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About Electric Vehicles

Plug-in electric vehicles use electricity as either their primary fuel or as a means to improve the vehicle’s operating efficiency and must plug-in to a charging station to recharge the vehicle’s battery. All-electric vehicles rely solely on an electric battery for their operation. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles do have internal combustion engines, but can operate independently of that engine. Like the all-electric vehicles, these vehicles must plug-in to a charging station for additional battery capacity. There are also hybrid electric vehicles on the market, but these vehicles rely on their internal combustion engines for power and the battery offers greater efficiency in operation. Unlike the PEVs, these vehicles do not plug-in to charge their batteries.

Electric Vehicle Applications

The industry is ever-changing and new makes and models of electric vehicles are regularly announced. An electric vehicle (EV) is exclusively powered by an electric motor compared to a gasoline engine. The electric motor uses energy stored in its rechargeable batteries and the controller regulates the amount of power used based on the driver’s use of the accelerator pedal. There are three types of EVs: electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hybrid electric.

Below is a list of markets with electric vehicle options currently available.

  • Light-duty vehicles, including models such as sedans.
  • Medium- and Heavy-duty vehicles:
    • Shuttle buses
    • Trolley
    • Tractor
    • Vocational Truck 
    • Step Van
    • Refuse Hauler

Click on the Vehicle Availability icon to search for currently available electric vehicles.

Maintenance and Fueling for Electric Vehicles

There are maintenance-related aspects to consider when deploying alternative fuels into a fleet. Access to qualified technicians to service vehicles, modifications to existing on-site maintenance facilities, and access to adequate fueling stations are critical considerations. .

Click on the Alternative Fueling Station Locator icon above to search for accessible electric charging stations.

Cost Calculators

There are many tools available online to help calculate different aspects of natural gas vehicle deployment including petroleum reduction, return of investment, yearly savings, emissions, etc. The tools range in complexity, with the more basic calculators providing estimated savings and payback and more complex models addressing cost of ownership and emission reductions.

U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Cost Calculator - Calculates total cost of ownership and emissions based on individual driving habits, comparing up to eight vehicle makes and models

Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environment and Economic Transportation Tool - Calculates a fleet’s petroleum use, cost of ownership, and air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions

eGallon Price Calculator– Compares the cost of driving with electricity to regular gasoline

Plug-in Hybrid Calculator - Estimates personalized fuel use and costs for a plug-in hybrid based driving habits, fuel prices and charging schedule

Side-by-Side Vehicle Comparison - Compare up to four vehicles for fuel economy, emissions, safety, and vehicle specs

Electric Vehicle and Infrastructure Incentives

A number of major cities and regions in the U.S. are committed to making electric mobility a reality. These cities are actively pursuing ambitious deployment goals through a variety of innovative policy measures and programs. Many cities employ a mix of financial and non-financial incentives to boost demand for vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Federal Electric Vehicle Incentives

  • Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit: A tax credit is available for the purchase of a new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle that draws propulsion using a traction battery that has at least five kilowatt hours (kWh) of capacity, uses an external sources of energy to recharge the battery, has a gross vehicle weight rating up to 14,000 pounds, and meets specified emission standards. The minimum credit amount is $2,500 and the credit may be up to $7,500, based on each vehicle’s traction battery capacity and the gross vehicle weight rating. The credit will begin to be phased out for each manufacturer in the second quarter following the calendar quarter in which a minimum of 200,000 qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles have been sold by that manufacturer for use in the United States. This tax credit applies to vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009. For more information, visit: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/409

