Frequently Asked Questions
How do I charge my electric car at home?
Battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars come with a charging cord that plugs into any standard electrical outlet in your garage or house. This cord will typically provide 3-4 miles of driving range per hour of charging. Charging overnight can give you 30-45 miles of driving range. If you are buying a used car, make sure it comes with charging equipment. For faster charging, you can use what's called a "Level 2" charger. This type of charger uses a plug that is similar to what’s used for electric clothes dryers. If you own your home you may be able to have one installed, and many of the programs on this website will help you pay for it.
How much does a Level 2 charger cost?
The cost of buying and installing a charger at home ranges from $1,500 to $2,000, or more if you need an electrical panel upgrade. Many of the programs on this website can help you cover the costs of installing an at-home charging station, and your utility company may offer rebates as well. Find out if you can get help paying for a level 2 charger by using our benefits finder.
I live in an apartment building (or other place without a charger). How do I charge my car?
Most apartment buildings do not have electric charging stations. If you can’t charge your plug-in hybrid car at home, you can use public charging stations to avoid using gas. There are thousands of public charging stations all over the country, with more being built every day, and some of the programs on this website offer credits for public charging.
Find your nearest charging stations here: PlugShare Charging Station Map →
Is a plug-in hybrid car cheaper to drive than my gas-powered car?
Yes. While the exact cost varies based on the price you pay for electricity, driving on electricity is significantly cheaper than driving on gasoline. With a plug-in hybrid, you get the cost savings of electricity plus the long driving range of gasoline.
Are plug-in hybrid cars as safe as my old car?
Plug-in hybrid cars are safe. These cars must meet the same level of safety standards as all other cars. This means that a plug-in hybrid car is just as safe as a standard gas-powered car.
How long will the battery last?
Electric car batteries are designed to last more than 10 years. California law requires electric cars to have at least a 10-year or 150,000 mile warranty.
Will my insurance costs go up with a plug-in hybrid?
Insuring an EV is just like insuring a gas car. The price of insurance will depend on the cost of the car, combined with other factors like your driving record, where you live, how much you drive, and your deductible. Insurance for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles tends to cost a little more because the cars are more expensive. You can get quotes from your insurance company before you make the decision to buy.