The state's tiered rate system, in which customers are charged higher rates as they use more electricity, could make plug-in hybrid and battery-powered vehicles more costly to own, according to a Purdue University study.
The study was unveiled as the first of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are reaching consumers. Two vehicles, the all-electric Nissan Leaf (shown recharging above) and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, started being delivered to their first customers last month.
While the tiered electrical rate system was designed as an incentive to use less electricity, it will not help owners of plug in electric cars.
A plug-in hybrid Volt would increase the average household's electrical usage 60%, the study said. Although the study didn't explicitly examine all-electric vehicles such as the Leaf, "the same principle would apply."