Certain individuals have ruled out buying electric cars for the single fact that they are worried about the charging of the battery.
We are sure that certain people ask questions like “how long will the battery last?”, “how far can it take me?” and most importantly “how fast does it charge?”.
The plain truth is that the duration of your charge depends on the make of your vehicle and the EV charger you use.
You may use 12 hours to get a full battery because of the charger. However, this article remedies this issue by discussing the different EV chargers, how to use them and general tips to make your charge faster.
Let’s begin without further ado!
Table of Contents
First, it is logical to learn about EV chargers and their various outputs to understand when and how to use them. Below are the different EV charging found in the marketplace today.
Level 1 EV Charging
The level 1 charging uses the conventional 120-volt plug.
This charging does not require any extra installation and every electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid can use it. All you need to do is to plug into a power outlet.
Apparently, they are the slowest type of chargers and add about 3 to 5 miles per hour.
This level 1 charging is not so bad for plug-in hybrids. They have smaller batteries that do not have so much power. At best, they carry 25kWH.
But fully electric cars have larger batteries and this slow charge will do them no favor because they cannot run heavy daily activities. This method of charging only works perfectly for private residences and some small businesses.
NB- Plug-in hybrids are vehicles that use two different sources of power. They combine at least one electric motor with a gasoline-powered engine to operate.
Level 2 EV Charging
The level 2 EV charger provides its power through a 240-voltage outlet. They are the most used charges for daily activities.
However, unlike the level 1 charger that needs no additional installation, the level 2 charges require a dedicated circuit breaker subject to the chosen chargers’ Amperage.
Amperage simply means electric current measured in Amperes (amp). It is the total amount of electric power running through a system. It also measures the amount of power that a system can handle safely.
These chargers have to be bought separately from the vehicle and they provide about 12 to 80 miles of range per hour of charging. The charging rate varies depending on the output of the charger and the maximum charging the car can take.
This type of charging is a suitable choice for most EV owners and, luckily, they are the most common in the market.
Public charging stations often use level 2 chargers and if you have one at home, you can be sure to find a full battery when you leave it charged overnight even if you started charging at an almost empty battery.
Level 3 EV charging or DC Fast chargers
This charger lives up to its name. Level 3 is the fastest charging that provides 480 volts of charging.
This charging method requires a special socket in your vehicle, commonly known as the (CCS/CHAdeMO). This charge adds about 3 to 20 miles of range per minute because it converts the AC power (alternating current) to DC power (direct current).
You will hardly find a DC charger installed in residential homes. They are mostly found at commercial vehicle charging stations on the highway and shipping centers that have higher traffic.
It is important to note that these chargers are very expensive. The price of these units can range from approximately $15,000 to over $150,000, according to evsafecharge. Even if you opt for the lowest DC charge, the cost to install them would most likely cost more than your EV.
The only saving grace for businesses and workplaces that needs this kind of charge is that the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Initiative (EVAFIDI) covers 50% of the cost to purchase and install them.
Tips to Make Your EV Charge Faster
Now that we have extensively discussed the different EV chargers and what output they provide, let’s dive into tips that make your electric vehicle charge faster.
Upgrade Your Chargers
If you just bought your vehicle, you might limit your method of charging to level 1. As discussed above, the level 1 charge is the slowest type and can take up 8 to 12 hours to fully charge the batteries. One major tip for charging your EV faster is to upgrade to the level 2 method.
The require an average of 4.5 hours to charge and they provide up to 12 to 80 miles of range per hour. They charge almost 5 times faster than the level 1 charge and they do not pull so much energy from residential electric infrastructure.
If you want to go all the way up, you can use the DC fast chargers. They charge 15 to 30 times faster than the level 2 chargers and may take only 15 to 20 minutes for a full charge.
Charge When the Temperature Is Warm
When the weather drops, EV owners may have difficulties charging longer than usual. To back this claim, research has shown that charging in the cold can be 3 times slower than charging in normal weather.
The reason for this slow output is that the cold temperature influences the electrochemical reactions in the battery.
Thus, one hack to get a fast charge is to plug in when there’s warmer weather. However, the cost to charge during the day is higher than charging at night.
Warm Up Your Batteries
It is advisable to warm up your batteries before charging as it can help to lower the time. To use a level 3 charger, it is generally recommended to start with the level 1 charger as it gives the car the necessary power before being ready for the DC coming from the level 3 charger.
On the other hand, if you use a level 2 charger, you do not need to warm the car before use as the chargers are already equipped with a low power rating compared to the level 3 charger.
FAQ On EV Chargers
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding EV charging and their
Why Do EV Batteries Charge Slowly Once They Reach 80%?
To prolong the health of your battery, the charger cuts down the charging power once it reaches 80% because EV batteries are made of lithium and can not handle high voltage for a long time.
Keeping your battery constantly at 100% has an adverse effect on the battery.
They work best when their power is not too high, nor is it too low. Fast charging stations cuts power when the battery gets to 80% because a battery uses the same time to charge from 0% to 80% and from 80% to 100%.
Not only does it conserve the energy of these fast charging stations, but it also stabilizes the ions in the battery, which would improve the performance and boost the longevity of the battery’s life.
How Do You Pay For Electric Car Charging?
If you use a public charger, you can pay directly on the spot by using your debit card or credit card. Your bill will be calculated per hour, per minute, or per kWh. The price also varies depending on the size of the battery.
But really, you do not have to pay for a public charging station because there are some major companies that provide map-out locations for charging stations all over the US and even some renowned workplaces offer these free charging stations.
If you have your charging station at home, the electric charge will simply be added to your monthly electric bill. In addition, you could also opt for a monthly subscription or, even better, an indefinite membership just to cut down on your expenses.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge An Electric Vehicle At Home
All things being equal, the overall cost to run an electric vehicle is lesser when you compare it to refueling a gasoline-powered engine. However, this cost varies subject to some conditions.
The most subsidized way to reduce the cost of charging an EV is if you do it at home. That does not mean public charging stations are outrightly expensive, but they can be subject to some conditions as well. Below is the expected cost to charge an EV at home.
If you have access to a power grid, you are in an advantaged position, as this is the most common method. Opting for the basic 110-volt charger (Level 1) requires that you plug into a standard electric outlet through a conventional three-prong plug.
The average cost to get this charger ranges from free to $300. As stated earlier, they are the slowest way to charge an EV battery.
We would advise that you invest in the dedicated 240-volt charger and you will probably spend around $250-$400 to install it. However, this method of charging requires that you purchase an external level 2 charging unit that would cost anywhere around $300 to $1,200.
If you want to up your game by choosing a wall-mounted unit, you should have an extra $300-$600 for the installation.
Last, the electricity cost to charge your vehicle is subject to how much the utility charge per kilowatts. This cost varies per state and generally increases in winter.