Electric vehicles are very convenient to charge. However, if you had grown up around fossil-fuel cars that you took to the filling station to buy fuel, charging an electric vehicle might require a learning curve. This article shows you the basics of how to charge an electric car.
How to plug in an electric vehicle?
Every electric car has a port that lets the car connect to the charging point. The port opens just like the cover of an ICE fuel tank to allow you to plug the connector.
Some EV models have the charging port on the side of the car, while others have it at the center in the front. It is important to note where your charging port is located to install your charging station on the correct side.
The charging port type on your car determines the plug you can use. For example, Level 1 and Level 2 chargers use J1772 plugs in the US. However, Level 3 or DC chargers could be either CCS or CHAdeMO.
Where can I charge my electric car?
One of the advantages of electric cars is that you can charge them anywhere you can find electricity, unlike ICE cars that drive down to a gas station. There are two ways you can charge your EV.
You can charge your electric car at home, right inside your garage. It is convenient because you can charge anytime you want and for how long you need since the charging station belongs to you. You can install a Level 2 charger at home or rely on the Level 1 charger that comes with your car. However, Level 2 charging is faster and will fill up your battery quickly.
Can I charge an EV in a regular socket?
The answer is yes. A Level 1 charger connects to a standard home socket with a 120-volt plug. While it usually comes with your car and does not require purchasing additional hardware, it is the slowest way to charge because it can only add between two and five miles per hour of charging. Another disadvantage is that, depending on the wiring, there could be a risk of the cable and socket heating when you plug your car for a long time.
You can charge in public too, especially when you need to charge your vehicle rapidly, with DC chargers. They are expensive to set up, which is why you cannot have them at home. DC charging is usually offered by companies that maintain them as a network, just like filling stations. Examples include ChargePoint, EVgo, Electrify America, etc.
How do I know that the battery is full?
There are several ways to detect when your battery is charged to the full. Your car, no matter the type, has a battery status indicator that updates when you plugin. All you have to do is look at your car’s dashboard and you will know when the battery is full.
Some charging stations can show the battery level too when you plugin. They display this information along with charging speeds on a screen. This means you might not have to enter your car to see the battery percentage.
Better still, some charging stations let you monitor remotely on a smartphone app. You could get a notification when the battery is full even when you are far from the car.
Do I have to pay to charge my EV?
The answer is both yes and no. When you charge at home, the cost of the electricity that you consume is included in your monthly bill. However, if you install your own solar panels, you can charge the renewable energy, which the solar panels collect.
With public charging, you will pay when you use DC chargers offered by third parties. Some charging networks require you to maintain membership, while others charge you directly.
If you take advantage of destination charging, which happens when public facilities offer you a charger while you visit, you might not pay. This is because the aim of offering you the charger is to make you a loyal customer.
Electric vehicles may be new to many car buyers. However, charging the battery is not difficult.