An electric vehicle, or “EV,” is a car, truck, SUV or motorcycle that derives all or part of its power from an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The number of EV models is increasing all the time. EVs include vehicles in a variety of price points, and include sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs. For more information, see EV Buyer’s Guide from Sonoma Clean Power.
Sonoma EV 101
You can find the nearest EV charging location using the Plugshare website or app. There are three basic types of charging available for EVs:
- Level 1 charging happens through a regular 110 household outlet. Most EVs include a level 1 charger, which is portable, and can be plugged in anywhere there is an electrical outlet. They charge at a rate of about 4 miles per hour of charge time, which is enough to top off most cars overnight.
- Level 2 charging happens through a dedicated device connected to 240 volt power (like a clothes dryer). They can be installed in the home, and charge a car 4-5x faster than level 1. You can get up to 20 miles or more in an hour of charging. Level 2 charging is also available in many public places, including shopping centers, office parks, public parking lots and elsewhere. Sometimes these chargers require you to pay a nominal fee of $2-3 dollars, or sometimes they are free.
- Level 3, or fast charging, happens through high-voltage DC devices, that are most commonly located along highways and transportation corridors. You usually have to pay a few dollars to charge, but drivers on longer trips are happy to be able to charge at a rate of 200-300 miles in an hour, meaning they can top off an empty battery in 20 minutes.
Electric vehicles can promote local, regional, and global sustainability through reduced emissions, integrating with renewable electricity, and energy independence. Electric vehicles help reduce this pollution locally and regionally as electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions when using electricity as a transportation fuel. This helps improve and maintain air quality locally and regionally.
On-road transportation accounts for 52% of greenhouse gas emissions in Sonoma County. As such, electric vehicles can help contribute towards mitigating the impacts of global climate change because electricity has much lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. In Sonoma County, those greenhouse gas emissions are even lower thanks to Sonoma Clean Power (SCP).