Car Charging Basics
For most drivers, charging an electric car is as simple as charging a cell phone. In fact, it usually takes only around 5 seconds of your time to “refuel” your electric car. Why? Because most charging (over 85%, according to EV driver polling) happens at home, overnight, while the driver sleeps. You just plug in your car when you get home and it’s typically re-charged back to full before you even wake up the next morning. It’s the car that “refuels” while you sleep! There are three levels of charging rate to choose from, depending upon your needs and lifestyle.
LEVEL 1 CHARGING
LEVEL 2 CHARGING
LEVEL 3 CHARGING
Examples: home overnight
In many cases, all you need is the included charging adapter and a standard outlet (also known as Level 1 charging) to recharge for the daily range you need – no “charging station” required! The adapter comes with a cord and charger head that plugs into your EV. Once it is initially set up it is always ready and on standby, and then it only takes a few seconds to plug it in to your car in each night. It really is that easy!
Level 1 works best for plug-in hybrid electrics (PHEVs) with small batteries, and/or people who do not drive much each day, as it adds range of between 3 and 6 miles per hour of charging, or up to around 50 miles overnight.
About Public Charging Equipment and Networks
Charging in public can be a positive experience with a little bit of research and preparation in advance. There are many brands and models of public charging units, as well many different charging networks both nationally and regionally. There are basically two types of stations:
- Smart charging stations, also known as networked charging stations or connected stations. This typically require either membership, a card, or an app to access. They may or may not have a fee.
- Non-networked charging stations. These do not require any membership to activate, and usually are free and just connect when you plug in, or may require an access code.
Finding out in advance (for example by using PlugShare or another online resource or app) can help you explore what public charging is near you and get any advance set up out of the way from the comfort of home.