Electric vehicles (EVs)are becoming more and more popular. They’re great for the environment, but they also have a lot of benefits that regular cars don’t offer. However, the art of charging an EV can seem like a tricky process. If you are interested in buying an EV, or if you already own one and are looking to supplement your current charging solution for one more efficient or quicker, today’s blog post is for you!
To start with the obvious, an EV will need to be plugged in wherever the user wants or needs to charge. With so many different kinds of charging stations out there, it can be hard to know what to expect from them. This guide will help you understand all about the charging options so you’ll have a much easier time with EV ownership.
So how do you charge your EV at home? And what are the levels of charging if I am not at home?
Level 1 – Standard 110 Volt wall outlet charging. 3-5 miles of range per hour. This is the slowest type of EV charging. The ideal candidates for this minimal level of charging are those that drive less than the 31-mile daily American average and are able to leave the car plugged in overnight.
Level 2 – 208-240 Volt specialty charging. 12-80 miles of range per hour. The ideal candidates for this intermediate level of charging are those who find themselves driving more than 31 miles per day or have schedules that do not allow for consistent 8-12 hour overnight charging with 110V chargers. Many people buying EVs choose to retrofit these faster-charging systems into their homes, either by necessity or just peace of mind that their EVs will be charged and ready to go in the morning. They are fully programmable and allow users additional freedom to take extra trips. Additionally, the cost to upgrade can be completed for under $1000, and 30% (up to $1000) of install cost is covered by a federal tax rebate.
It goes without saying, but we at OneRequest encourage you to consult both your current state incentives and your trusted electrician.
Level 3 – 400-900 Volt DC Fast Charging. 3-20 miles of range per minute. These charging solutions are usually found in public locations, especially along major interstate routes, and are as close to a traditional gasoline experience as we have today. With the newest EVs able to accept faster charges, it is possible to gain a full range charge in as little as 30 minutes. These applications cost too much to feasibly install at home (as of the time of writing), but as with many things, competition will likely bring the cost down drastically in the near future.
Do all cars use the same charger?
Most cars use the same charger, known as the J1772. Tesla has a proprietary network of Level 3 Supercharging stations, but adapters exist to allow Level 3 charging at more common stations as well. In layman’s terms, Teslas can be outfitted to charge anywhere, but other makes and models will charge only at more standard charging stations.
The second most common charger for EVs is CCS which was introduced to allow AC/DC fast charging on J1772 charging connections. EV manufacturers all over the world use this type of charger including the BMW i3, Kia e-Niro, VW e-Golf, and Jaguar I-Pace.
The CHAdeMO standard charger is almost as common as CCS, with many stations having both CHAdeMO and CCS. All CHAdeMO compatible vehicles come from Japanese manufacturers, with the most common being the Nissan LEAF.
It’s an exciting new world in EVs and hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to maximize the efficiency of your charge!