About Electric vehicle charging, It always seems very simple to charge an electric vehicle. Most people think it is a park, plug, and recharge process only.
However, the actual process is a bit different and complex, too. Firstly, there are various charging methods, and your choice depends on several factors.
Let’s discuss different ways of charging electric vehicles and which one you should use for your car.
Ways of electric vehicle charging:
There are three different ways of charging your electric vehicle:
- Level 1 charging, where you use regular 120 V power outlets in your home to charge your EV.
- Level 2 charging, where you use 208-240 V power outlets.
- DC fast charging, where you use dedicated public chargers of around 480 V+.
The time taken in charging depends on the battery size and the drive. Also, the vehicle, charger size and the equipment’s power lever determine the vehicle’s charging speed.
Let’s discuss these types of charging methods further in the following.
How to use Level 1 electric vehicle charging?
Though one of the slowest methods, this is suitable for those who charge their vehicles overnight and drive all day for about 30-40 miles.
You can plug the cable of your electric vehicle into the standard power outlet to charge it. You need not do any extra installation.
With this method, you can charge your vehicle at home, workplace or any place you have enough time to charge.
In one hour of charging, your EV is ready to go 3.5 to 6.5 miles.
How to use Level 2 electric vehicle charging?
This method is faster than the previous one but needs the installation of a charging station.
You commonly call this charging station electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE that may need a 240V or 208 V electric circuit.
You can find such charging stations in public places or many workplaces.
Further, if level 1 charging is insufficient for your EV, you can install level 2 charging equipment at your home.
Level 2 charging suits EV drivers with irregular schedules and longer drives. EVs, which need more than overnight charging to charge fully, also use level 2 charging.
Level 2 charging uses the same connector as Level 1, so you can plug any electric car in at any Level 2 charger.
One hour of level 2 charging may add 14-35 miles per hour of driving, depending on the circuit capacity, battery type, and charger configuration.
How to use electric vehicle direct current (DC) fast charging?
It is the fastest method to charge your electric vehicle’s battery. You cannot use this method in your homes because it requires a 480-volt electric connection.
Also, not all electric cars have a system to charge by this method. You can find DC fast charging stations at shopping malls or travel corridors.
The DC fast charging allows you to charge faster and enjoy longer trips (almost 10 miles of driving in one minute).
DC fast chargers come with CHAdeMO, a fast charging system with a Tesla connector system or a combined charging system.
Then, how to charge your EV at an app-based charging station?
- First, park your car and select the charging station through the app or online tools.
- Under the section “Start a charge,” select the charger number, which you can find above the charger display.
- Confirm the payment method, a membership plan included.
- Slide across your screen to start charging.
- Using both your hands, take the connector out of the charger.
- There is a button on the connector’s top. Press and hold it and plug it into your car’s charging port.
- Release the button once plugged in. A “click” sound confirms a proper connection, letting your vehicle charge in a few minutes.
- You will get detailed updates about the charging on your screen.
- Press “Stop” in the app if you want to end the charging session manually. At the end of the charging, your selected payment will be charged.
In the above method, select the charger first and start charging the car. Another technique allows you to plug the car into the desired charger, select that charger number in the app, and start charging your vehicle. The rest of the process is the same as above.
Electric vehicle supply equipment installed at home
Electric Vehicle charging costs:
The main reason for buying an electric vehicle is to save money spent on fuel and to protect the environment. Then, how much can you save finally?
Cost of charging at home:
The size of your vehicle’s battery and the local electricity charges determine the total charging cost.
Some electric utilities also offer TOU or time-of-use rates where the charging cost decreases significantly when charged during off-peak hours. You can get details from your electric utility.
The electricity prices may vary from area to area. In California, it is around 18 cents/kWh.
If you charge any electric vehicle like the Nissan LEAF, which has a 40-kilowatt battery and 150-mile range, it will cost $7 at this electricity rate to fully charge.
On the other hand, if you fuel a 25-mpg gas vehicle to drive 150 miles, it will cost you around $26, considering the price of gas is $4.30/gallon.
Of course, you may need another cost for installing Level 2 charging equipment at home.
The majority of level 2 products have status lights and standard safety features. Other than these, there are SMART level 2 products.
These have more modern features such as enhanced displays, user interface systems, communication capabilities, charging timers, and keypads.
While buying, always look for safety certifications; products tested by recognized national testing laboratories come with an ENERGY STAR label.
Level 2 charging equipment installation must comply with state and local codes and regulations. Don’t forget to seek permits from local authorities.
When installing level 2 charging equipment at home, the cost may vary according to the system, permitted area fees, and the home’s configuration.
Though level 2 charging is expensive, you can look for state and electric utility incentives to save costs.
Cost of charging at public charging stations:
Many EV owners charge their vehicles at public charging stations.
The charging cost at these stations may be free, subscription-based, pay-as-you-go, or with fees set by property owners.
Several automakers provide complimentary charging at some charging stations.
Nowadays, the trend has been changing. The cost incurred in charging at public stations depends on the kWh used instead of the charging time.
In California, EV drivers pay around 30 cents/kWh for level 2 charging and 40 cents/kWh for public charging at DC fast chargers.
EV charging modes in the US
It may take some time to get used to charging your electric vehicle. However, following the proper routine and method of charging can take you a long way with your electric car.
Besides, automakers are also trying hard to make electric vehicles convenient for end users through quicker charging and longer range.
And we, here at Cloom, make your EV charging much more convenient by providing high-quality charging and power cables.
Our cables ensure safety and offer long-lasting performance. Contact us for detailed information and to know the complete range of our products.