What are EVs?

There are three types of vehicles powered by electricity:

All-Electric Vehicles

All-electric vehicles (EVs) use a battery to store the electrical energy that powers the motor. EVs are sometimes referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs). EV batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. Although most U.S. electricity production contributes to air pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency categorizes all-electric vehicles as zero-emission vehicles because they produce no direct exhaust or emissions. Because EVs use no other fuel, widespread use of these vehicles could dramatically reduce petroleum consumption.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) use batteries to power an electric motor and use another fuel, such as gasoline or diesel, to power an internal combustion engine or other propulsion source. Using electricity from the grid to run the vehicle some or all of the time reduces operating costs and petroleum consumption, relative to conventional vehicles. PHEVs might also produce lower levels of emissions, depending on the electricity source.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are powered by an internal combustion engine or other propulsion source that can be run on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. HEVs combine the benefits of high fuel economy and low emissions with the power and range of conventional vehicles.

Example fleets that use EVs in TN: Nashville Metro Transit Authority, City of Kingsport, University of Tennessee, Eastman, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, ETSU, electric utilities across the state, Tennessee Valley Authority.

What is “EVSE”? It stands for “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment” and is the unit that you plug-in to an EV (electric vehicle) to recharge or refuel it.

What is “workplace charging?” We have an entire website devoted to that! Visit www.DriveElectricTN.org to read about businesses across the state that have installed EVSE at their workplace to allow their staff to drive an EV and have a full fill when leaving.

What are the benefits of electric vehicles?

Hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles can help increase energy security, improve fuel economy, lower fuel costs, and reduce emissions.

Using hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles instead of conventional vehicles can help reduce U.S. reliance on imported petroleum and increase energy security. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) typically use less fuel than similar conventional vehicles, because they employ electric-drive technologies to boost efficiency. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs) are both capable of using off-board sources of electricity, and almost all U.S. electricity is produced from domestic coal, nuclear energy, natural gas, and renewable resources.

What are the emissions reductions gained from electric vehicles?

Hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles can have significant emissions benefits over conventional vehicles. HEV emissions benefits vary by vehicle model and type of hybrid power system. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, and PHEVs produce no tailpipe emissions when in all-electric mode.

The life cycle emissions of an EV or PHEV depend on the sources of electricity used to charge it, which vary by region. In geographic areas that use relatively low-polluting energy sources for electricity production, plug-in vehicles typically have a life cycle emissions advantage over similar conventional vehicles running on gasoline or diesel. In regions that depend heavily on conventional fossil fuels for electricity generation, PHEVs and EVs may not demonstrate a strong life cycle emissions benefit. Use the Vehicle Cost Calculator to compare life cycle emissions of individual vehicle models in a given location.


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EV Information & Links

What Electric Vehicles are available now?

See any of the following links to learn more about the EVs that are currently available for purchase, and ones that are coming in the next few years.

Where can you find EV charging stations?

  • PlugShare has a well respected online tool where you can find all kinds of charging stations. Another great benefit of the PlugShare website is that when you select the type of charging you are looking for, they show what the different types of connectors look like, which is educational as well as ensures you know you are locating your type of connector.
  • The U.S. DOE Alternative Fuels Data Center has an excellent station locator for all alt fuels, and you can select electric and the type of charging you are looking for and then zoom in on a specific area… or you can use the “Map a Route” feature to locate chargers along your expected travel route.
  • ChargeHub shows locations across the USA.
  • Many equipment manufacturers and charging station service providers have their own maps, including ChargePoint, EVgo, and Tesla. Also, some cross-country charging networks have maps for their systems, like Electrify America for the new sites they are adding.

Other EV and EVSE Links & Information

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