About Electric Vehicles


An electric vehicle is one that is powered in full or in part by an electric motor or motors and uses electric energy stored in rechargeable batteries to propel the vehicle. There are many types and models of electric vehicles available today. Categories of electric vehicles include:  

Electric vehicle (EV) or Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) - these vehicles derive all power from an electric motor and use energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. These vehicles do not have an internal combustion engine. The most popular all-electric vehicle is the Nissan Leaf.

Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREV) - a vehicle that uses an electric motor for propulsion but also has an internal combustion engine onboard to provide power for a generator, which maintains a minimum charge level on a battery. Most EREVs have an electric range of around 40 miles and include cars like the Chevy Volt. 

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) - a type of car that is configured like a regular hybrid vehicle but with a bigger lithium ion battery pack that can be charged by plugging in to a regular electricity supply. Pure electric driving is usually about 12 miles on PHEVs. These include the Toyota Prius Plug-in.

Go here to see a demonstration of electric vehicle capabilities in the Greater Yellowstone-Teton area.


Charging Stations

Electric vehicle charging stations are also known as electric vehicle supply equipment.  There are three different levels of charging stations

Level 1 Charging

Level 1 Charging is a technical term for charging an electric vehicle at a regular 120 volt outlet found in your home. Depending on the vehicle, it can take 8-14 hours to charge a vehicle at a Level 1 outlet. 

Level 2 Charging

Level 2 charging requires a 230 volt outlet similar to what is necessary for a clothes dryer. Level 2 charging stations are the most common stations found at workplaces and businesses. It typically takes 8 to 14 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle at a level 2 charging station. 

Level 3 Charging

Level 3 charging  is also known as fast charging and requires a DC (versus AC for Level 1) to the vehicle. It typically takes no more than 30 minutes to fully charge an electric vehicle at a Level 3 charging station. DC fast charging stations are typically located along highways. On average, Level 3 stations cost between $10,000 and $50,000 to install.   

To locate current electric vehicle charging stations across the United States, including in Montana go to: http://energy.gov/eere/eveverywhere/ev-everywhere-charging-road