What is a Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV)?
A PEV is any vehicle that is partially or completely powered by an electric motor. PEVs have batteries that can be recharged from an external source of electricity, such as an electrical outlet or dedicated charger.
What are the benefits of electric vehicles?
LG&E and KU are supportive of plug-in electric vehicles because they can reduce the amount of gasoline we burn and significantly reduce vehicle emissions, while also lowering fuel costs. Electric vehicles offer a viable alternative to conventional vehicles that can help reduce our dependence on petroleum-based fuels.
What are the different types of electric vehicles?
There are two predominate types of electric vehicles and each has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
A PHEV combines an electric motor and battery drive system with a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE). The electric motor and battery in a PHEV can provide most, if not all, of the vehicle's power for the first 10 to 40 miles of driving depending on the model. Once the batteries are depleted, the ICE kicks in to extend driving range much like a conventional vehicle. Because it can operate in an all electric drive mode for all or part of its travel needs, emissions and the fuel cost will be lower than for an equivalent conventional vehicle.
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
A BEV is an electric vehicle that has a very large battery and is powered exclusively by an electric drive system. BEVs can have a range of up to 100 miles or more depending on the model; however, driving range will vary depending on weather conditions, heating and air conditioning use and other factors. Once the battery is depleted, it must be recharged before it can be driven again. Because it is electric powered, it has no tail pipe emissions and much lower fuel cost than an equivalent conventional vehicle.
Check out these available resources to learn more:
Which type of electric vehicle is right for me?
Similar to the decisions you make when purchasing a gasoline-powered vehicle, many factors should weigh into your decision about the electric vehicle that's right for you. Think about how and where you plan to charge your EV, and take your daily driving habits into account (including how far you typically drive between charging). These factors will help determine the EV that will best meet your needs.
The U.S. Department of Energy website has a Vehicle Cost Calculator to help you compare and determine which model makes the most sense for you.
How do you charge an electric vehicle (EV)?
There are usually two options for charging an electric vehicle, and they are referred to as Level 1, which uses 120 volts, and Level 2, which uses 240 volts.
Level 1 Charging
Most EVs can be charged from a standard 120 volt electrical outlet using a special cord that comes with the vehicle. This is known as Level 1 charging. Level 1 usually requires the electrical outlet to be on a dedicated electrical circuit, but it does not typically require the purchase of any special charging equipment. If a dedicated circuit is not already available where you plan to charge your EV, a qualified electrical contractor can install one. Depending on the type of EV you purchase, Level 1 charging may be all that is needed; however, Level 1 charging times may be very long for vehicles with larger battery systems.
Level 2 Charging
Most EVs can also be charged by a Level 2 charger, which can charge an EV faster than a Level 1 charger. Level 2 chargers require 240 volts, which is the same voltage that feeds larger appliances like clothes dryers and central air conditioning systems. Level 2 charging may require running a new electrical circuit to the charging area. The Level 2 charger is referred to as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). The EVSE is a dedicated charging station for EVs that can significantly reduce charging time when compared to Level 1 charging, especially for vehicles with large batteries. Level 2 chargers now come with standard interfaces so they can be used on most EVs. EVSE usually must be purchased separately and must be installed by a qualified electrical contractor.
Are electric vehicles safe to charge?
If charged properly, your electric vehicle should be safe to charge. You will want to consult your vehicle manufacturer's guide to ensure you follow the proper charging and safety instructions.
How often will I have to charge my electric vehicle?
How often you choose to charge your electric vehicle will depend on the type and model you have, as well as how often and how far you drive it. Most people will charge their vehicles at least once per day if it has been driven.
How long will it take to charge my electric vehicle?
The length of time to charge an electric vehicle varies by the type and model, how far your electric vehicle has been driven and the type of charger (Level 1 or Level 2) used. You will want to consult with the dealership and/or the vehicle's manufacturer to obtain this information.
How will I pay for charging my electric vehicle at home?
Costs associated with charging your electric vehicle at home will be included on your monthly LG&E or KU bill. There will not be a separate line item representing the usage associated with charging your electric vehicle.
What if I am ready to purchase a electric vehicle?
LG&E and KU can help you make a smooth transition to owning a electric vehicle. Contact us to discuss the steps you will want to take before you make your purchase.
Do LG&E and KU offer incentives or rebates to customers who purchase or drive electric vehicles?
Not at this time. LG&E and KU are wholly supportive of the electric vehicle technology; however, we do not currently offer any incentives or rebates to customers who purchase or drive an electric vehicle.