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EV Charging Guide : Charging Stations and Cost

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EVs are proven to be efficient and eco-friendly. And they need their own kind of fuel to function. But how do you charge them? What is the best charging station for your EV? Here’s your EV charging guide.  

Where to charge your electric car?  

Anywhere you park your car could be a charging station. In the future, we can expect more EVs on the road, which in turn might get us more charging stations. But for now, there are a few types of charging stations designated for charging your EV.   

Home charging  

Most people charge their electric or plug-in hybrid cars at home. In fact, EV drivers get 80% of their EV charging done at home.   

Charging levels  

Level 1 charging is when you use the charger that came with your electric vehicle (EV) to charge it. One end of these chargers can be plugged into any 120V outlet, and the other end goes straight into the car. In 20 hours, it can be charged for 200 kms.  

Level 2 chargers are sold separately from the car, but most people buy them together. These chargers are plugged into a 240V outlet, which makes setting them up a little more complicated. However, they can charge almost five times faster, depending on the electric car and the charger. All of these chargers have an SAE J1772 plug and can be bought online in the USA and Canada. Provincial and municipal incentives can be availed for level 2 charging.  

Benefits of home charging  

  • If you use a level 2 home charger, you can get the battery fully charged in 4-5 hours.   
  • You can start your day with a full battery and limit visits to public charging stations.   
  • Low charging costs compared to other options.  

Also read: A Complete Guide on Setting up a Home EV Charging Station

Public charging   

Public charging stations are helpful when you have to charge your EV while you are on the road and you need to refuel. These stations are usually near public spaces like restaurants, shops, parking lots, etc. Apart from this, people working can get access to charging stations at work. It does come with a lot of benefits and ease.  

Charging levels  

The standard way to charge an electric car is at one of three levels. Both level 1 and level 2 stations can charge all-electric cars. The power of these chargers is the same as that of the ones you can put in your home. Level 3 chargers, also called DCFC or fast charging stations, are much more powerful than level 1 and 2 stations, so they can charge an EV much faster. Still, some cars can’t be charged at level 3 chargers. So, it is very important to know what your vehicle can do.  


Connectors for Level 1 and 2  

The SAE J1772 EV plug is the most-used connector. This plug can be used to charge electric cars in both Canada and the US. Even Tesla cars can use it because they come with an adapter. The J1772 plug can only be used for level 1 and level 2 charging.  

Connectors for Level 3  

Most electric car manufacturers use the CHAdeMO and SAE Combo (also called CCS, which stands for “Combo Charging System”) connectors for fast charging. These two connectors can’t be switched, so an SAE Combo plug can’t be used to charge a car with a CHAdeMO port and vice versa. It’s kind of like how you can’t fill up a gas car at a diesel pump.  

Tesla cars use a connector that is exclusive to them. They are used on level 2 and level 3 Tesla Supercharger charging stations. Before driving to a charging station, you should check to see if your car’s connectors are compatible. Especially for DCFC stations that aren’t made by Tesla. Some may only have a CHAdeMO connector, while others may only have an SAE Combo CCS connector. And then some may have both. Also, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles might not be compatible with Level 3 stations.   

Benefits of public charging and charging at work  

  • Easy to refill when you are on road.  
  • You will get a bigger power range.  
  • Costs of getting around will go down significantly.  
  • Can make use of government incentives for charging stations at work.  

Also read : A Guide to Different Types of EV Chargers

Networked smart charging  

To use public chargers correctly, you’ll need to find out which charging networks are in your area. In Canada and the United States, there are many different companies that run public charging stations. Most of them only live in certain places, but more than one can live in the same place.   

You must join the network to use a networked charger, which is also called a smart public charging station or a connected station. Most of the time, it’s free to sign up, and you only have to pay when you use their chargers, though some of them can be used for free. To turn on and use the charger, you’ll need either an RFID card or a mobile app from the network. Follow the respective EV charging guide.

Way.com make it easy for you to keep your electric vehicles (EVs) juiced up by helping you find the best EV chargers near you.

What affects your electric car’s charging speed?  

Battery’s size  

The charge level of an EV’s battery is measured in kWh. One kWh is equal to the amount of energy needed to run a 1,000-watt appliance for one hour. When fully charged, the batteries can hold anywhere from 25 to 100 kWh. But how is this connected to the charging speed? Well, the bigger the battery, the longer it takes to charge. It’s that simple.  

Battery’s charging capacity  

The amount of power a car can handle varies from car to car. The charging capacity is measured in kW for both AC and DC charging. And each type of charging has a big effect on how long it takes to charge.   

Let’s say that two cars with similar battery configurations are charging next to each other at a high-power DC charging station. One can only take 50 kW of DC power, and the other can take 250 kW. The car that can take 250 kW will charge much faster than the one that can only take 50 kW. In short, the battery with more capacity charges quickly.  

Output from the charging station  

The amount of time it takes to charge your EV depends a lot on how much power the charging station puts out. More kW of output means faster charging. But you have to make sure that your car can take it.  

Current battery charge level  

It’s obvious. How much charge is in your car when you start charging also affects how long it takes to charge. Just like when you put gas in a traditional car. It’s different when you have half a tank or an empty one. If it’s almost zero, it takes the longest.  

DC charging curve  

With AC charging, the power flow to an EV is flat, which means that it will charge at the same speed from 0 to 100. With DC charging, the EV’s battery accepts a faster flow of power at first. But as it starts to fill up, the speed gradually declines.   

The simple reason for this is that the EV doesn’t want a sudden surge of power to hurt the battery. So, when you use a DC or Level 3 charger, the first 80% of the charge goes faster than the last 20%.   

Weather conditions  

The weather is another thing that will affect how long it takes to charge. Since batteries work better when it’s warm, 20-25°C is considered ideal for normal charging. It will take longer to charge a car when it’s cold or extremely warm.   

EV Charging guide | Find the nearest EV charging station

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?  

The cost to charge an electric car depends on a number of factors, such as where you charge it and what kind of car you drive. But here is an approximate, so you can get an idea of how much it will cost to charge your new EV.  

Charging station/type Cost of charging 
Home charging $3 – $14 
Public charging $8 – $28 
Fast charging $14 – $47 


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