Electric Vehicles 101

Plug-in electric vehicles, known as PEVs, offer you a clean, quiet and enjoyable ride. In the coming years, even more exciting developments in all-electric vehicles will occur. Carmakers are promising drivers that the next generation of PEVs will be more affordable and have at least 200 miles of battery range on a single charge. PEVs have the added advantage of being better for the environment, especially those getting their charge from clean energy sources, which greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with driving. If a PEV is a good fit for your lifestyle and driving habits, you’ll find that there are other benefits compared to standard motor vehicles. Below is some information that may be helpful to you if you are considering purchasing a PEV.

Level 2 charger rebates are now available!

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Selecting an Electric Vehicle

There are two types of electric vehicles on the market. The first type is the “Battery Electric Vehicle” (BEV), which is powered solely by electricity. The second type is the “Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle” (PHEV), which is initially powered by electricity and then switches over to gas once the electric battery power has been fully depleted. See below for more information about each type of vehicle.


Battery Electric Vehicles, often referred to as BEV, are vehicles that are powered solely by electricity that is collected through rechargeable battery packs. The range of new BEVs can be anywhere from 85-335 miles depending on the make and model. Moving forward, manufacturers are aiming to make affordable BEVs with over 200 miles of range. In fact, there are currently three BEVs on the market with 200+ mile range and a starting price tag less than $40,000.


Vehicle batteries are charged using an electric vehicle charger. This could be something as simple as the 120-volt outlet already installed in your home or it could be something that is more powerful and requires installation for quicker charging time, like the Level 2 Charger. Although uncommon in a residential setting, DC Fast Charging is often available in public settings and is the fastest charging option.

Environmental Benefit

Battery Electric Vehicles do not have any emissions from the tailpipe and do not consume gasoline. Therefore, they help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Market Examples

Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model S


Plug-in hybrids, which are also known as PHEVs, are powered by a battery for short trips and an internal combustion engine for long trips. The first 10-50+ miles of range (depending on make and model) is powered by electricity that is stored in a battery inside the vehicle. Once the battery is depleted, the vehicle seamlessly switches over to an internal combustion engine that uses gasoline to power the vehicle. No matter the power source, regenerative braking is constantly being used to recuperate energy lost. With typical fuel ranges of 350-500 miles, PHEVs are a great option for any driver.


Battery power is the primary power type for these vehicles. The battery can be charged at home through a simple 120-volt outlet that is already installed or a more complex Level 2 Charger that the homeowner would need to install. On the go, these vehicles can also be charged using a DC Fast Charger. When their battery no longer has a charge left, the vehicle is then powered by the internal combustion engine, which is fueled using gasoline. This reduces the anxiety of running out of battery power on longer trips.

Environmental Benefit

Although they still omit some tailpipe emissions, plug-in hybrid vehicles reduce both fuel consumption and overall emissions in comparison to a traditional internal combustion vehicle. As a result, they help reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions.

Market Examples

Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi

Electric Vehicle Charging

Level 1 Charger

Level 1 Charger

Current: 120 volts (standard outlet)

Location: home (often garage), business (parking lot)

Ideal Vehicle: PHEV (most practical) and BEV

Charge Time: 3-5 miles of range per hour

Level 2 Charger

Level 2 Charger

Current: 240-volts (same as a typical dryer outlet)

Location: home, business, commercial

Ideal Vehicle: PHEV and BEV(most practical)

Charge Time: 10-25 miles of range per hour

    DC Fast Charger

    DC Fast Charger

    Current: 480+ volts

    Location: commercial

    Vehicle: BEV

    Charge Time: 20 to 30 minutes give you approximately an 80% charge

    Charger Comparison
    Charger Type Advantages Disadvantages
    Level 1 Charger Inexpensive, easy to install, convenient way to charge a PHEV Slowest charging method
    Level 2 Charger Charge at a faster rate than Level 1 Chargers, allows a vehicle to get a practical charge in a short period of time More costly than Level 1 Chargers, rewiring is often necessary for installation
    DC Fast Charger Fastest charging method Much more costly to install than other charging options, hardware varies from vehicle to vehicle

    Need a charger?

    Visit this site that will allow you to search for chargers in your area.

    Cost Savings

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Santee Cooper at this time does not offer any incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles by our customers. However, our customers may be eligible for federal incentives. To learn more about what federal incentives that you may qualify for, please click here.

    Electric vehicles can be charged at any time! That being said, Santee Cooper asks you to charge late at night if possible. Charging late at night when Santee Cooper doesn’t have as high of an energy load helps keep energy costs low for all of our customers.

    There are a wide variety of electric vehicles available to meet the varying needs of their drivers. To learn more about the various types of electric vehicles in the market place, please click here.

    Horry, Georgetown and Berkley counties have electric vehicle chargers available to members of the public. To learn more about the locations of these chargers, click here.

    There are a variety of chargers available within the market place, each with their own benefit. Many commercial customers select either a Level 2 Charger or a DC Fast Charger because of their quick charging time. To learn more about charging options please see the EV charging section above or reach out to us directly using the contact info at the bottom of this page.

    Santee Cooper does not have any programs in place for electric vehicle fleets at this time. However, for additional information, please feel free to reach out to 843-234-7147.

    It is recommended that you install a charger in your home because that is often the most convenient charging location. That being said, installing the most basic charger, a Level 1 Charger, is as simple as plugging the charger provided at the purchase of the car into your standard wall outlet. For vehicle owners looking for more charging power for at home, they can install a Level 2 Charger. If you are unsure if your home is suitable for level 2 charging, it is recommended that you call your electrician. They should be able to come to your home and install a 240-volt outlet if needed.

    Questions Concerning Electric Vehicles?

    Contact us by submitting your questions on the form below or calling us at 843-234-7147. Please allow 1-2 business days for a response.