Electricity can be used to power all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles directly from the power grid. Vehicles that run on electricity produce no tailpipe emissions. The only emissions that can be attributed to electricity are those generated in the production process at the power plant. The electric grid is an easily accessible energy source for short-range driving.

Electricity used to power vehicles is generally provided by the electricity grid and stored in the vehicle's batteries. Fuel cells are being explored as a way to use electricity generated on board the vehicle to power electric motors. Unlike batteries, fuel cells convert chemical energy from hydrogen into electricity.
Home recharging of electric vehicles (EVs) is as simple as plugging them into an electric outlet. Electricity fueling costs for electric vehicles are reasonable compared to gasoline, especially if consumers take advantage of off-peak rates. However, electricity costs vary across the U.S. depending on location, type of generation, time of use, and access point (home, business, etc). Many states, have public access electric outlets at libraries, shopping centers, hospitals, and businesses.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs)-also called electric drive vehicles collectively-use electricity either as their primary fuel or to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicle designs. HEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine or other propulsion source that runs on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine and is not plugged in to charge.

PHEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine that can run on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The vehicle can be plugged into an electric power source to charge the battery. Some PHEVs are also called extended range electric vehicles (EREVs).

EVs use a battery to store the electric energy that powers the motor. EV batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. EVs are sometimes referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Workplace Charging Challenge

As part of the Workplace Charging Challenge, DOE is calling on America's employers to sign the Workplace Charging Challenge Pledge as "Partners" to make a bold committment to provide PEV charging access to their workforce. The Pledge also enlists stakeholder organizations as "Ambassadors" to promote and facilitate workplace charging.

Partners who sign the Workplace Charging Challenge Pledge will:

  • Commit to assessing employee charging demand and developing a plan to install charging stations. Partner plans will include milestones for charging infrastructure installation with a minimum goal of provision of charging for a portion of PEV-driving employeess at one or more major employer worksites, and a best practice goal of assessing and meeting all PEV-driving employee demand.
  • Take action by impelmenting a plan to install charging for their employees.
  • Share progress on achieving plan milestones over time, as well as best practices.

​More Information Located on the Alternative Fuels Data Center



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