Chicago Drives Electric Resource Hub

The automotive world is going electric, but are you ready? Is an EV right for you? Navigating this new EV world can be confusing. Chicagoland’s new-car dealers are here to help! Below are a list of resources to help you with anything from deciding if an EV is right for you, to shopping for an EV, to applying for EV tax credits. 

EV Terminology 101

  • BEV = Battery-Electric Vehicle. Quite simply, batteries provide the electric power for the motors that drive the wheels.
  • EV = Electric Vehicle. Generic term for a vehicle that uses electric motors to motive power. An EV can be battery powered or can get its electricity from something like a hydrogen fuel cell.
  • PHEV = Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Can be charged like a BEV and usually offers between 20-40 miles of all-electric range, most with somewhat reduced acceleration. After the battery is exhausted, the vehicle operates like a traditional hybrid using a gasoline-powered engine.
  • HEV = Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Traditional hybrid that uses a gas engine, electric motor(s) and battery to operate the vehicle in a very efficient way.
  • kWh = kilowatt-hour. Traditional measurement for the energy storage capacity or a BEV or PHEV battery. The most efficient BEVs can drive about 3.5 miles per kWh, meaning a battery with a usable capacity of 50 kWh would offer between 175-200 miles of range.
  • L1 Charger = Level 1 Charger. This is a basic wall-plug charger. Most BEVs come with one as standard equipment. Can be plugged into a wall outlet and then into the vehicle to provide a maximum of 5 miles of range per hour.
  • L2 Charger = Level 2 Charger. Can be free standing or wall mount but must be professionally installed in a home or business. Normally requiring 30-50 AMPS service. Can provide a BEV with 20-30 miles of range per hour.
  • L2+ Charger = Level 2-Plus Charger. Normally business-only installations. Can provide up to 75 miles of range per hour in the right conditions.
  • L3 Charger/DC Fast Charger = Level 3 Charger. Currently the fastest type of BEV charger available. Capable of charging a vehicle at 350 kWh per hour, although most vehicles cannot accept that rate of charge. The current standard is about 150 kWh. At that rate most BEVs can charge from 10 to 80% in about 20 minutes. After reaching 80% most BEVs dramatically slow the rate of charging to protect the battery.

Complete list of BEVs& Plug-In Hybrids

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EVAdoption provides a great listing of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

EV Charging 101

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insideEVs provides a comprehensive guide to EV charging for dummies.

 

EVs & Utilities

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ComEd wants to help educate consumers who are interested in purchasing an electric vehicle.

Guide to EV Rebates

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Get the inside scoop on the new Federal EV Tax Credit. Did you know Illinois also offers a $4000 EV rebate?

 

Owning an EV

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What to know before you buy ...Cars.com a lays the groundwork for EV ownership.

Real-World EV Cost Comparison

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Edmunds.com computes the true cost of ownership for EVs.

 

Additional EV Resourse Articles

Money.com article about EV vs. Gas Car

Good Tax Credit Article from Cars.com

A Guide to EV Jargon

Guide for the EV Curious