WHAT VEHICLES ARE CONSIDERED EV’S?
There are two options when considering an electric vehicle: battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). Both qualify for the state and federal incentives described here, but they operate very differently, as shown below.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Battery-electric don’t use any gasoline, but instead run solely on electricity stored in a battery pack that energizes one or more electric motors and produces zero tailpipe emissions. These cars can be charged almost anywhere, anytime and usually at a much lower cost than fueling with gasoline. Their driving ranges on a full charge vary widely from about 80 to more than 300 miles, with considerably higher ranged electric cars coming soon.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Plug-in Hybrids are defined as a vehicle that is gas and battery powered, but the battery is significantly larger and can be charged by plugging into a standard outlet in your garage (i.e. the plug for your dryer and washer). Plug-in hybrids can drive on battery power alone with an electric range of up to 50 miles and a total range (gas + electric) of up to 620 miles. When the battery runs out, the gas engine takes over and the car operates the same as a regular hybrid until you plug it in and recharge the battery. Plug-in hybrids are eligible under the programs as long as it can travel at least 30 electric-only miles.
TRADITIONAL HYBRID VEHICLE
Hybrids are defined as a vehicle that has a regular gas-powered engine and a very small electric battery that is charged by regenerative breaking; meaning when you break, it recharges the small 1-2 kWh battery. The wheels are powered by both the gasoline and electric motor and can’t be plugged in to charge the battery. This enhances the car’s fuel performance but does not allow for electric only driving, which makes hybrids not eligible under the programs.