A few things you might already know: electric vehicles are easier to maintain than gas-powered vehicles, they’re better for the environment, and they’re increasing in popularity every year. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2040, electric vehicles will account for 54% of all new car sales.
However, if you’re a new EV owner, where to charge your car is not necessarily common knowledge. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind for charging an electric vehicle.
Charging an Electric Vehicle at Home
For the majority of EV drivers, home is not only where the heart is; it’s also the place where they’ll do most of their car charging. For home, there are generally two types of charging speeds available: Level 1 and Level 2. A Level 1 charge is convenient in that the electric vehicle can be plugged into any 120V outlet using a cord provided by your dealership. However, the charge you will get from a 120V outlet is only a trickle charge- maybe only 120 miles in 20 hours of charging!
Many EV owners choose to purchase a Level 2 charging station for their home garage. A Level 2 charging station will run on 240V, about the same amount of energy as a washing machine. With a Level 2 charging station, you can receive about 25 miles of range for every hour that you’re plugged in. EV drivers who live in an apartment or condominium usually either ask the community to install charging stations, or they make use of employer-provided charging stations at work.
Charging an EV at Work
Most EV owners charge their cars overnight at home. But for drivers who do not have charging stations at their apartments, the workplace is the second most popular place to charge. Businesses have caught onto the fact that they need to accommodate electric vehicle owners if they want to thrive in an increasingly eco-conscious world and attract top employees.
Whether you work at a shopping center, office, hospital, or local university, EV charging stations are becoming much more common in the American workplace. That increased accessibility means that it’s easier than ever for people to own EVs and charge them while putting in their work hours. It shows that businesses are making a greater commitment to sustainability. With most people at their workplaces for eight hours, a Level 2 charging speed is more than enough for the typical EV driver. If you drive an EV, utilizing workplace charging stations like these will become part of your regular routine.
Charging an EV on the Road
Even though electric cars are easier to maintain and good for the environment, it can be difficult to make long road trips if you run into a stretch of road without an EV station. With careful planning, you can find hotels and tourist destinations that have installed charging stations for visitors. Over time, as more hotels and entertainment centers install charging stations, it will become easier to find a charging station in any destination. For now, checking your route against a map service that lists EV charging stations, such as Google Maps or PlugShare, will help.
Many highways have started to install Level 3, or DC Fast Chargers. While not every electric vehicle can charge with a DC fast charger, they can give you about 250 miles with just one hour. Additionally, it’s important to consider the type of connector and ensure that it’s compatible with your particular model. While all EVs in North America can use the J1772 for Level 2 charging, not all electric vehicles use the same plug for fast charging.
As more drivers switch to electric vehicles, they’re discovering that charging their car while they sleep, work, or play can be more convenient than visiting a gas station every week. While finding a new place to charge can take some planning, going electric is much easier than you think.
Want to learn more about installing EV charging stations for your tenants, employees, or guests? Click here to learn more.