Electric Vehicle Myths
Electric Vehicle FAQs
Electric Vehicle Basics
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 EVs include the Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Mach-e, Ford F-150 Lightning, and all Tesla and Rivian models. There continues to be many different EV 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 Toyota Prius and others.
EVs have many benefits including being better for the planet as compared to non-EVs, being speedy, needing less maintenance and more. Learn even more benefits of EVs on our Why Go EV? page.
Yes! In fact, it’s estimated that on average you’ll save around $5,000 owning an EV and that savings is expected to only get higher. Get a closer look at how much money you could save with an EV and compare against a fuel-powered car by assessing the total cost of ownership.
Simply driving an electric vehicle offers benefits for your wallet, the grid and the environment. To get even more, consider these options:
Like your microwave or television, EVs can charge right through your wall outlet! This is the basic charger offered with EVs known as a Level 1 Charger, which is able to take the voltage from your normal outlet (110v) and charge your car. On average, Level 1 Chargers charge 5 miles of range per hour.
There is also a Level 2 Charger available, which uses 240v. The additional power allows charging to be quick around 25 miles per hour.
Charging is as simple as charging your phone — only the charge port is a lot bigger! At the base level, a Level 1 charger will go right to your wall outlet to your car. A Level 2 Charger, which requires an electrician to install, will act similar to your wall outlet as it’ll be attached to your wall, but it’s a lot bigger and will connect directly to your vehicle for charging.
Every day, there are more charging stations added throughout the U.S. Over the years, this is only expected to increase substantially. With wall outlets being accessible pretty much everywhere, you’ll always be able to find a way to charge your EV.
Be sure to see the number of Charging Stations around you with our Locate a Charger tool.
Call a licensed electrician to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet in your garage.
Our EV Ready Checklist can help guide you through the process.
The number of public charging stations in Michigan is growing every day. Click here to find a charging station near you.
You can charge your electric vehicle any time, day or night. However, charging overnight is the best way to take advantage of lower rates and save money, especially if you are on our Nighttime Savers Rate.
We offer two rates that can save you money when charging your electric vehicle:
We recommend our Nighttime Savers Rate for EV owners. It offers our lowest rate between the overnight hours of 11pm and 6am, when most EV owners charge their vehicles. It also rewards you with a lower rate if you shift some of your electricity use to the morning or evening hours.
Learn more about our Nighttime Savers Rate program.
Yes, our Rate Advisor tool lets you get an estimate of how much charging at home will add to your current bill and allow you to see how much you could save by enrolling in our rate programs.
You can save throughout the year by reviewing our rate programs schedule and you’ll see an impact on your bill. If you would like to switch your rate, here’s how:
Yes. Consumer’s Energy created the PowerMIDrive™ program to offer rebates of $500 on the installation of a Level 2 charger at your home, and rebates up to $5,000 and $70,000 on installations of public Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers on commercial properties. See the PowerMIDrive™ program details.
If you have a Level 2 charger that’s not on the approved rebate list you could get up to $120 through our Bring Your Own Charger program.
You may also be eligible to receive a federal tax credit of 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing an EV charging station (up to $1,000 for residential installations and up to $30,000 for commercial installations) with the retroactive credit. Learn more with our Incentives tool.
The PowerMIDrive program was approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission and developed on the premise of creating a managed vehicle charging infrastructure which includes residential, public workplace and public DC Fast charging incentives.
In an effort to understand when drivers are charging and the impact of incentives and time of use rates, it was necessary for all stations to have Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity that would enable the collection of anonymous charging data. This will enable us to collect data that will help determine the effectiveness of the program.
Our evaluation of networks and charging station manufacturers is ongoing. So it is likely that we will add additional stations to the authorized list.
Tesla home and public charging stations have not been identified as authorized stations because they can’t collect and share anonymized charging information with a network.
Tesla owners have the ability to purchase one of the authorized residential or public stations that have a J1772 plug and then utilize the [J1772/Tesla] connector that comes standard with Tesla vehicles.
Using the adapter is a seamless approach to participate in the rebate program, while increasing your ability to monitor and manage your vehicle charging through the Chargepoint mobile app.
Tesla owners can also take advantage of our Bring Your Own Charger program, and get up to $120 through our Bring Your Own Charger program.
Due to the charging station connectivity requirements of the PowerMIDrive program, residential customers must have Wi-Fi connectability in their home. Due to the continuous data collection and interaction between the charging station, network and mobile app, the use of a wireless device or mobile hot spot would not be an approved source for Wi-Fi access.
WIFI is not necessary to take part in Bring Your Own Charger program.
All residential customers should review the program guidelines to ensure they, and the equipment they choose, are eligible for the rebate. If you have questions, please email the PowerMIDrive team at PowerMIDrive@cmsenergy.com or call us at 877-904-8246.
Customers interested in public station rebates should be aware that applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and evaluated against many factors. Since it is our goal to extend electric vehicle infrastructure across the state, applications may be reviewed multiple times prior to being accepted or denied, so we can ensure infrastructure availability expands as efficiently as possible.
Customers that are not participating in the rebate program do have the ability to use any of our rates, including our Nighttime Savers Rate or Smart Hours Rate that lower the cost of vehicle charging during off peak periods. Customers can contact the PowerMIDrive team at PowerMIDrive@cmsenergy.com or call us at 877-904-8246 to request the rate change.
Customers who have reviewed the guidelines and feel they will not qualify because they don’t have an approved charging station are still encouraged to submit an application. We are continuing to evaluate options that would enable additional chargers to be added to the authorized list, (including Tesla). If a customer is initially declined a rebate and their station is later approved in the program, Consumers Energy will contact the customer. In addition, this provides a means for us to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and what is and is not working.
In addition, all customers who have installed a Level 2 charger in their home should check to see if they qualify for the Bring Your Own Charger program.
From installing a charger to learning about rates,
we’re here to answer your questions.