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Why Plug-in Vehicles?

What are Plug-In Vehicles? Plug-in vehicles are vehicles that can be plugged in with an electric power cord and get some or all of their energy from electricity, instead of gasoline. There are two kinds of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) get all of their energy from electricity. Plug‐in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) use both electricity (from a plug) and gasoline. Standard hybrid cars (HEVs) do not have a plug and still get all of their energy from gasoline. You can learn about different types of charging here.

#DriveElectric 101

Thanks to the power of innovation, plug-in electric vehicles now work for virtually all lifestyles and budgets. Over 400,000 Americans have made the switch to #DriveElectric, and their reasons for doing so are as varied as their backgrounds.

  • Affordability: On average, fueling up when you drive electric is half the cost of a gasoline car, thanks to PEV’s performance efficiency and the lower cost of electricity. Electricity prices are also far more stable than gasoline prices, allowing drivers to avoid the risk of future price spikes.
  • Air Quality: Air pollution is the largest environmental health hazard in the U.S., in total killing more than 100,000 people per year. PEVs emit no air pollution and don’t even have a tailpipe. It’s estimated that PEVs could reduce deaths from air pollution by 70 percent!
  • Convenience: PEVs never require a trip to the gas station, tune‐ups, transmission repairs, spark plugs or oil changes. What’s more, a typical PEV has ten times fewer moving parts than a gasoline car. There's no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler or catalytic converter. So you can expect significantly lower maintenance costs.
  • Environmental Stewardship: PEVs powered by the grid currently produce 54 percent less (lifetime) carbon pollution than gasoline cars, which could grow to 71 percent by 2050 as our power supply gets cleaner. Even better, putting solar panels on your roof drops your car’s carbon pollution down to zero.
  • National Security: Our addiction to oil has huge national security implications. That's one reason ex‐CIA chief James Woolsey is on our advisory board. The U.S. imports around $1 billion of foreign oil every day (!) with 2/3 used for transportation. Every time you fill up your car, you are sending a check to foreign countries to pay for their oil. Why not send your money to the local electric utility or your neighborhood solar installer instead?
  • Performance: Plug-in cars offer a quiet, smooth and powerful ride. An electric motor provides full torque from a standstill and completely changes the experience of getting onto a fast‐moving freeway.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Sounds Great! Where Can I Get One?

From General Motors and Ford to Nissan and Mitsubishi, more and more automakers are launching plug‐in vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Today, there are over 30 plug‐in vehicles for sale in the U.S., and don’t forget to check for government/financial incentives in your area.  

Visit our monthly updated Plug‐in Vehicle Tracker* to learn more about highway‐capable cars and trucks, 2‐ and 3‐wheeled and commercial vehicles. Low‐speed electric vehicles and conversions are not included. For a list of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, visit

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*Plug In America provides the Plug‐in Vehicle Tracker for informational purposes only. We do not endorse or recommend any specific vehicle manufacturer or distributor.