Getting an electric car is a thrilling moment for environmentally conscience people. There’s something to be said about the power of breaking free from fossil fuels and saying goodbye to stinky gas pumps and oil changes forever.
Although you’ll be saying goodbye to dirty energy, you’ll still have to think about the clean energy you need to keep your car running. It may surprise you to learn that there are different kind of EV chargers out there. Let’s take a look at these different EV chargers.
Charging at home
When you first bring your EV home, you’ll be given a charger to charge your car with. This standard charger will plug into a 120V outlet, which is a normal outlet that can be found in your home. This allows you to get started charging your car at home with no setup whatsoever.
The drawback to this is that it takes 20 hours for your car to charge enough to drive about 124 miles—a huge amount of time for such a small driving range.
This might work if you don’t drive very far or seldom have need of your car, but it isn’t practical for daily driving or longer commutes. If you use your car a lot, you’ll need a different setup that needs to be installed by an electrician in your home.
Level 2 Home Chargers
Level 2 chargers do not come with the car, but they can be installed in your home by a professional. A level 2 charger uses a 240v outlet to charge your car, which is 3 to 7 times faster. How much faster will depend on the model of car you have as well as the charger.
With a level 2 charger, it can take just 4 hours to fully charge your battery. That means you can expect to leave your home with a ‘full tank’ each day. Level 2 chargers are recommended because they help you make the most out of your car, are cheaper than public charging stations, and of course are much cheaper than if you had gotten a gas powered car.
Level 3 Public Chargers
Most public charging stations offer Level 1 and Level 2 charging. These are the same chargers you would use at home but are available in public for a fee. Some charging stations also offer Level 3 or ‘fast charge’ public chargers.
Fast charge can only be found at a public charging station, and not all public chargers have them. Not all cars are capable of taking a Level 3 charge either. When they do however, you can expect to get 124 miles worth of charge in just 30 minutes. Double that in one hour.
Check compatibility before using a public charger
It’s best to do your research before going on a trip when it comes to public chargers. While all cars can use the level 1 chargers (even Teslas using an adaptor) Level 2 and 3 chargers need specific connectors to function.
You’ll want to know where you can easily charge your car before starting out on your next adventure, so you don’t find yourself stranded.