Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicle FAQs

Drivers can charge their electric vehicles any time, day or night. Shifting your charging to low-cost evening, early morning and/or weekend periods, however, can help you save money. Other factors that impact your charging cost include location and the rate plan you choose.

We offer two rates designed specifically for electric vehicles:

Our Residential Time of Use Rate is a similar option that offers additional time parameters. A time of day rate means that your kWh cost will differ depending on the time of the day electricity is used. If you can shift your electricity use to low-cost evening, early morning and/or weekend periods, you may benefit from these rates.

Our Experimental Residential Plug-in Electrical Vehicle Rate is generally used with your existing smart meter and applies to all your electric use (household and PEV). Reduced “off peak rates” incentivize customers to charge their vehicle during off peak hours.

Please note that neither of the above options requires you to install a 240v charging station.

If you have a plug-in vehicle, you are eligible for PEV rates. Please note that if you are currently on another rate option there may be a 12 month commitment period which must be met prior to switching to a new rate.

A separate meter makes it easier to track the energy cost for charging your vehicle. However, there are costs involved in installing a second meter and adding a circuit panel to power the charging station.

Simply driving an electric vehicle offers countless benefits for your wallet, the grid and the environment. To get even more, consider these options:

  • Use a Cost Savings Calculator to compare vehicle types/benefits before you buy
  • Apply for Federal tax incentives up to $7,500 on some vehicles to reduce your upfront cost
  • • If you drive a plug-in hybrid, charge your vehicle often so you can avoid fueling up with gasoline
  • Take advantage of public or workplace charging stations
  • Charge your vehicle on renewable energy such as solar or wind

Sign up for time of use rate options to benefit from off peak charging.

At this time, there are no utility, state or federal incentives for public charging stations. However, in mid 2019 we will launch a new program called PowerMIDrive which will offer rebates for charging stations to both residential and business customers.

We can only work on the utility side of the meter, providing the necessary service to your home. A licensed electrician should be consulted to install a charging station.

There are over 1,000 charging outlets in Michigan to charge EVs, and additional stations are being added on a regular basis. Find a charging station near you.

You can move to a time of day rate at no cost.
Your current rate code is identified on the second page of your monthly bill under the heading of Rate Information. This is on the left side of the page next to the Itemized portion of the bill.
You should be able to plug in your vehicle any time, but program it to charge during off peak hours. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for details.

Types of Electric Vehicles

Battery Electric Vehicles use only electricity to power the vehicle. All the electricity comes from an electric charging source and regenerative braking (using the vehicle’s kinetic energy to recharge the battery). Examples of BEVs include the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and any of the Tesla models. There are many different BEV choices coming to market over the next few years.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles use both gasoline and electricity. These vehicles have two power systems, an internal combustion engine and a battery. The battery can be recharged by plugging the vehicle into an external source. It also gains some charge through regenerative braking. Although vehicle technologies vary, PHEVS are charged by plugging in and through regenerative braking. Examples of PHEVs include the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi and Toyota Prius Prime.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine conventional internal combustion engine systems with electric propulsion systems. They use regenerative braking to convert energy that is normally wasted during braking/coasting into electricity. This electricity is stored in a battery until it’s needed by the electric motor. Examples of HEVs on the market today include the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse.

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EV Ready Checklist

Before you pull up in your electric vehicle, make sure your home is ready.

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