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Tips for choosing charging stations for electric vehicles

Tips for choosing charging stations for electric vehicles

Charging speed matters most when it comes to electric vehicles because no one would like any disruption when driving the car due to low battery. The good thing about electric cars is that the design takes care of this aspect to run on a single charge with daily charging during the evening or night when you park the vehicle for the day. However, it will be wrong to assume that the manufacturer sets the recharging pattern by default. For user flexibility, electric vehicle manufacturers provide some charging options from slow to fast, adaptable to different EV Chargers, and you must select the right one to serve your need for fast charging. 

Charging time relates to charging level

Three charging options are available for electric vehicles – Level1 charging, Level2 charging, and Level3 charging. 

  • Level1 charging means charging from a 120-volt household power outlet, but it can only provide a range of 4 to 5 miles in an hour.  This type of charging is suitable for vehicles with smaller battery packs or plug-in hybrids.
  • Level2 charging stations are most popular, which use a 240-volt outlet for charging and have an hourly range of 12 -60 miles depending on the charger’s capacity and the power that the vehicle can absorb. Although a 240-volt outlet is the best, any power outlet above 200 volts would suffice.
  • Level3 charging, also known as DC fast charging, uses much higher voltage for charging, and some plug-in electric vehicles could use it for charging at 880 volts. However, DC charging stations are costly and not readily available, making them best for residential settings.

What to look for in Electric vehicle chargers

Usually, all-electric vehicles come with a 120-volt portable charger, and dual units of 120/240 volt are available from some manufacturers.  However, these charges might not suit the fast charging needs of electric vehicle users who can purchase their own chargers and charging stations. 

When shopping for EV charging stations, consider the factors given below.

Convenience – When selecting a charging station, consider the charging time that suits you best.  Level2 charging stations are faster than Level1 chargers by 5-7 times on average, but some manufacturers can speed up the process considerably to make it 13 times faster than a Level1 charger.

Electrical capacity at your place – Consider the electrical capacity available at your home because to use Level2 charging stations, the power outlet rating should be more than 200 volts. Ideally, an a240 volt circuit will help to achieve the fastest charging time.

Amperage– Besides the power outlet rating, you must also consider the amount of electricity acceptable to the vehicle. 32 amps are the lowest electricity level acceptable to standard electric vehicles, but some newer versions have higher capacities like 40 amps and 48 amps. Buying a 40 amp charging station will save you from replacing your 32 amp charging station in the near future.

Finally, consider the charging station’s operating costs because it should not happen that in your quest for speedy charging, you land up paying more. 

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