluating opportunities to continue support of FCEVs and the in-state expansion of the hydrogen refueling station infrastructure network.