What Charging Station Is Best For Your Electronic Vehicle
If you are considering becoming a proud owner of a battery electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, do not forget the charger. Choosing a charger can be confusing but necessary for your new car.
You can use public charging stations when you are running errands or on a road trip. However, the experience of owning an electric vehicle improves dramatically. You will be able to recharge on your own schedule, and not have to worry about finding a charging station or moving your car when it’s done charging. A personal charger also lets you take advantage of your home electric rates, especially helpful when your utility company charges lower rates in off-peak hours.
Charging capacity refers to the amount of capacity your charger has to refuel your vehicle. There are three levels of EV charging; Levels 1, 2, and 3. Level 3 is a supercharging option not available to every EV; most owners charge at Levels 1 and 2.
When an electric vehicle is plugged in, the EV’s computer asks the charger how much power it can deliver, and accepts the maximum amount it can handle. Since EVs are programmed to determine how much power to accept, there is no concern about plugging into a charging station that is too powerful. The car EV charger will not be allowed to deliver too much power.
Level 1 EV Chargers
Most EVs include a Level 1 charging cable. This cable allows you to plug into a standard household outlet. In the United States, you will get approximately 3-5 miles of range for every hour of charge on a 120V circuit. This sort of trickle charging might be good enough to cover your daily commute if you charge overnight, but it gets frustrating fast.
Level 2 EV Chargers
A much better choice is a Level 2 EV charger, which requires a 240V circuit. With this more efficient charger, you can add 30-60 miles of range for every hour of charging. While you may need to hire an electrician to wire a 240V circuit for your home, the added functionality is worth it.
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Vehicle Charging Rate
It can be challenging to determine your vehicle charging rate, or how much it costs to operate. The price of fully charging an EV battery can vary wildly, depending on when and where you charge it.
To begin, look for the published data regarding the amount of energy your EV consumes, which is measured in kilowatt-hours per 100 miles; this tells you the government estimate for how much energy the vehicle uses to travel 100 miles.
What you will pay to recharge your EV is determined by your utility company’s rates. To estimate the cost of operating your EV battery charger at home, multiply your EV’s kWh/100 miles figure by the electric rate for the time of day you’ll most often be charging. That figure will tell you the cost of driving your EV for 100 miles.
Determining which charging station is best for your EV involves vehicle charging rates, charging capacity and the charging stations that you have access to, including at home. Having a charging plan makes owning an EV even more enjoyable.