EV Basics

Learn About the Fundamentals of Electric Vehicles, Chargers and More

Vehicle Charging Station Types Resources

Woman on phone leaning on electric vehicle

Getting to Know the Basics

What Is an Electric Vehicle?

There are three types of electric vehicles (EVs): Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). BEVs are fully electric and must use charging stations to recharge. BEVs are the focus of the EV infrastructure initiative in Kentucky. Often those are the type of vehicle being referred to as “EVs”. The other types of electric vehicles still use internal combustion engines alongside battery power as shown below.

BEV Icon


Battery Electric Vehicle

+ Battery Power Only
+ Typical Range 150-400 Miles
+ BEVs Are Often Referred to As EVs and Are the Focus of KY’s EV Infrastructure Planning



Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle

+ Battery Power and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)
+ Typical Battery Range 20-40 Miles



Hybrid Electric Vehicle

+ Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Only
+ Battery Charges by Regenerative Braking or Using Engine as a Generator
+ Battery Allows for Smaller Engine and Reduces Idling

EV Charging Stations

EVs must charge using one of three types of chargers.

Level 1 chargers come with the vehicle and are often referred to as emergency chargers. They plug into a standard wall outlet (120V) but can take several days to fully charge an EV. Level 2 chargers use 240V power, which is what is used for large appliances. A Level 2 charger can fully charge an EV in about 10 hours. These are common for home, work, community, park, and retail center charging.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Level 3 charging refers to Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations. These are a completely different type of charging because they convert the standard alternating current (AC) power to direct current (DC) power to charge a vehicle much faster. They require much higher power levels and can fully charge a vehicle in 30 minutes. These installations are very expensive and are typically designed to support long distance travel and times when a driver needs a quick charge to stay on the road.

Level 1

EV Level 1

+ Standard Outlet
+ Slowest Charging
+ 250 Miles in 48-72 Hours

Level 2

EV Level 2

+ “Dryer Outlet”
+ Slow Charging
+ 250 Miles in 10 Hours

Level 3

EV Level 3

+ Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC)
+ Fastest Charging
+ 250 Miles in 30 Minutes

Types of Plugs

Another aspect of these charging types is the plugs. The types of plugs for each charging level are shown below. For DCFC stations, the market is currently settling on the CCS plug type as the universal standard, though Tesla still uses their proprietary plug type.

Level 1

Plug type 1

Level 2

Plug Type 2

Level 3

Plug Type 3

Where Do People Charge?

Guy charging EV

85% Charge at Home/Work


15% Charge Elsewhere


EV Benefits


Improved air quality, lower emissions


Lower fuel costs


Less vehicle maintenance, fewer moving parts


Noise pollution reduction


Energy diversity and use of renewables

Calculator with EV

How Much Does an Electric Vehicle Cost?

A new electric vehicle on average costs about $60,054 as of 2022, compared to all other new vehicles, which cost $45,596 on average, according to Edmonds data. While EVs cost about 10 to 15% more than standard vehicles, future projections show the cost will become more affordable in the next 20 years as the price gap narrows between the two. Additionally, lower maintenance costs for electric vehicles and their fuel efficiency are also factors to consider when estimating costs.

What is the Estimated Cost of a NEVI Charging Station?

Each commercial charging station for an electric vehicle is estimated to cost between $800,000 to $1.2 million, depending on power availability, site design and station features.

EV Vocab

Here are some of the common terms and acronyms for electric vehicles.


Electric Vehicle


Internal Combustion Engine 

(powered by gasoline or diesel fuel)


Battery Electric Vehicle, charged only with a battery


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, uses battery power for the first 20-40 miles and then it uses an ICE


Direct Current Fast Charging


Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, typically refers to EV charging equipment and infrastructure


Alternative Fuel Corridors (Federally defined)