How to Charge an EV
Waiting at the pump is a thing of the past. What is more convenient than charging your EV at home? It’s as simple as plugging in your phone!
Once you are near your charging station, the battery recharging process is initiated once the EV is connected to the charger with the connector cable.
- First step to charging your EV is to locate the charger port and open the cover via touchscreen, level, or by pushing on the cover.
- Then, remove the connector from the dock on the charger and insert the connector into the port on the EV.
- From there, the dashboard will show the remaining amount of charge the battery has until it reaches a full charge. We recommend that you charge the vehicle to about 90% for the maximum performance.
- When the EV is completely charged, remove the connector from your vehicle and place it back on the dock.
As you may know, charging times vary depending on vehicle model and charger type. There are different options when it comes to charging your EV.
The different charger types:
- The standard charger (L1), is the safest way to charge your EV but it does take the most amount of time. The L1 charger plugs directly into the standard 120 volt AC outlet and takes anywhere from 8-12 hours for a full charge.
- An (L2) charger uses a 240 volt AC outlet and requires a technician to be installed at home or a business. The L2 charger is typically found at public charging stations and takes an average of 4-6 hours to fully charge an EV.
- The DC Supercharger (L3) are not as common as the standard L2 public chargers. These DC Supercharger stations require a certain type of infrastructure to be supported and aren’t usually available to install at home or a business. If you come across one, they can charge an EV in less than an hour.
Installing an Electric Vehicle Charger at Home
What could be more convenient than recharging your car at the end of the day in the comfort of your home? Imagine the time you can save in the morning and the traffic you can avoid on your commute?
This is the reality of vehicle owners who have made the switch to owning an electric vehicle. Waiting at the pump is a thing of the past, one of the many incentives of being an EV owner. Recharging your EV is as easy as plugging in your smartphone charger to your wall outlet!
So What is an Electric Vehicle Charging Station?
The electric vehicle charger is no different than your laptop, tablet, or smartphone charger. Similar to most portable electronic devices, EVs use lithium-ion batteries as an energy storage system. The EV charger acts as an adapter to convert electricity from the power grid through the 120 volt or 240 volt outlets available in your home.
Once the EV charger is connected to the vehicle’s chargepoint the converted currents recharge the EVs battery. Depending on the level of home charging station you install, a full charge can range from 6 hours to 12 hours. These charge rates are similar to public charging stations except for fast charging options like the Tesla Supercharger.
Charging your EV is quite simple, but understanding the right charging options really depends on your needs. There are some important things to know as a homeowner or business owner when considering ev charger installation.
Home Installation Considerations
Once you have reviewed all the home charging options and understand what is best for your needs, what is the next step? Most EVs come with the standard L1 charger cable for your 140 volt outlet at home. There are at least 82 different L2 home charging models and over 15 different manufacturers built to fit more than 33 different types of EV makes and models. If you are interested in purchasing a L2 fast charging station, you need to consider the following.
Is there an additional 240 volt outlet available for your L2 charger? If you do not have an available outlet, you will need to hire a licensed electrician to install an additional outlet. This can also require the need for an additional circuit breaker to handle the load of a new 240 volt outlet. Depending on the requirements of your local city and state, you may need to hardwire your L2 fast charger to your electric power source. If you are required to hardwire your L2 charger or you plan to install it outdoors, you may be eligible for rebates and incentives from your local utility company or state programs.
Do you have the right space for the installation? If you decide to install the unit yourself or with the help of a professional, there are some important things you need to keep in mind.
- Height from ground – the L2 charger should be at least 18 inches off the ground for clearance
- Distance from vehicle – make sure that your L2 charger is in distance of your EV to make sure the cable reaches the chargepoint.
- Wifi range – there are some L2 chargers that require wifi for certain updates and operations, do your best to find the closest point to your wireless access point.
Owning an EV is a new experience for most consumers and with new technology comes a learning curve. Hopefully with this guide you’ll know what to expect when considering installing a home charging station for your new EV!