Lower-cost, longer-range batteries and friendlier plug-in models are bringing electric vehicles into the mainstream. Smart Columbus is committed to aggressively growing the electric vehicle market in Columbus by adding them to public and private fleets, securing a supply of new and used models and working with dealers and service technicians to create the nation's best environment to buy and service EVs.

Battery electric vehicles (BEV)

Fully electric vehicles with rechargeable batteries and no gasoline engine.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

PHEVs have a range of up to 50 to 60 electric miles and then seamlessly transition to a gas engine once the electric range is used giving.  This is a great choice for people who have long daily commutes.

How EVs work

All-electric vehicles have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged in to a charging station or wall outlet to charge. EVs emit no exhaust from the tailpipe and do not contain the typical liquid fuel components, such as a fuel pump, fuel line or fuel tank.

Regenerative Braking
Regenerative braking allows PHEVs and EVs to capture energy normally lost during braking by using the electric motor as a generator and storing that captured energy in the battery.

Fuel Savings

Cost per mile will always be cheaper with electricity. An Ohioan who drives 12,000 miles per year and charges exclusively at home would spend approximately $30 per month on electricity. Initial cost for a plug-in electric vehicle can be offset by fuel cost savings, lower maintenance costs and a federal tax credit.

Fuel costs—in the form of electricity—for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles are lower than those for similar conventional vehicles. Electric drivetrains are mechanically more efficient than internal combustion engines; EVs convert about 59% to 62% of the electric energy from the grid to power at the wheels, while conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 17% to 21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.

Additionally, electricity prices are less volatile than gasoline and diesel fuel prices, so you can reasonably forecast your fueling expenses over longer periods of time.




The average person drives less than 30 miles a day in Columbus so most EVs and PHEVs will have plenty of range to meet your daily needs.  Every night, quickly plug in, and you'll be full in the morning.  

Level 1: 120V

About 2-4 miles of range per hour of charging

If you drive 40 miles per day and charge overnight, you can be back to full in 9 hours. All electric vehicles come standard with an "onboard charger" compatible with a conventional 120V (Level 1) outlet, in addition to a Level 2 charger.


  • Low to no installation charges
  • Low impact on peak demand charges
  • Charge at home or office


  • Charge time is slow compared to other charging options

Level 2: 240V

About 25-38 miles of range per hour of charging

These chargers supply 240V of electricity, like an electric dryer or oven uses. Workplace charging typically uses Level 2 equipment. Homeowners interested in Level 2 chargers should have a qualified electrician install the charging equipment.


  • Charge time is significantly faster than Level 1
  • Significantly more energy efficient than Level 1 for short charge events (about an hour or less)


  • Installation costs are higher than Level 1
  • Potentially higher impact on peak demand charges

DC Fast Charging: Up to 50kW today

About 60-80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging

Direct-current (DC) fast charging equipment, sometimes called DC Level 2, typically enables rapid charging along heavy traffic corridors at installed stations. There are three types of DC fast charging systems, depending on the type of charge port on the vehicle: a J1772 combo, CHAdeMO or Tesla.


  • Charge time: About 20-40 minutes


  • Equipment and installation costs are much higher than Level 1 or Level 2 charging, meaning they're nearly always public, rather than at home
  • Increased peak demand charges
  • Potential issues with cold-weather operation

Next Generation DC Fast Chargers: 350-400V

About 200 miles of range per 10 minutes of charging


  • Bring charging time on par with refueling a gasoline vehicle
  • Can connect larger regions to be accessible via EV travel


  • High cost at current state of market
  • Not all vehicles are currently able to accept this level of charging



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