Plug-in Electric Vehicle Basics

Plug-in Electric Vehicle Basics

All around the Madison area increasing numbers of people are discovering the benefits of driving electric vehicles. MGE has prepared for this trend by installing a network of 30 public charging stations.

Benefits of electric vehicles

  • Reduced gasoline use. Most gasoline comes from foreign sources. Electricity generation uses domestic fuels.
  • Lower fuel costs. Electricity is less expensive per mile driven than gasoline or diesel fuel.
  • Reduced air emissions. And you can offset electricity emissions by buying green power for your home and vehicle charging through MGE's Green Power Tomorrow program.

Public charging available

  • MGE has installed a network of 30 public charging stations. See charging station map or find public charging stations in U.S. by downloading the Alternative Fueling Station Locator app for iPhone.
  • Powered by 100% wind energy, they are available to extend your car's driving range.
  • 27 stations offer Level 2 (240 volt) charging. Some of these stations also offer Level 1 (120 volt) charging.
  • Three stations have a DC Fast Charger. Both CHAdeMO and CCS charging is available.

How can I get access to MGE's public charging stations?

Home charging options

  • Standard Level 1 charging requires nothing more than an available 120-volt outlet and the cord and adapter that come with your electric car. Using a standard extension cord is not recommended and may void your warranty.
  • Level 2 charging requires a 240-volt outlet and a home charging system. A licensed electrician can tell you if your home is charging station ready.
    • You may need additional wiring to install a dedicated circuit and 240-volt outlet.
    • Depending where you live, an electrical permit and inspection may be necessary for the electrical work.
    • MGE wants to know if you plan to install a Level 2 charger so we can be sure our distribution system is prepared to serve your additional energy needs. Please call MGE's Home Energy Line at (608) 252-7117(608) 252-7117.
  • If you live in an apartment or condominium complex, please talk with your landlord or property management company about your options for a home charging station.

What type of home charging equipment should I buy?

Auto manufacturers can provide information about home charging stations that are compatible with your vehicle. An excellent online source of information is

What does a home charging system cost?

  • Installation and equipment costs for a home charging system can range from $500 to $3,500, depending on the type of equipment and any electrical work needed at your home.
  • A qualified electrical contractor can provide an accurate estimate. Be sure to work with an electrician who is licensed and insured.
  • You may also need an electrical permit, which will be an additional cost. Your electrician can provide more information.

What does it cost to charge my electric vehicle at home?

The cost to charge your car at home depends on its battery capacity and electricity rate.

Using a Level 1 or 2 charging system changes the length of time for charging, not the cost.

Does it cost less to charge my electric vehicle at night?

Some cars allow you to charge during off-peak hours, primarily at night, when less electricity is used.

  • To take advantage of lower, off-peak electricity prices, enroll in MGE's time-of-use rate.
  • Pay more during high use, on-peak hours (10 a.m. to 9 p.m., excluding holidays and weekends) and much less during all other times.
  • The more electricity you use off-peak (not just vehicle charging), the more money you can save.
  • Visit or call our Home Energy Line at (608) 252-7117(608) 252-7117 to learn more.
time of use hours

How long does it take to charge my electric vehicle?

Charging times vary based on make and model of vehicle, battery state-of-charge and other factors. As a general rule:

Vehicle Charge Time*
  Voltage Plug in hybrid electric Battery electric
Level 1 charging 120 volts 6-8 hours 21 hours
Level 2 charging 240 volts 3-4 hours 7 hours
DC fast charging 500 volts 80% in 30 minutes 80% in 30 minutes

* From fully depleted battery.

MGE is ready to help

  • We can help you plan for electric vehicle charging.
  • Call the Home Energy Line at (608) 252-7117(608) 252-7117.

MGE's Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Electric Vehicle Guide for Multifamily Fact Sheet [590 kB PDF]
Electric Vehicle Guide for Apartment and Condo Residents Fact Sheet [1.2 MB PDF]
Electric Vehicle Guide for Property Managers, Builders and Developers Fact Sheet [600 kB PDF]
Electric Vehicle Charging Questions? We Have Answers [253 kB PDF]
Workplace Charging: An Employer's Guide [548 kB PDF]
Cold Weather and Electric Vehicles [107 kB PDF]
MGE's EV Charging Research

For more information

Visit GoElectricDrive:

  • See which auto manufacturers have electric vehicles available.
  • Use the calculator to estimate potential savings from going electric.
  • Find brands of at-home charging equipment.

Visit US DOE Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center for comprehensive information about:

  • Electric vehicles.
  • Pricing.
  • Charging locations.
  • More information.