Electric Vehicles & Transportation

Electric Vehicles & Transportation


Electric vehicles (EVs) are vehicles that use batteries as an energy source, without relying on any other fuel. The battery in an EV is charged with an electric power source. While the generation of electricity may produce emissions, EVs do not directly emit any exhaust from combustion or associated contaminants and greenhouse gasses. Therefore, they are categorized as zero-emissions vehicles by the Environmental Protection Agency. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), on the other hand, have both a battery that powers an electric motor, and an internal combustion engine that relies on gasoline or diesel.

In the U.S., the number of fleet vehicles (operated by the federal and state governments, transit agencies, and fuel providers) that are electric grew by 264% between 2003 and 2017, from 2,588 to 6,824. Out of 266,300 jobs related to the production of alternative fuels vehicles, EV manufacturing supports 77,667 jobs (or 29% of alternative fuel vehicle jobs) nationwide.

One of the challenges in the use of EVs is the availability of infrastructure, as the range of most vehicles is between 80 and 100 miles before they need to be recharged, although a few luxury models can travel up to 250 miles.

To learn more about electric vehicles, visit the website of the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.