EV 101: Everything You Need to Know About Driving Electric

What’s An Electric Car?

Powered by a rechargeable battery instead of a traditional, gas- burning engine, electric cars are simply a better way to drive. They accelerate faster, delivering a quick, quiet ride and they eliminate the need to ever visit a gas station again.

Charging stations are installed at homes and offices and are becoming readily available on roads everywhere. The dashboard display includes speed and mileage like your gas-powered car, but instead of a gas gauge, a range monitor lets you know how far you can drive before needing a new charge. And the pedals work just like they do in your gas-powered car.

How Is an Electric Car Different from a Hybrid?

Drivers today have lots of options. Traditional hybrids like the Toyota
Prius use both a battery and a gasoline engine to improve overall mileage, but always burn gas. Other cars, like the Chevy Volt, can drive up to 50 all- electric miles on a charge, but then start burning gas if you need to drive further. We can help you pick the technology that works the best for you.

Why Should I Drive Electric?

  • No more gas stations

    You’ll never have to stop for gas ever again. Charge your car at home overnight just like your phone, or at work if your employer offers workplace charging.

  • Top-of-the line technology

    The electric car dashboard display shows your battery’s range, your current driving efficiency and navigation—all the must- have technology for today’s driver.

  • 0 to 60 in seconds

    When you accelerate in an electric car, the power goes directly from the battery to the tires, creating some of the quickest acceleration times possible.

  • The cheaper drive

    In the Pacific NW, electric car drivers pay $0.99 to drive the same distance as a gallon of gas in a conventional car. They’re cheaper to operate, with almost no maintenance costs. Just rotate your tires regularly and add fresh wiper fluid!

  • Turn down the radio

    The next time you’re in a conventional car, take a listen. We’ve all gotten used to the engine noise as part of the driving experience—but electric cars are nearly silent at all speeds.

  • Benefits for the economy and the environment

    Electric cars are oil-free, produce 85% less carbon emissions and no smog, and can be powered by renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

Before Going Electric, Here Are Some Questions to Consider

  • How long is your commute?

    Even entry-level electric cars have a range of 80+ miles per charge—well within most of our daily commutes. For those going further, there are newer models with ranges of 200+ miles per charge.

  • Are there chargers where you work?

    If there are, you instantly double your daily range! Car charging is becoming more and more common at the workplace and some businesses will provide it if requested. Just ask.

  • Do you have access to charging where you live?

    If you have a source of power where you park you’re all set. You can plug right into a regular 110v household outlet. If you want faster charging, you can install a home charger using the same high-voltage outlet that powers your laundry dryer or stove. If you live in a condo or apartment, see if the building can install public chargers, or find one of hundreds of locally available public chargers at www.plugshare.com.

  • Are there fast chargers in your community?

    Even if you don’t have access to a charger in your building, you may be able to find a DC Quick Charger near you. These stations greatly reduce time spent charging—adding about 50 miles of range in about 20 minutes.

Learn more about where to charge, available incentives,
and how to see if an electric vehicle is a good fit for you!