One of the biggest questions regarding electric cars is how easy it is to charge them. Including, whether or not you can charge these electric cars at home.
The following insights will help explain this aspect.
Can You Charge An Electric Car At Home?
You can charge all electric cars at home regardless of what power outlet you have. However, you must use a dedicated home charger with a standard 3-pin plug and an electric vehicle supply equipment cable. All equipment for charging your car at home comes standard with the vehicle.
An excellent charging port should be fast and with enhanced safety standards.
There are two main options when charging your electric car at home: a smart charger or a wall box charger.
That said, most electric cars also come with a portable charger so you can charge anywhere.
A wall box charger is an excellent option for enhanced safety and convenience. It is a standalone charger directly linked to your domestic electricity supply. In most cases, it is wall-mounted.
Conversely, a smart electric car charger is a wall box charger that relies on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to the various apps on your smartphone.
This choice allows you to customize your charging schedule. Excellent scheduling enhances convenience and flexibility in the long run.
Also, you can typically charge any electric car at any charging station.
Can Standard Power Outlet Charge All Electric Cars?
Yes. A standard power outlet is an excellent choice for charging your electric car. This standard power outlet often has a 120-volt rating to power the vehicle. It is rated a level 2 charger, thanks to the multiple features it boasts.
However, it must have various safety features incorporated.
A standard power outlet allows you to charge your electric car overnight leisurely. Its unmatched safety features ensure that your vehicle remains in excellent condition after every charge.
You might need to rewire your house to charge your electric car, in case you don’t have enough power from an old system.
Usually, the level 2 charger offers a quick battery boost, meaning it will take a short period to charge the car.
However, the availability of fast charging ports has proven relatively challenging.
Your house might not have this feature, meaning you must engage professionals to sort it out. At the same time, you must be conversant with the different types of electric car chargers, including the following.
It is a single-phase connector that offers a power rating of approximately 7.4kW.
It is the standard choice for electric vehicles across Asia and America.
Suppose you prefer a triple-phase or your car is designed to use one. In that case, the type 2 connector would be a perfect choice. It is common in Europe and other parts of the world.
Its fast charging levels make it an excellent choice for speed and convenience, offering you up to 22kW.
Mode 2 is yet another excellent choice among most electric vehicle manufacturers.
You’ll get it in multiple versions, including domestic options.
It comes with a box that facilitates the communication between the vehicle plug and the communicator plug. It assures you of a charge of up to 22kW.
It is a popular charging cable used by different electric cars. It helps convert the socket to type 1 and type 2 connectors, depending on the situation.
Can you use a generator to charge your car? (as backup)
This is a really good question that we see a lot.
We dedicated a separate article to whether you can charge electric cars with a generator.
Can Older Main Panels Charge A New Electric Car?
An older main panel might not be an excellent choice for your new electric car. It is likely less efficient and unreliable, requiring you to upgrade it.
Once you acquire a new electric vehicle, ensure that you engage a professional in upgrading your service panel.
Upgrading your main panels offers multiple benefits.
For instance, you will be sure that the charging process will be faster and more efficient.
It is also much safer.
Ensure that you consider a significantly robust option in this case. You have three upgrade options to consider: AC Level 1, AC Level 2, and DC fast charging.
Here are a few insights into each option.
AC Level 1
The AC Level 1 comes with a rating of 120V and 15A. This 120-volt outlet is designed to charge via a 3-prong household plug.
Yet, you must install a reliable and dedicated branch circuit to boost safety. While this option is affordable, it takes a long time to charge your vehicle.
Its standard efficiency means that it will take between eight and 12 hours to charge your car.
AC Level 2
You can upgrade to AC Level 2 if you are at AC Level 1.
This option provides enhanced safety, speed, and efficiency, making it a perfect choice for faster charging. It comes with a 240-volt and 30 to 70-ampere rating.
This installation will also likely attract rebates and incentives from the government, making it a worthwhile investment. The incentives will help increase the returns in the long run.
DC Fast Charging
Suppose you want a superfast charger.
In that case, you will need to upgrade your main panel to a DC fast-charging port. This option will recharge your electric car in minutes, often between 20 and 40 minutes.
While this is a commercial option, investing in it offers invaluable returns on your money.
It is an excellent choice for apartment buildings, commercial spaces, retail locations, and workplaces. In addition, it provides unmatched safety in the long run.
Is It Faster to Charge Your Car At Public Charging Stations?
There is no one-dimensional answer to whether charging your car at public charging stations is much more efficient and faster. It all depends on the installation in place.
Yet, most public charging stations use AC Level 2 and DC fast charging main panels.
These two options have proven significantly faster than the standard AC Level 1.
Suppose your main panel at home is standard or an AC Level 2. In that case, a public charging station using the DC fast-charging option would be an excellent alternative.
It will assure you of enhanced safety and speed, ensuring you are back on the road with a full battery in a few minutes.
In addition, this alternative will be pretty affordable.
Factors Affecting the Charging Speed of Your Electric Car
Various aspects determine how fast your car charges. These factors include environmental situation, charging port reliability, battery size, and the battery’s state.
Here are a few insights into each option.
There is no standard battery size to fit all electric vehicles.
Instead, each manufacturer determines which option is suitable for their car. A high-capacity vehicle will likely require more time to charge fully.
Typically, battery capacities are measured in kWh.
The state of your battery determines how long it will take to charge. For instance, a battery that is 20% full will likely take longer than a battery that is 75% full.
However, the duration of the charging process will vary with the type of electricity panel in place.
The Vehicle’s Charging Rate
Each vehicle has a specific maximum charging rate.
This rate determines how fast the battery charges. You will likely spend more time at the charging point if the maximum charging rate is much lower.
The Maximum Rate at The Chargepoint
The maximum rate on the ChargePoint will depend on the main panel used. Suppose your maximum charging rate is 22kW, while the maximum at the ChargePoint is 7kW.
In that case, your car’s battery will only fill at the speed of the ChargePoint.
Various environmental factors determine how fast your electric car charges.
These aspects include temperature, where hotter temperatures speed up the charging process.
At the same time, colder temperatures translate to less efficient electric vehicles.
Do You Need An Upgraded Main Panel For Faster Charging?
Upgrading your main panel is an excellent step toward faster electric car charging.
This upgrade assures you of enhanced safety, increased electricity output, and unmatched efficiency. It ensures that your battery fills within a short period, making it easier to avoid downtime.
It also minimizes costs in the long run.
Most experts will recommend the AC Level 2 and the DC Fast Charging main panels. They are associated with enhanced efficiency and speed. They will also provide you with unmatched safety in the long run.
While the initial cost of the upgrade could be slightly high, you are sure of incredible returns.
Average Cost of Upgrading Your Main Panel
Upgrading your main panel costs between $40 and $100 per hour. This cost will vary with the individual contractor, your location, and the desired installation.
For instance, upgrading to a 240-volt AC Level 2 will cost less than a DC Fast Charging option. However, comparing different charges will help minimize the eventual expenses.
On the other hand, suppose you want to install a new EV charging station on your property. In that case, the cost will be slightly higher.
You’ll spend between $450 and $1200 on this project.
Yet, the returns will be incredibly appealing in the long run. However, rely on an experienced and reputable professional for the best returns.
Having a reliable charging station at home saves you high electricity and vehicle operational costs.
Yet, you must be careful with the installation. The information above gives you a perfect headstart on this journey.