Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that you may find helpful as you explore electric vehicles.


Are plug-in electric vehicles a viable option for fleets?
Many fleet owners around the country are finding that plug-in electric vehicles offer advantages, including a lower total cost of ownership and convenience. Many fleet vehicles return to a central depot, which makes charging easy in addition to being cheaper. Drivers have also identified benefits such as reduced (or zero) exhaust emissions and less noise. To learn more about electric vehicle fleets see Fleet Advantages, FleetAnswers.com, and the Electrification Coalition’s Fleet Electrification Roadmap.

How can I get my business involved?
Many local companies are involved in Rochester EV Accelerator. Their participation ranges from joining our team of partners to installing charging stations for public use and/or for their employees to use while at work, and hosting Ride and Drive events. If your employer would like to set up a meeting with our team, please contact Carolyn Levine at clevine@electrificationcoalition.org

Potential EV Owners

What is a battery electric vehicle (BEV)? What is a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV)?
An “electric vehicle” (also called a “plug-in electric vehicle”) uses power from the electrical grid stored in its battery to propel the vehicle with an electric motor. These vehicles fall into two primary categories: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in which all power is stored in an on-board battery, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which have a down-sized internal combustion engine in addition to the battery and electric motor.

Does it cost more to operate an electric vehicle than a gasoline-powered one?
Operational and maintenance costs of electric vehicles are significantly lower than their gasoline counterparts because electricity is much cheaper than gasoline. For example, the annual fuel costs for a 2017 Ford Focus Electric are approximately $600 per year, while fuel costs for a conventional 2017 Ford Focus S Sedan (gasoline) are $1,350. The U.S. Department of Energy publishes estimates of annual fuel costs for electric vehicles at fueleconomy.gov. For more details, please read Economic Savings and see how much you can save by using the Total Costs of Ownership calculator (which incorporates available federal and state financial incentives).

How and where can I charge an electric vehicle? How long does it take?
For most drivers, charging at home overnight is the most convenient option. Home charging can be accomplished with any standard 120V outlet, but for faster charging many electric vehicle owners install 240V charging equipment to cut the charging time in half. Charging stations may also be available at workplaces and at public locations. For more information about local charging stations, use our Station Locator, and learn more about the technology in Charging.

Is there a significant environmental benefit to electric vehicles? Will driving one impact my carbon footprint?
Electric vehicles are significantly more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional alternatives. When operating on battery power, electric vehicles do not generate tailpipe emissions, thereby contributing to cleaner air. The greenhouse gas emissions are lower for electric vehicles than conventional gasoline vehicles, even when accounting for the carbon emissions from power generation. To learn more, read Environmental Benefits and calculate the gasoline and emissions savings you could experience by switching to an electric vehicle using the Total Costs of Ownership calculator.

What electric vehicles are currently available? How do I know which one is right for me?
A number of different BEV and PHEV models are already available from various manufacturers, and the numbers, types, and options continues to grow. A full list of available electric vehicles, with driving ranges, charging times, and prices, can be found in the Consumer and Commercial Vehicle Gallery sections. Information about new vehicles as they come onto the market can be found on the Blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Are electric vehicles as safe as conventional cars?
All electric vehicles available for purchase are held to the same safety standards as conventional gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. Additionally, charging an electric vehicle is as safe as charging your cell phone. For more information, see Maintenance and Safety and speak to your local dealerships.

What kinds of tax credits and government incentives are available?
The federal government offers an incentive to purchase an electric vehicle, in the form of a tax credit worth up to $7,500. Residents of New York can also claim the Drive Clean rebate of up to $2,000 for an EV purchase.

How does driving an electric vehicle impact economic and national security?
High and volatile oil and gasoline prices hurt American businesses and families. Helping to maintain global stability and the free flow of oil also strains military resources and is costly to U.S. national security. With 97 percent of the U.S. transportation sector dependent on oil for fuel, plug-in electric vehicles offer a real solution to the economic and national security challenges posed by oil dependence. To learn more, visit Energy Security.

Will the battery still work after several years?
Having only been first introduced by Nissan and General Motors at the end of 2010, plug-in electric vehicles are still relatively new to the marketplace. Manufacturers are offering warranties for plug-in electric vehicles that are much longer than those they offer for conventional vehicles—typically 10 years and 100,000 miles. In addition, hybrids like the Toyota Prius—which use smaller batteries for low-speed travel and added propulsion—have already demonstrated strong battery performance and robustness over more than a decade of use. To learn more about plug-in electric vehicle technology, speak to your local dealerships.

How do I install a charging station in my home?
While electric vehicles can be charged from any standard 120 volt outlet, most owners prefer to install a 240 volt charging station. Licensed electricians can install your purchased charging equipment. Visit charging to learn more and stay up to date with developments on the blog.

Where can I buy an EV?
You can purchase an electric vehicle at any of the following local dealerships: O’Connor ChevroletVan Bortel FordVanderstyne ToyotaHenderson Ford of RochesterJim Barnard ChevroletWest Herr Ford of RochesterDorschel VolkswagenDorschel ToyotaDorschel NissanVision KiaGarber HondaGarber Porsche AudiBMW of RochesterVision Dodge Chrysler Jeep RamDoan Dodge Chrysler JeepIde HondaRalph Honda, and Molye Chevrolet

Potential Volunteers

What is Rochester EV Accelerator/the Electrification Coalition?
Rochester EV Accelerator is a groundbreaking initiative designed to combine all of the elements needed to make electric vehicle ownership straightforward and easy for consumers and fleets. This involves a range of aspects, including consumer education/awareness, public-private partnerships, streamlined regulations, and public charging infrastructure.

Rochester EV Accelerator is a project of the Electrification Coalition, headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Electrification Coalition is an advocacy group representing companies from the entire value chain of an electrified transportation system, and supports electric vehicles as the optimal way to reduce the nation’s oil dependence and its many associated costs on economic and national security. Also read, About Us.

What are the goals of this initiative?
Quite simply, the goal of this initiative is to make driving an electric vehicle the norm rather than the exception in the Rochester area. We want to expose residents of the Rochester area to plug-in electric vehicles, show them that electric vehicles can be a great option for any driver, and, hopefully, convince them to own one. In the longer term, Rochester EV Accelerator hopes to document the specific ways in which this “living laboratory” was successful and create a replicable model for electric vehicle deployment that can help guide similar efforts in other cities and towns across the country.

Why was Rochester chosen for this project?
Rochester was chosen for this project after an exhaustive search which considered cities and towns from all over the country. Ultimately, Rochester emerged because of the strong support of plug-in electric vehicles and technology from its local governments and its citizens’ strong interest in environmental stewardship and innovative technologies.

Who is financially supporting this project?
Rochester EV Accelerator is a non-profit initiative. ROC EV is administered by the Electrification Coalition and made possible by the support of the following partners: The City of RochesterGenesee Region Clean CommunitiesEnergetics Incorporated, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

How can I get more information?
With specific or additional questions that are not answered somewhere on this website, please Contact Us.

How can I get involved?
There are many ways, large and small, that you can be involved! Visit the Join Us page to find out more.