Electric Vehicle Incentives in the Southeast Region

Georgia Incentives

  • Zero Emission Vehicle Tax Credit: An income tax credit is available to individuals who purchase or lease a new ZEV. The amount of the tax credit is 20% of the vehicle cost, up to $5,000. For the purpose of this credit, a ZEV is defined as a motor vehicle that has zero tailpipe and evaporative emissions, including a pure electric vehicle. Low-speed vehicles do not qualify for this credit. Any portion of the credit not used in the year the ZEV is purchased or leased may be carried over for up to five years. For more information, refer to Georgia Code 48-7-40.16 or visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Alternative Fuels and Tax Credits website: http://www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/html/mobilearea/engines/Alternativefuels.htm
  • Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Tax Credit: An eligible business enterprise may claim an income tax credit for the purchase or lease of qualified EVSE provided that the EVSE is located in the state and accessible to the public. The amount of the credit is 10% of the cost of the EVSE, up to $2,500. For more information, refer to Georgia Code 48-7-40.16 or visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Alternative Fuels and Tax Credits website: http://www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/html/mobilearea/engines/Alternativefuels.htm
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption: The state of Georgia offers a special license plate for alternative fuel vehicles, which allows access to the designated HOV lanes. Any vehicle that has been certified by the EPA in accordance with the Federal Clean Air Act may apply for the Georgia AFV License Plate. Alternative fuel vehicles displaying the proper AFV license plate may use HOV lanes, regardless of the number of passengers. In addition, vehicles with the AFV tag may also use the state’s High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes toll-free. For more information, visit: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/law/GA/5183

Contact Clean Cities–Georgia for more information.

South Carolina Incentives

  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Tax Credit: An income tax credit is available for PHEV’s purchased or leased in state before 2017. The tax credit is equivalent to $667, plus $111 if the vehicle has at least five kWh of battery capacity, plus $111 for each additional kWh, with a maximum allowed credit of $2,000. Credits are given out on a first come, first served basis with the maximum allowable credit equaling $200,000. For more information, refer to Section 12-6-3376 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
  • Battery Manufacturing Tax Incentives: For taxation purposes, the taxable fair market value of manufacturing machinery and equipment purchased for use at a renewable energy manufacturing facility may be reduced by 20% of the original cost. Qualified renewable energy manufacturing facilities include those manufacturing batteries for hybrid electric, fuel cell, or other motor vehicles the South Carolina Energy Office has certified. Qualified facilities must invest at least $100 million in the project and create at least 200 new full-time jobs with an average compensation level of 150% of the annual per capita income in South Carolina or the county where the facility is located, whichever is less. Qualified facilities may also claim job development tax credits for employee relocation expenses through July 1, 2014. Additional restrictions apply. For more information, refer to sections 12-6-3377, 12-10-30, 12-10-80, 12-15-20, 12-15-30, 12-37-930 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Contact the Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition for more information.

Utility Incentives

  • Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Incentive – Alabama Power: Alabama Power offers a Business Electric Vehicle Time-of-Use (BEVT) rate for electricity purchased to charge PEVs used for non-residential purposes. The electricity used for vehicle charging is metered separately from all other electricity use. . For more information, visit http://www.alabamapower.com/business/pricing-rates/pdf/BEVT.pdf

In addition, Alabama Power offers a Residential PEV rate for customers that can verify possession of a qualified PEV. For more information, visit http://www.alabamapower.com/residential/pricing-rates/pdf/pev.pdf

Electric Vehicle Case Studies

Click on the Case Studies icon above for case studies highlighting the successful deployment of electric vehicle charging.

EV Readiness Workbook

EV Readiness is a collection of strategies, policies, and actions that empower a community to support the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and, as a result, derive the associated benefits. The purpose of this workbook is to introduce the concept of EV Readiness to community stakeholders in the Southeast—and in particular, in the Tri-State region of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The workbook provides resources and tools to enable a community to become EV Ready. “EV Readiness” requires the adoption of a number of strategies and policies from a variety of stakeholders to support the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Download the EV Readiness Workbook:

  • Section I introduces the concept of EV Readiness from both a national perspective as well for communities in the Southeast
  • Section II includes an in-depth examination of the roles of various stakeholders, including government, fleet managers, and property managers/employers.
  • Section III provides a number of resources for stakeholders to support their efforts to help their community become EV Ready.
  • Section IV introduces the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Scorecard. The U.S. Department of Energy developed the scorecard as a tool to help a community assess their readiness for plug-in electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support the vehicles. With the help of the scorecard, a community can elevate its EV Readiness, receive feedback on its strengths and areas in which they can improve, and record and track their progress towards EV Readiness.