Electric Vehicles (or EVs) are an exciting option for drivers and our environment. As these new vehicles hit the road, Minnesota Power is here to help with answers to common questions.
What is an Electric Vehicle?
An electric vehicle (or EV) is a car that uses electricity as fuel. Batteries in the car store electricity which is used to propel the vehicle. When the batteries run low, they can be recharged.
There are different types of EVs:
- Battery electric vehicles (or BEVs) run entirely on battery power. They are recharged by plugging the vehicle in and their range is limited by the amount of electricity the batteries are able to hold. The Nissan Leaf is an example of a BEV.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (or PHEVs) use a combination of batteries and an internal combustion engine to extend the range of the vehicle. They can also be plugged in to directly recharge the onboard batteries. The Chevy Volt is an example of a PHEV.
Why choose an EV?
EVs produce fewer greenhouse gases and other pollutants than standard vehicles.
EVs cost less to operate than gasoline-powered vehicles.
EVs reduce America's reliance on foreign oil by operating on domestically-produced electricity.
Where do you charge an EV?
EV owners currently have two options for charging their vehicle:
- Level 1 charging uses a 120-volt circuit and allows a vehicle to be charged anywhere a standard electric outlet can be found. Most EVs can be charged this way in 8 to 10 hours.
- Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt circuit like the kind used for an electric clothes dryer. Most EVs can be charged this way in about 4 to 5 hours.
How can Minnesota Power help?
Minnesota Power is actively researching EVs and has determined that our electric system is ready to support EV charging.
We are ready to guide you through the setup of your charging location and can provide a list of electricians in your area to help with any wiring work that may be required.
Minnesota Power's standard controlled-access rate also applies to EVs. To see if this would be a good fit for you or if you have any other EV questions, please contact us by email.
There are a number of online resources to find out more about EVs:
- To find out more about Electric Vehicles, visit FuelEconomy.gov.