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How Does EV Charging Work?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular, thanks to the growing interest in sustainable energy and the ever-rising gas prices. EVs help us ensure a more sustainable future with zero carbon emissions. 

EV drivers also benefit from superior experience with smooth handling and instant torque. Not to mention the zero gas fees, less maintenance and convenient charging wherever you park. 

However, most people need to become more familiar with how EV charging works. This article explores answers to this question to help you gauge what you need for a home charging station. 

What are EV Chargers?

An EV charger or a charging station is a tool that delivers electric power to charge an EV battery. When you plug in an EV, the vehicle communicates with the charger before energizing it. 

The EV determines how much power the charger can deliver. The vehicle then allows the maximum power amount the charging station can provide and the maximum it can accept. 

The EV determines the acceptable amount of power every time you plug it in. This eliminates the worry that you’ll plug your EV at a charging station that delivers more electric power than your car can handle. 

The EV can’t allow the plugged-in charger to deliver excessive power.

Charging Levels

EV charging stations or chargers are available on several levels. Some chargers don’t need any special or additional tools to function, so that you can plug our EV directly into a wall outlet.

Other chargers require professional installation because they are incompatible with standard wall outlets. The three most common levels of EV charging stations are:

Level 1 – Portable EVSE

Level 1 chargers are compatible with standard 120 V outlets that you’ll find in most homes. These chargers are easy to use and require no extra hardware. However, the charging process is exceedingly slow since they deliver up to 5 miles (8 km) of range per hour. 

Level 1 chargers are ideal for people who drive short distances and can afford to leave the EV charging overnight. However, the lack of communication between the EV and the power outlet poses a safety risk. It’s best to use Level 1 charging only for emergencies.  

Level 2 – Wall Chargers

Level 2 chargers are faster, delivering up to 20 miles (32 km) range per hour to your EV battery. These chargers are incompatible with standard 120V outlets and therefore require extra tools. 

Level 2 chargers only work with 240 V outlets for residential or 208 V for commercial purposes. They are more popular among homeowners because they are more efficient.

Furthermore, you can connect a level 2 charger to a solar system to save on energy costs.

Level 3 – DC Fast Chargers

Level 3 or DC fast chargers are the fastest, boasting the ability to charge your EV battery from empty to capacity in about 20 minutes. They deliver direct current (DC) to the EV battery directly instead of converting the DC to alternating current (AC) like level 1 and 2 chargers. 

These superchargers require advanced technology and high-voltage power supplies of 480 V. They are unsuitable for home installation, but you’ll find them at public charging stations.

The charging process is faster but more expensive. 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that switching to an EV is a smart investment decision with numerous benefits. The best way to fully enjoy your EV is by installing a home charging station. 

A level 2 charger in your garage is cheaper and more convenient, not to mention safer than a public charging station. You can comfortably charge your EV at night when electricity demand is low, and off-peak pricing applies. Call a qualified electrician to safely install your EV charging station and enjoy everything your EV offers.

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