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Electricity Fuel Basics

August 19, 2013 - 5:44pm


Electricity used to power vehicles is generally provided by the electricity grid and stored in the vehicle's batteries. Vehicles that run on electricity have no tailpipe emissions. Emissions that can be attributed to electric vehicles are generated during electricity production at the power plant.

Charging plug-in electric vehicles at home is as simple as plugging them into an electric outlet. Electric fueling costs for plug-in electric vehicles are generally lower than gasoline, especially if consumers take advantage of off-peak rates. However, electricity costs vary across the United States depending on location, type of generation, and time of use. For average U.S. electricity prices, see the Energy Information Administration's Factors Affecting Electricity Prices. Many states have public access electric outlets at libraries, shopping centers, hospitals, and businesses.

Fuel cells are being explored as a way to use electricity generated on board the vehicle to power electric motors. Unlike batteries, fuel cells convert chemical energy from hydrogen into electricity.

Visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center to learn more about electricity as an alternative fuel.