A one-stop shop for all things EV
PlugStar is an online tool that helps make electric vehicle shopping easy. Find the EV that best meets your needs and gets you connected with a qualified EV dealer near you.
Frequently asked questions
There are many things to consider before buying or leasing an electric vehicle (EV). To make EV ownership as simple as possible, here’s a quick list of things to consider before you buy an EV:
- How far and how often do you drive?
Most people drive less than 40 miles a day. If that’s you, then almost any EV will meet your needs and require just ordinary house current for charging. But if your travels often take you beyond 80 miles a day, you may want a longer-range vehicle and possibly an upgraded charging system.
- Check out the vehicles
The list is growing all the time. See what’s available.
- Check out incentives
See what incentives are available to you when you purchase an electric vehicle. Visit Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, Federal Tax Credits for EVs and California Clean Fuel Reward to get a point-of-sale incentive of up to $1,500 at a participating dealer. Find out about additional Federal Tax Credits for installing your home charger (EVSE) and grants available for low income customers.
- Look at charging options
Ordinary house current works just fine for most electric vehicles. But for those with larger battery packs and longer range, you may want to consider an electrical upgrade. Explore charging options.
- Look at rates
SMUD offers a Time-of-Day discount rate for electric vehicle charging. Learn more.
Find an EV dealer
Now that you've decided an EV is right for you, find your nearest qualified dealer.
This online tool helps make electric vehicle shopping easy. PlugStar helps you find the EV that best meets your needs and gets you connected with a qualified EV dealer near you.
This online tool helps you make an informed decision about buying an EV. Use the estimator to compare costs to buy and drive an EV versus a gas engine vehicle and decide if an EV fits your lifestyle.
(You’ll be directed to log in to My Account and then will be sent to the estimator tool. It uses your actual electricity usage to present realistic side-by-side cost comparisons between electric vehicles and gas vehicles that you select.)
Please note that after March 15, 2021, WattPlan will no longer support Internet Explorer 11, effectively ending support for all versions of the Internet Explorer browser.
Don't have an account yet? Registration is free.
You can also try the estimator by entering your data yourself, here.
Charging stations are described as level 1, level 2, or DC Fast Charger (Direct Current Fast Charging).
This uses ordinary household current. All electric vehicles can be charged on a standard 3-prong outlet and the charging unit that comes with your vehicle. It is the slowest charging mode for an electric vehicle.
- Uses a standard 120V outlet
- Takes 8 to 20 hours to fully charge a vehicle, depending on how depleted the battery is and whether it's a hybrid or fully electric vehicle
- Typically adds 5 miles of range per hour charged
- No set-up costs
- Level 1 safety tips:
- When charging a plug-in electric vehicle with a Level 1 EVSE, a heavy duty, 20-amp, hospital-grade 120 volt receptacle is recommended.
- Periodic inspection of your EVSE power plug is recommended.
- Excessive plugging and unplugging of EVSE at the wall receptacle can cause wear, potentially leading to arcing.
- Refer to your EVSE manufacturer’s installation and user guide manuals for specific safety guidelines.
Consider upgrading to a level 2 charging station if your vehicle has an electric drive range of 100 miles or more, or you simply want a faster charger. Consult your dealer for advice.
- Uses a 240V circuit
- Takes 4 to 8 hours to fully charge a vehicle, depending on how depleted the battery is and whether it's a hybrid or fully electric vehicle
- Typically adds between 12-20 miles of range per hour charged
- May require a panel upgrade by a qualified electrician. Find information about installers for your electric vehicle charger at SMUD Energy Store.
- Requires EVSE (Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment) and permits
- Available at some work and public sites
DC Fast Charger
This type of charger is not practical for residential installations due to cost and electrical equipment limitations.
- Use a 480V circuit
- Takes 20 minutes to reach 80% charge
- Requires a special plug receptacle on your vehicle
- Available at some public sites
Public Charging Stations
- Find a public charging station near you.
SMUD Charging Stations
You can charge most fast-charge EVs in less than 30 minutes at one of SMUD's charging stations.
- SMUD solar parking lot
6151 S Street, just west of the SMUD Headquarters building.
- Sacramento International Airport
Free waiting area
5750 Crossfield Dr.
- Citrus Heights
7825 Lichen Dr., adjacent to Raley's grocery store.
- Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
2820 R Street, Sacramento
- Amtrak Station
401 I Street, Sacramento
- Nugget Market
7101 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove
With SMUD's Time-Of-Day (TOD) rate, plug-in electric vehicle owners can receive, an additional 1.5¢ per kWh discount for charging your EV between midnight and 6 a.m. every day, all year long.
For a SMUD account to receive the EV discount, a plug-in electric vehicle must be registered with the DMV using the same service address as the SMUD account.MyAccount.
Hear what SMUD customers have to say about owning an EV
In the last year and a half, I’ve driven 95% on electricity and calculated that I’ve saved myself more than $1,000 in fuel based on the real-world mileage of my previous [gas-powered car].
I've been an EV owner for five years now. It literally has been life changing for me. I work as an environmental professional and see first-hand the effects from an international, national, regional and local level what oil-based transportation does to the environment, our national security and our well-being.
We don’t have to stop off at the gas station to fill up. We don’t have to change oil or coolant and regenerative braking saves on our brake pads. Best of all, we can forget about smog checks because we’re already at zero emissions.
Franklin's EV experience
Franklin and his family loved their first EV so much they purchased a second one. They're now hooked and can't imagine a life without an EV. Hear more from Franklin in the video below.
Converting to all-electric living will help save you money on your overall energy costs. We offer rebate programs that can help you transition to a cleaner, safer and more environmentally-friendly lifestyle while lowering your utility bills. The average residential customer that switches from gas to all-electric can save an average of over $500 per year on their energy bills, based on 2020 PG&E gas and SMUD electricity rates.