What are the financial incentives for buying an electric car?
The federal government and some local governments in the United States offer financial incentives, such as tax credits, for buying electric vehicles, which are also known as EVs.
The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a limited tax credit for $2500 to $7500 per new electric vehicle purchased in the U.S. The amount of the tax credit varies according to the size of the vehicle and its battery capacity. For specific details on the federal tax credit and whether it is still in effect, visit FuelEconomy.gov’s Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit, and Tax Credits for Plug-in Hybrids web sites.
There might be additional incentives for electric vehicles in your state or city, or even offered by your utility. Financial and other incentives can include additional tax credits, vehicle or infrastructure rebates or vouchers, vehicle registration fee reductions, loans, special low-cost charging rates and high-occupancy vehicle lane exemptions.
Conversely, a few states also have fees specifically for electric vehicles. To find incentives, as well as electric vehicle regulations, visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s Laws and incentives and database.
Where can I charge my car?
Electric cars can be charged anywhere there is a charging station. There are three categories of charging locations for electric cars – at home, at work and in public.
Home charging can be done in a private garage, driveway or designated parking spot, with the latter being more common in apartment complexes. Despite charging at home, it’s better to use a home charging station rather than just plugging into a normal electrical socket. A charging station ensures that an electric vehicle is topped off properly and ensures safer usage of home and vehicle capacity, assuring you that you’ll start each day with a fully charged car.
For apartment, condo and co-ops owners, charging at shared parking lots is the usual method. Charging costs are allocated so that you only pay for your usage, not your neighbor’s. You also get usage insights to help you easily and efficiently manage time and costs. Its also easy for tenant and homeowners’ associations to configure and manage multiple charging stations efficiently and cost effectively.
At work the charging options are usually reserved or semi-public charging stations. Payment is made through a credit card linked to either the Greenlots or EV Connect apps or a credit card-linked to an RFID card that can be scanned at the charger. If using the mobile app, you scan a barcode within the mobile app at the charging station.
Public charging can be done at shopping centers, parking lots, hotels, hospitals, etc. that are equipped with EV charging stations. Simply use your Greenlots or EV Connect apps or RFID card to pay.
What does it cost to charge my car?
That depends upon your location and the local, county or city utility providing power to the charging station. Depending upon your car’s battery capacity and efficiency, you can cover 40-125 miles on one charge.
Note that a charging station owner can set up their own charging fees. That can include a start rate, a time rate (meaning rate per minute) and a kWh-rate. With Greyline and EVBox chargers, these rates will be visible to all users. Surcharges apply to people using payment apps/RFID cards from other service providers, and each service provider can define its own upcharge. They can also make individual agreements with their own customers for charging plans and rates. Greyline has no control of over those fees and agreements.
How long does it take to charge my car?
Several factors influence your power consumption and charging time.
How long it takes to charge your electric vehicle depends upon the type of charging station and your car model – and how depleted your car is when you begin. Driving speed, style and road conditions affect your power consumption.
Within 50% of the battery’s complete charging time, it will be 80% charged. The remaining 20% will be filled via drip charging, which is a slow method designed to secure lasting battery quality.
The Effect of Braking
As with gasoline-powered cars, electric vehicles use more power when driving at high speeds and when accelerating quickly. The battery will recharge when brakes are used slowly.
Music systems and lights have minimal impact on an electric vehicle’s battery usage. However, the car’s overall weight has a tremendous impact, which includes the number of people and luggage weight being transported. Heating and cooling systems can also affect battery usage and therefor range, up to 50%. Many electric cars can be pre-heated or cooled while connected to a charging station.
Can I charge my car on any charging station?
Yes, if the charging station is compatible with your car’s charging cable and uses your app and/or payment method.
Just as regular electrical devices have different types of plugs, so did electrical vehicles in the past. Now electric car manufacturers have settled on one of two standards for charging cables.
On the car side, a Type 1 socket is common for Japanese and American cars. A Type 2 socket is common for European cars. Tesla U.S. models have a specific type of socket while European Tesla models use Type 2 sockets. On the charging unit side, both U.S. and European models use Type 2 sockets. Charging stations with fixed cables can be the exception – check to see if the cable connects to your car.
Can I be invoiced for my charging costs?
Yes, if you use the EVBox app, which allows you to turn on invoicing if you choose.
What is Smart Charging?
Smart Charging is an umbrella term that refers to intelligent devices that optimize the charging process by distributing power in a flexible, efficient manner. Smart Charging prevents unnecessary costs such as overcapacity fees and ensures you get the most out of your charging stations.
Smart Charging also enables Load Balancing, which is essential for charging stations with duel sockets as well as multiple charging stations at a single location. Load Balancing distributes the available electrical capacity proportionally among the active charging stations. That ensures an optimal charging for all electrical vehicles at the charging station.
Hub/Satellite is a key Smart Charging feature for those operating multiple charging stations at one location. Greyline gathers data from your charging stations within a single cloud-based management platform called BackOffice to simplify tracking. Hub/Satellite allows up to 20 charging stations to communicate through one modem.
Peak Shaving is a Smart Charge feature that monitors power consumption and if it senses that you are reaching maximum capacity during peak season, Greyline will slow or pause charging until the peak consumption period passes.
What’s the difference between Load Balancing and Priority Load Balancing?
Load Balancing distributes the available energy equally, preventing overcapacity while charging multiple vehicles.
Priority Load Balancing distributes the available energy in a more flexible manner than traditional Load Balancing can do. So if one car has consumed more than the others it might be put into a queue to a newly added car can begin charging. After the initial evaluation that happens within 2 minutes of a new car being added, Priority Load Balancing will check each car’s charging status every 15 minutes and adjust which is charging when until all are done.