How to use EV Charging Stations to Charge your Electric Car
Charging your Electric Vehicle and how to use EV Charging Stations
Are you considering buying an electric vehicle (EV) but are concerned about where, when and how to charge it? Surely many first-time buyers hesitate to make that carbon-free lifestyle move of purchasing an EV after envisioning themselves with a depleted car battery, stranded in the middle of nowhere and miles from a charging station.
While the fear is valid, you’ll be relieved to know that there are alternatives to charging your EV. In fact, you’ll have choices, no matter what your typical EV mileage is.
While the electric car was invented in the mid-1800s, it didn’t become available to the mass markets until the early 2000s, led first by advancements made with the hybrid model and later to the fully electric version.[i] The EV is considered a global revolution in sustainable products, in general, and in the transportation industry, in particular. Furthermore, EVs led to a breakthrough in transportation infrastructure by necessitating charging stations situated throughout the nation to power up EVs of all kinds, from trucks and commercial vehicles to automobiles.[ii]
EV Charging: The Alternatives
In the United States, EV owners have a few choices when it comes to charging their EV batteries, namely, at home, at public charging stations and at select places of work. Let’s go through each alternative.
EV Home Chargers
Charging your vehicle at home is the most convenient and popular form of charging EVs, as you generally return home each day and charge your car overnight for use the next day (or vice versa if you work nights). In fact, 80% of EV charging in the U.S. occurs at home.[iii] There are two types of home chargers, level 1 and level 2.[iv]
Level 1 chargers refer to the charger that is included with your EV when you purchase it. With level 1, you plug your car into a standard 120V outlet in your home garage or driveway. This method will typically charge 124 miles in 20 hours. Alternatively, level 2 chargers are sold independently of the vehicle, and their setup is a bit more complex than that of a level 1 charger. Level 2 chargers are more advanced and charge faster. They plug into a 240V outlet and can charge 3 to 7 times faster than level 1 chargers (varying by car and charger). Level 2 chargers are typically installed by an electrician.[v]
A level 1 charger may suffice for those who drive a hybrid or for EV owners who only take their cars out for short trips or errands. But suppose you own a fully electric EV and you drive long distances. In that case, a level 2 charger will allow you to better maximize the use of your EV and minimize or even eliminate stops for charging your battery while away from home. Level 2 ensures that you will likely start driving with a fully charged battery. A level 1 charger is more economical, as a level 2 charger will cost you approximately $700 (or more, depending on features), but many consider a level 2 charger well worth the price if they are on the road for long periods of time, on most days.
It’s simple to choose a level 2 charger if you live in North America because every EV uses the same plug. There is one exception, however, if you own a Tesla, which comes with an adapter. All other EVs, no matter what the brand, use the SAE J1772 plug for a Level 2 charge.[vi]
Public Charging Stations
Public charging stations allow EV owners to charge their batteries while on the road. These stations are generally situated near restaurants, shopping malls, parking lots and other public stations along major roads. Should you be driving in unfamiliar territory, these stations can be located with the use of cell phones and GPS apps.[vii]Public stations generally provide what is known as level 3 chargers which use a direct current (DC) as compared with an alternating current (AC) used by levels 1 and 2. Level 3 charges up to 15 times faster than level 2.
Level 3 chargers are not found in home garages as they are prohibitively expensive for most homeowners, costing from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Often called DCFC (for DC fast charging stations), they are super powerful chargers that often come with an extra cost at higher per-minute charges. Not all EVs, however, can be charged on a level 3 charger, so be sure to ask your dealer when comparing EV brands.[viii]
There have been some concerns about the potentially destructive effects of charging too often with level 3 chargers. Several studies in recent years have indicated that the difference in battery pack deterioration between level 2 and level 3 is marginal, while others point out that deterioration varies depending upon the speed of the driver and the make of the vehicle.[ix]
Charging Stations at Places of Work
With the realization that more people are driving EVs, places of work are increasingly providing their employees with charging stations. Typically, businesses and organizations will install level 1 or 2 EV chargers in their parking lots or garages. Workplace charging stations give employees the security of knowing that they will have a full charge should they need to travel during the day or just to make it home after their workday.
It is up to the employer to decide if it wants to provide charging services for free or for a fee (or subsidized). However, in either case, employees can save by not having to rely on charging at home or on the road or having to pay for public transportation or other forms of paid-for commuting.[x]
Employees are not the only beneficiaries of workplace charging stations. In fact, businesses and organizations that provide charging stations benefit, as well. First, providers can better ensure that their employees get to work on time and not be delayed by charging at home or on the road. Second, providing charging stations makes their place of work more attractive for those seeking employment and potentially retains employees. Thirdly, providers may be eligible for tax incentives.
Charging for a Change – Introducing eveelife
You may still have lots of questions related to EVs and how to use EV Charging Stations. Make your life easier by accessing eveelife and subscribing to our newsletters. As a central hub, eveelife will have answers to your questions and concerns and provide information about owning and charging an EV or hybrid. Are you wondering which EV you should buy? There are plenty of new and exciting 2023 EV models to choose from. EV costs are wide-ranging, from the budget to the luxury variety, so there’s likely something available in your price range.
With the growing number of charging stations and availability of green energy, EV owners and those looking to transition to an EV life will have peace of mind, knowing that they can prevent being stranded without battery power. Not only will you lead a greener lifestyle, but you’ll gain monetary incentives. You can take advantage of EV rebates on the Federal level, while some states also provide rebates.
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Eveelife is an eco-oriented lifestyle platform that helps consumers make more purposeful choices about how they live and what they consume. We do it by curating content and products that help them make more conscious, carbon-free choices while amplifying their EV ownership experience.