Electric and hybrid cars are the future. Although they are relatively new, you can see them gaining popularity at the speed of light. Studies have shown that approximately 7% of adults in North America either currently own or prefer leasing electric or hybrid vehicles while 39% are seriously considering buying an electric vehicle.
Moreover, the International Energy Agency (IEA) claims that after 2016, nearly 1.8 million electric cars were registered in the U.S., showing the rapid growth of EVs. So, if you are considering purchasing an electric or hybrid plug-in car, then you must understand everything about charging them.
There are 3 main ways to charge your Electric Vehicle i.e., at home, at your workplace or public charging stations.
Electric Car Charging At Home
The majority of EV owners, approximately 80%, prefer charging their electric cars at home. Well, that is understandable since there are a plethora of benefits attached to it. For instance, start your day on a full battery, avoid having to find public charging stations, plus you can save so much extra cost on public EV charging stations. Studies have shown, that depending on your location, you can save up to 30% to 60% on gas and at public charging stations by charging your Electric Vehicle or plug-in hybrid vehicle at home.
When it comes to home charging solutions, you have two main options i.e., Level 1 chargers and Level 2 chargers. The former comes with your car and is typically plugged into a 120V outlet. It takes 20 hours to fully charge your EV which can last you up to 200 km. On the other hand, a Level 2 charger is sold separately and is plugged into a 240V outlet. Although Level 2 chargers are a bit more complicated to set up, they charge 3 to 7 times faster than a Level 1 charger so, an EV with a standard battery can be fully charged within 4 hours.
Electric Car Charging In Public
The public charging station, DCFC, or DC Fast Chargers is another option for electric vehicle charging. They are typically located near public parking spots, shopping plazas, restaurants, or highway rest stations; allowing you to charge your EV on the go. You can easily locate them with the help of an App or Google Maps, or your web browser.
Apart from Level 1 and Level 2 chargers, a public charging station also comes with a Level 3 charging port. It is much faster but, not ideal for a standard battery EV. To be compatible with a Level 3 charger, your vehicle’s battery voltage must lie between 20kW to 50kW. Before traveling to a public charging station, make sure your car is compatible with the available connections.
Electric Charging At Work
Charging at work is identical to charging at home. An employer provides it to their staff. During the day, employees have access to EV charging stations with level 2 or level 1 chargers. The costs of charging at work are typically covered by the company, allowing employees to charge for free at work. Occasionally, the company may charge a fee to use the charger, although it is normally less expensive than using a public charger.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Should I charge my EV to 100% every night?
A. Generally, it is not recommended that you supercharge your Electric Vehicle every night as this can seriously damage the battery life of your vehicle.
Q. What percentage should I charge my EV?
A. Overcharging your EV or constantly having it at full capacity can severely damage your vehicle. Hence, charging your EV to 80% would be both, safe and effective.
Q. How many amps do I need to charge my EV?
A. A 32-amp charging station is a suitable choice for many vehicles because most EVs can take in approximately 32 amps and contribute roughly 40km of range each hour of charging.
Q. Can I install a Level 3 charger at home?
A. Level 3 chargers are not suitable for homes due to their high power levels and prohibitive costs.
Q. How do I maximize my electric car battery life?
A. The top 3 ways to maximize the battery life of your Electric Vehicle include; limiting fast charging especially in winter, charging it when the battery percentage lies between 25% to 75%, and avoiding parking the car in a heated for an extended period.