Electric Vehicle Charging 101

EV Charger

Charging an electric vehicle (EV) is as easy as filling up on gas. However, the charging system is not universal, and there are some variations that every EV owner should know. This doesn’t mean that charging an EV is difficult — it is easy. Here is an overview of the basics of charging an electric vehicle. 

Charging Category Classifications  

EV chargers differ when it comes to how fast they can recharge the car. They are classified into three categories: 

  • Level I Charging 

Level I charging uses the standard 120-volt outlet — the standard outlet in homes. This means that you can charge your car from the same outlet that you used to charge your phone. However, this is the slowest charging category. 

  • Level II Charging 

Level II charging uses a 240-volt outlet. It also requires a charging unit. These outlets are usually used to power some of the larger household appliances, such as washers and dryers. Many licensed technicians have the necessary skills to install this outlet and Level II EV charging units. 

  • DC Fast-Charging 

DC fast-charging uses high-capacity outlets and requires a charging unit, too. This option is currently only available at public and commercial EV charging stations. 

Charging Times 

Charging an EV takes some time. Charging times vary depending on a range of factors, including the charging level and vehicle’s battery size (some batteries take longer to recharge). Here is an overview of the standard charging times based on the charging level: 

  • Level I — Up to five miles for every hour spent charging 
  • Level II — Up to 25 miles for every hour spent charging 
  • DC Fast-Charging — Up to 80 miles for every twenty minutes spent charging 

It is recommendable to charge your EV overnight (or when you don’t plan on using it for some time). However, you can charge your vehicle on the go using DC fast-charging. Charging times will be reduced over time as new battery technologies emerge. 

The average EV today can drive for about 250 miles on a single charge — and a Tesla will drive for up to 350 miles. What’s more, there are plenty of EV charging stations, and you are bound to come across several within a 250-mile distance.  

Finding a Home Charging Stations that Suits Your Needs 

As mentioned, you can install a Level II charging station at home. Here is an overview of factors to consider when choosing the ideal station: 

  • Current 

The charging station’s current should match your EV’s acceptance rates. Most EVs have an acceptance rate of 7.2 kW, which requires a 30 amp charging station. 32 amp stations are also common and deliver up to 7.7 kW. It is worth noting that your EV will only charge as fast as its battery’s acceptance rate, and buying a high-current station will not change this. 

  • Size 

Charging stations come in varying sizes, and some are too large to install at home. As such, ensure that you have enough space to accommodate your chosen charging station. It is worth noting that the station’s overall size does not affect its charging power. 

  • Cord Length 

EV charging cords have a standard length of 25 feet. However, cords come in varying lengths, and you can find a shorter or longer one. 

  • Smart Features 

Smart changing stations offer a host of features besides charging. Popular features include monitoring the charging progress remotely from your phone and measuring the amount of energy used. Some smart charging units will also enable you to schedule charging sessions for off-peak hours remotely from your phone. 

Call The Professionals

Charging an electric vehicle is easy. You can even use your standard home outlet or install a charging station and a 240-volt outlet. You will need a skilled electrician to install a charging station, and Wiring Pros, LLC is the best electrician in Phoenix. Contact us today for a free quote