An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that gets some or all of its power from electrical energy. All EVs use electric motors, and most store electrical energy in batteries. EV batteries must be replenished by plugging the vehicle in to a power source.
EVs receive some or all of their power from electricity rather than traditional fuel sources such as gasoline. They come in a variety of types from which to choose, depending on your needs.
EVs generally cost less than gasoline-powered cars to own, operate and maintain. EVs are considered zero-emission vehicles because they produce no exhaust or emissions. EVs run more quietly and can be charged during non-peak electric load times to take advantage of renewable energy resources, such as wind. To compare the benefits of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles, visit the U.S. Department of Energy.
EVs require servicing, but on a more limited basis than internal combustion engine vehicles. EVs contain far fewer fluids and moving parts. Expected battery life on EVs is over 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle.
Charging an EV requires plugging it in to an electrical outlet. Most charging will be done at home overnight. Public charging infrastructure is being developed, and Westar is contributing to this effort by creating additional charging stations in its service territory. There are a number of options when it comes to selecting the type of charging station that best suits your needs. AC Level 1 Charging allows you to use existing infrastructure; you can simply plug into a standard electrical outlet. Faster charging options such as Level 2 or Level 3 require the installation of charging equipment but allow for quicker charging times. Learn more.
You can search charging station data to discover local charging stations by simply entering your ZIP code in the charging station locator tool:
For information on the go, you can also download the free mobile application developed by the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Laboratory for the iPhone and iPad on iTunes: Alternative Fueling Station Locator.
The electricity that powers EVs comes from a variety of fuels depending on the customer's location. Westar's energy mix is a combination of: coal, nuclear, gas, wind and bio gas. Significant investments in wind generation mean that Westar has already exceeded the amount of renewable energy generation required to meet Kansas' renewable energy portfolio requirements. Westar's commitment to renewable energy helps make your EV ownership a green choice. The Alternative Fuels and Data Center provides a tool to compare emissions by U.S. location.
EVs vary in price depending on the type of EV. They often require a larger upfront payment but result in significant fuel savings over the life of the vehicle. With few moving parts, maintenance costs can also be realized. The replacement cost of a battery can be high after the warranty has expired (warranties for electric cars are usually 8 years/100,000 miles). However, given the rapidly developing technology in this field, battery prices are expected to drop quickly over the next few years. Also, a possible income tax credit of up to $7,500 is available for the purchase of a new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle.
Learn more about EV fuel savings.
As this dynamic market continues to change, we will keep you informed here. Additionally, you can visit resources for additional information on specific topics.