FAQs: Electric Vehicles


What is an EV?

An EV is an electric vehicle that is charged through the utility companies’ power grid.


What is a BEV?

A BEV is a battery electric vehicle which is propelled by an electric motor that receives its sole power from an onboard battery pack. An example of this is the Nissan Leaf.


What is a PHEV?

A PHEV is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which has an electric battery and a gasoline engine. The PHEV runs on battery power and converts to gasoline when the battery runs down. An example of this is the Chevrolet Volt.


What is an HEV?

An HEV is a hybrid electric vehicle which combines a traditional gasoline engine with a battery and electric motor.  This vehicle does not require an electrical power source. An example of this is the Toyota Prius.


What type of equipment is necessary to charge an EV?

Electric vehicles come with charging equipment that must be connected to your electrical system. There are two types of charging equipment that are available for residential and commercial use and a third that is strictly for commercial use.

  • A level 1 charging system can be plugged into most grounded electrical outlets, is usually rated for 15 amperes at 120 volts AC and charges an EV between 10 and 12 hours.
  • A level 2 charging system is fixed in-place and hard wired, requires a dedicated branch circuit between 30 and 60 amperes depending upon the manufactures specifications and charges an EV between four and six hours.
  • For commercial use only, a level 3 charging system is fixed in-place and hard wired, requires a dedicated branch circuit with an ampere rating and required voltage per the manufacturer's specifications and charges an EV in minutes rather than hours.


Are permits required for the installation of an EV charging equipment?

Yes, an electrical permit will be necessary if you are adding a new branch circuit to accommodate the equipment. A building permit may be necessary if you are installing a new concrete pad as a foundation for the equipment.


More Questions?

For more information about electric vehicles, contact a dealer nearest you. For more information on the permitting requirements of charging equipment, contact the Permit Application Center at 703-222-0801, TTY 711.


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