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Here are some frequently asked questions – and answers – as well as some sources for more information on electric vehicles (EVs).

What is an EV?

EVs are vehicles that use either:

  • A battery pack to supplement the output of a standard internal combustion engine.
  • An internal combustion engine to power an electric generator that charges a battery system that supplies power to an electric motor that turns the wheels, or that
  • Run completely on a battery system that is charged by plugging into the electric power grid. 

What types of EVs are there?

There are four main types of EVs available on the market today,

  • Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV),
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV),
  • Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REV)
  • Battery electric vehicles (BEV).

Click here for more on the different types of electric vehicles that are available...

Incentives, Rebates, Tax Credits and Discounts

Are there incentives, rebates or tax credits available for purchasing these clean vehicles?

Yes, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) has a monthly discount, plus there are rebates up to $2,500 from the State of California (funds are limited) and federal tax incentives up to $7,500 (see federal and state tax credits).  Please see links below for additional information.

Cost Comparisons

Is there some easy way to compare the cost of operating an electric vehicle to the cost of a standard one?

Yes, there is. The U.S. Department of Energy has created a tool that uses basic information about your driving habits to calculate total cost of ownership and emissions for makes and models of most vehicles, including alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. You can compare up to eight at a time! 

Click here to access the DOE Comparison Tool...

Charging EVs

How do I charge my electric vehicle?

Depending on the vehicle, it may be charged at three different voltage levels:

  • Level I – 120-volt standard from a typical 20-ampere outlet in a home or at a business, requiring overnight charging at low cost.
  • Level II – 240-volt special charging station requiring installation by a licensed electrical contractor either at home, work, or a public site, requiring 4 to 8 hours at medium cost.
  • Level III – 480-volt public charging station with a fast charge of 5 to 10 minutes at higher cost, also known as a DC Fast Charger.
Are there charging stations in my area?

See EV Charger News to find public chargers in your areas.

City of Alameda Charging Stations

Click here for information...

Do I need a permit to install a charging station?

Yes, the City of Alameda requires an electrical permit.

More information about EVs

Here are some sites on the makes and types of electric vehicles available worldwide: 

California Clean Cars Campaign

Green Car

Plug-In America


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