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HOME » Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) » About PEVs » Choosing the Right PEV

Choosing the Right PEV

There are three basic types of electric vehicles:

Hybrid
  • Powered by gas and batteries
  • Gas engine switches to the battery when the car is idling – saving a significant amount of gas
  • Brakes continually recharge the battery
  • Does not plug in to recharge
Plug-in Hybrid
  • Powered by batteries until they are depleted, then switches to the gas engine
  • Depending on the size of the battery in your vehicle, the charge can last from 10 to 40 miles
  • Brakes continually recharge the battery
  • Batteries are charged by plugging the car into a standard electrical outlet or charging station
Battery Electric
  • Powered solely by batteries
  • No tailpipe emissions
  • Some cars can travel up to 160 miles on a single charge
  • Brakes continually recharge the battery
  • Batteries are charged by plugging the car into a standard electrical outlet or charging station.

Plug-in Electric Vehicles vs. Traditional Cars

The cost to charge a PEV depends on its battery size and how you drive. If you drive about 40 miles/day – at $0.11/kilowatt-hour (national average,) you could save almost $1,400 a year in "fuel costs" vs. a traditional car!

Cost Calculator

The data presented in the chart was supplied and is derived from a number of sources, including: ENERGY STAR®; the Department of Energy's Energy Savers program; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Energy End-Use Forecasting Group and Standby Power program; utility companies, including Pacific Gas & Electric and Flathead Electric Cooperative; and Consumer Reports. Additional information was provided by D&R International, independent consultants for ENERGY STAR.