Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

Frequently Asked Questions

Electric Vehicles - General

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Does the PUD offer electric vehicle charging incentives?

The PUD wants to partner with its customers as they consider purchasing and operating an EV. Today, the PUD does not offer incentives for cars or charging equipment but is in the process of evaluating alternatives to support customers. Customers can check back for PUD incentives in the future; updates will be posted on our site.

What are the different types of Electric Vehicles (EVs)?

“Electric Vehicle” is an umbrella term encompassing all three types of electric cars.

  • BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLES - 100% electrically powered and run using electric motors.
    • Charging: must be plugged in to charge.
    • Battery Electric Hybrid Examples: Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, Ford Focus Electric, BMW i3
  • PLUG-IN HYBRID - have an electric motor as well as a gas engine.  20-40 mile electric range.
    • Charging: must be plugged in to charge.
    • Plug-in Hybrid Examples: Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in, Honda Accord Plug-in
  • STANDARD HYBRID – have an electric motor to assist the gas engine to increase fuel economy.
    • Charging: Standard hybrids DO NOT need to be plugged in to charge.  By using regenerative breaking, they charge when the car drives.
    • Standard Hybrid Examples: Toyota Prius, Chevy Malibu Hybrid, Honda Insight, VW Jetta Hybrid
What are the charging options for customers living in apartments, condos, or townhomes?

We recommend customers talk with their building manager or homeowner’s association about charging options. More and more workplaces are also offering charging stations as a resource for their employees, which can serve as an effective alternative to home charging.

How far can EVs drive?

It depends on the vehicle but most can drive over 100 miles between charges, more than covering the average American’s 32-mile roundtrip commute.

Will the battery have to be replaced?

EV drivers are unlikely to ever have to replace the battery. Batteries are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle and will likely include an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty against performance degradation.

Can customers charge with green power?

Yes! The PUD serves customers with 98% carbon-free power. In addition, PUD customers have the option to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) which support the production of clean energy in the Western US. RECs cost $4.50, and each one certifies that 1,000 kWh of energy generated by a renewable source has been delivered to the electrical grid.

Do EVs reduce emissions?

Transportation accounts for nearly a third of America’s carbon pollution. EVs have no tailpipe emissions, and Snohomish PUD customers charge with 98% carbon-free power. In other words, EV drivers directly replace fossil fuels with clean energy sources.

Are there federal incentives or tax credits available?

Federal incentives or tax credits are available for some models. These benefits are subject to limits. Customers should talk to their auto dealer for specifics.

Will driving an EV increase my electric bill?

EV charging will increase the customers’ monthly electricity bill. The increase depends on how much the customer drives and how much he/she charges the car.

However, the average customer saves over $1,700 per year by charging with electricity instead of going to the pump. So even though monthly electricity bills will increase, customers save money overall.


Electric Vehicles - Charging

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What are the different levels of chargers?

There are three ‘levels’ of chargers.

  • Level 1: 120 V – Home Charging
    • Plug EV directly into a standard wall outlet
    • Slower charging time (10-24 hours starting from an empty battery)
  • Level 2: 240 V – Home, Public, and Workplace charging
    • For home use, a Level 2 charger must be installed
    • Quicker charging time (4-10 hours starting from an empty battery)
  • Level 3: 300-800 V DC – Public and Workplace charging
    • Called: DC Fast Chargers (DCFC)
    • Not available for home use.
    • Extremely fast charging time (80% charge in 30min. Can fully charge in under an hour)
Do all EVs have the same charging cable and connector?

Different car manufacturers use different plug shapes to connect their cars to power.  There are public charging networks for each of the connector types, so it should be easy to find a charger for any connector. Adapters are available so a given car can use several different plug types.

There are three main connector types:

  • Supercharger, which works with Tesla
  • CHAdeMO, which works with Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kia, and Tesla (with adapter)
  • SAE (also called CCS), which works with BMW, Chevy, Volkswagen

Click here to see an up-to-date map with all of the different chargers.

Is an electrical upgrade required to own an EV? How do I know if an upgrade is required?

It is recommended that you charge on a dedicated circuit (and some cars even require a dedicated circuit). Customers can work with an electrician to assess the electrical load and determine if an upgrade is needed at their homes. 

Do I need to install a Level 2 Charger?

Any EV can power up through Level 1 charging given enough time. If you drive long distances or need faster charging, customer can consider Level 2 charging.

What are the steps to install Level 2 charging at home?

In general, consider these steps:

  1. Choose a Level 2 charger. Online searches can help, make sure it’s UL listed to meet safety requirements.
  2. Talk with electrician about permits and installation procedures.
  3. We recommend that an electrician installs the charger, but it is not required.
  4. The PUD asks customers to fill out our New Service Questionnaire & Application Form if they’re considering the purchase of an electric vehicle so that the utility can plan appropriately for electrical needs in their neighborhood. The form can be found on our website at snopud.com/EV

PUD customers are free to use any electrician. If customers do not have a preferred electrician, we recommend asking for referrals from friends or neighbors, checking a referral website, or visiting a local home improvement store.

How much do Level 2 chargers cost?

Depending on installation fees and the charger you select, the cost will vary. Chargers start at $500, and we recommend getting installation estimates from at least three electricians.

Is there a recommended time to charge an EV at home?

Postponing night-time charging to 10 p.m. helps the utility manage periods of higher demand and keep all utility bills low.  

Does it cost to use a public charging station?

Most public chargers have a small usage fee that varies depending on the charging network. Check the charger location map for an up-to-date list of all chargers and their usage costs.

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