There are plenty of reasons to make the switch to an electric vehicle that complements your lifestyle. We're here to help you find your motivation.
What are EVs?
Conventional electric vehicles (EVs) include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). These two types of EVs do not emit harmful tailpipe emissions. State regulations in California and in some of the Section 177 states including Connecticut, define EVs to also include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) because they emit no harmful tailpipe emissions when driving in electric only mode. As such, PHEVs are sometimes called "transitional EVs."
- Battery electric vehicles (BEVs): A battery electric vehicle, commonly referred to as an EV, is a car that is 100% powered by an electric motor. There is no gasoline required, and owners “fuel up” by plugging in overnight at home or to an expanding network of charging stations. Like a cellphone, the battery stores the charge to power the car when it is running. With a variety of battery electric vehicles on the market, you can choose one that drives anywhere from 100 to 400 miles on a full charge. “Refueling” times can vary – typically, 30 minutes for fast charging and 4 to 6 hours with Level 2, depending on the size and current depletion of the battery.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs): A PHEV is a vehicle that is powered by a combination of an electric motor and a gasoline engine. Like a battery electric vehicle, the vehicle can be plugged in to charge and will run on the battery for some or all your drive – from 15 to 50 miles. Unlike a battery electric vehicle, once the battery charge is depleted, the gasoline kicks in and the vehicle runs like a fuel-efficient gas-powered hybrid car to extend the range of the vehicle. This makes the combined range from electricity and gasoline, 350-600 miles, comparable to a gas-powered car. Recharging the battery is completed easily overnight using either Level 1 (120V) or Level 2 (240V) charging.
- Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs): A fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by an electric drive motor and uses a fuel cell to convert hydrogen into electricity. Like a gas-powered car, they can be refueled in 3-5 minutes, but at a hydrogen dispenser instead of a gas pump. Driving range is comparable to gas cars, about 300-350 miles on each tank of hydrogen. Hydrogen fueling stations, however, are not yet widely available outside of California. FCEVs will be introduced in select northeast states once hydrogen refueling stations are built. Visit the Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition's website for more information about FCEVs.
Why choose an EV?
EVs offer convenience, affordability, environmental benefits, and more!
An EV has far fewer moving parts compared to 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 compared to 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 compared to gasoline-fueled vehicles. Much of the harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released in the U.S. comes 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 personally do 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. Moreover, 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.
What are the EV policy initiatives in Connecticut?
The transportation sector is responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions (37%) 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 and it’s important to do your homework before choosing. You need to consider the regular car buying points such as price, comfort, handling, and size but battery range is also a key focus as well as where to charge your vehicle.
To get you started, below 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 a Plug In (Sierra Club): The Sierra Club's Pick a Plug In 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):a Plug In America's Shopping Assistant is web tool that asks for your driving needs to find out if an EV is right for you. You can additionally 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.
- Used EVs: Plug In America's Used Electric Car Buyers' Guide takes you through the finer points of shopping for a used EV.
- 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.
Flexible Charging Options
Overnight charging at home meets most EV drivers’ needs, as 80% of EV charging is don-e 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 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.
To find Hydrogen Fueling Station Locations, use: https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/hydrogen_locations.html#/find/nearest?fuel=HY
Go green for less with the help of incentives, rebates, and tax credits that can lower your overall cost for the purchase or lease of a new EV and the purchase and installation of charging equipment at your home or, for businesses, or at your workplace. Also, with many EVs coming off lease, dealer-certified used car programs are more likely to have used EVs for a fraction of their original prices.
Rebates and Incentives for Vehicles
CHEAPR: The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) offers incentives to Connecticut residents who purchase or lease an eligible vehicle from a licensed Connecticut automobile dealership. Incentive amounts currently range from $4,250 for an eligible new battery electric (BEV), $2,250 for a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), and up to $9,500 for a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) when a Standard Rebate is combined with Rebate+ New for income qualified individuals.
Learn more and find eligible vehicles here.
DMV Incentives: At the Department of Motor Vehicles, EVs are eligible for a reduced registration fee and are not subject to certain fees typically levied on gasoline-fueled vehicles. EVs are eligible for a reduced vehicle registration fee of $38 and are exempt from Connecticut's motor vehicle emissions inspection requirement. For their first four model years from manufacture, new vehicles are exempt from having to report for an emissions test. When any vehicle that is four or less model years old is registered for the first time in Connecticut, the owner must pay a $40 emissions exemption fee. However, because vehicles powered exclusively by electricity produce no tailpipe emissions, they are exempt from the emission inspection requirement and the $40 emissions exemption fee.
Municipal Electric Utility Incentives: For customers of Groton Utilities or Bozrah Light & Power, visit Groton Utilities' Electric Vehicle Rebate Program webpage for information about available rebate offers.
For customers of Norwich Public Utilities, visit Norwich Public Utilities' Electric Vehicle & Charging Rebate Program webpage for information about available rebate offers.
Federal Tax Rebates: Your purchase or lease of a new EV may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit amount will vary based on the battery capacity used to power the EV. To find the specific amount of tax credit for each EV model you are considering, visit Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles and Tax Credits for Plug-in Hybrids.
To claim this federal tax credit, you must fill out the following IRS form:
IRS Form 8936, Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit
Rebates and Incentives for EV Charging Equipment
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) EV Charging Program: In July 2021, PURA issued a final decision as part of its Equitable Modern Grid initiative that establishes a nine-year program to support the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state, focusing on equity and inclusion. This program includes rebates for residential, workplace, and destination EV charging equipment and infrastructure. Learn more about the program here or if you are an Eversource or UI customer, you can visit their websites to see what rebates may be available to you.
Eversource customers: learn more here
UI customers: learn more here