If you drive an electric vehicle, also known as EV, you’re probably aware of the importance of charging stations. Users often power their EVs by simply plugging their cars because EVs don’t have fuel tanks. If you are new to driving EVs or want to know more about maximising your EVs charging experience, keep reading this post to learn more about the different charging methods and which one best suits you.
What are EV Chargers?
EV chargers are equipment that connects your car to an electricity source to charge its battery. They are mostly called charging stations and are located on the exterior of your vehicle. This device ensures that power is safely transmitted from a source to the vehicle.
Charging an EV is fairly easy to grasp and can be as simple as plugging in your mobile device that needs to be charged. However, it can get confusing, especially if unaware of the different charging stations and levels. While some cars require simple plugging, others might require complex installations before they can be charged. How long it takes for your car to charge also varies depending on your charger.
There are three main charging categories that you should be mindful of:
- Level 1 – Portable EVSE
These chargers can be plugged into basic or standard charging outlets and use 2.4-2.7 kW. Unlike the other types, level 1 chargers do not need any special installation or extra equipment before charging. These chargers are typically found in homes and add between 10-20km range/hour.
Out of all the various chargers, these are the least expensive. However, they also require much more time to fully charge your car’s battery. Because of this feature, most users tend to charge their cars overnight.
- Level 2 – Wall Chargers
Level 2 chargers are commonly used in both residential and commercial charging stations. However, unlike Level 1 chargers, you cannot plug them into standard outlets. They also require professional assistance, so you need to call a qualified electrician to help install your EV charging station before you can use it.
These chargers require between 7-22kW of power and can add between 30-130km range/hour. Level 2 chargers tend to charge much quicker than the previous level and can last between 2-5 hours.
- Level 3 – DC Fast Chargers
As its name denotes, the DC Fast Chargers can add over 30 kilometres of battery power to your car in about 20 minutes. They are more commonly used in commercial or industrial areas and require installing high-powered tools and equipment before charging.
These charging stations are commonly found in regional areas such as motorways, highways and other key routes. With a charging level between 120-350kW, it can add over 1000km range/hour, and your charging time can be as short as 10 minutes.
Before your first charge, it is vital that you obtain as much information as possible on how best you can charge your EV and the various charging stations.