Introduction to Electric Vehicles

Plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) are fast, fun, and efficient. Maintenance is simpler and cheaper. Re-"fueling" is as simple as plugging into an electrical outlet, and you'll spend the equivalent of about a $1.50 per gallon of gas to do so. EVs increase our energy independence and contribute to healthier air and lower carbon emissions. And purchase incentives are available to help reduce the cost of your EV purchase—so the time to take advantage is now!

Types of EVs

Plug in electric vehicles (EVs) come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are a variety of super-efficient options powered by electricity, like electric-assist bicycles, neighborhood electric vehicles, and motorcycles. For the passenger cars and trucks used by most Vermonters there are two basic EV designs:

All Electric Vehicles (AEVs)

Powered solely by electric energy stored in the battery

The Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3, and BMW i3 are examples of all-electric vehicles in Vermont.

Is it for me?

Good option for two-car households, those with shorter commutes, and EV lovers with a pioneering spirit. Range on the coldest Vermont days will be much less than the official manufacturer ratings. For example, an AEV with 250 miles of official range might be closer to 125 miles in frigid conditions, so this should be factored into vehicle purchase considerations. Many all-electric models now offer over 200 miles of range, making it easier than ever to make the switch.


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

Powered by a combination of battery power and gasoline engine

The Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, and Toyota Prius Prime are examples of PHEVs. Generally they do not travel as far as all-electric vehicles on battery power, but when the battery runs low, the gasoline engine turns on to extend their range.

Is it for me?

Convenient option for longer commutes, road trippers, and people who need more range flexibility.

Where Are the Vermonters with Electric Vehicles?

They are plugging in all over the state

As of April 2020 there were 3,912 passenger EVs in the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles registration database. This is a 26% increase over the past year. Electric cars are also spreading across the state, and are now in 90% of Vermont communities.

About 55% of the EVs are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which can run on both electricity and gasoline, providing greater range confidence among drivers with the flexibility to run on gasoline when needed.

Interested?

See the latest updates on EVs registered in the state of Vermont:

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Current Electric Car Ownership Snapshot

Vermont has experienced substantial growth of electric vehicles registrations over the past year. As of April 2020:

  • EVs are registered in 90% of Vermont communities.
  • The number of EVs increased by 813 vehicles or 26% over the past year.
  • Plug-in vehicles comprised 7.4% of new passenger car registrations over the past quarter.
  • About 48% of plug-in vehicles registered in the last quarter were leased, a popular and affordable way to obtain an electric car.
  • Used EV registrations continue to grow as an estimated 7% of EVs registered in the last quarter were used.
  • About 55% of the EVs are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which can run on both electricity and gasoline, providing flexibility to run on gasoline when needed.
  • There are 52 unique models of plug-in cars registered in the state. Two new models entered Vermont this quarter – the Audi Q5 E and Volvo S60 plug-in hybrids.
  • The Nissan LEAF had 38 added registrations this quarter, the most of any model. This was followed by the Tesla Model 3 (34), Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid (33), Chevrolet Bolt (25), Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (19), Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (18), Volkswagen eGolf (15), Kia Niro EV (10), Hyundai Kona Electric (7) and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (7).
  • Chittenden County has the most EVs registered (1,479) and highest rate of EV ownership with about 1 EV for every 105 people.
  • There are now 249 public charging stations for electric vehicles across the state.
  • Vermont has 28 DC Fast Chargers available for EVs equipped with this technology to quickly recharge in about 30-60 minutes for longer trips. 

Electric Vehicles Outperform Gas-Powered Cars

Electric Vehicles (EVs) often come with features typically seen in luxury vehicles such as navigation, Bluetooth, heated seats, heated steering wheels—even solar panels. In addition to finding everything inside your EV that you would in most other vehicles, EVs also provide tremendous traction due to the distributed weight of their batteries. Some EV owners report that they are better in the Vermont snow than any AWD vehicle they have owned.

The Key Difference

Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles burn fuel to generate the heat that creates propulsion, whereas electric car motors generate torque from the start.

There is no delay when you press the accelerator on an electric car, unlike when you touch the pedal on a gasoline powered vehicle. The Formula E racing series demonstrates how vehicles powered by electricity are competing at the top levels of racing. And in this video two Lotus sports cars, one powered by electricity and the other by gasoline compete. (It isn't even close!)