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 vehicles don’t use any gasoline, but instead run solely on electricity stored in a battery pack that powers 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 out each year.  

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. 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.  


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.

Watch this brief 3-minute video to learn more about electric vehicles

Did you know?

Here in the U.S., the first successful electric car made its debut around 1890 thanks to William Morrison.

Over the next few years, electric vehicles from different automakers began popping up across the U.S. New York City even had a fleet of more than 60 electric taxis

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