The Ultimate Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging
Electric vehicles are the future of the automotive industry. Therefore, it’s essential to understand their mechanisms. In the following sections, we have covered everything from the introduction to the requirements of electric vehicles! So, let’s proceed.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Electric Vehicle Charging
- Different Types of Electric Vehicles Plugs and Chargers
- Difference Between AC and DC EV Charging
- Steps to Charge an Electric Vehicle
- Cost and Time to Charge an Electric Vehicle
- What Affects the Charging Speed of an Electric Vehicle
- Are Electric Vehicles Worth It?
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Introduction to Electric Vehicles Charging
The process of charging an electric vehicle is quite easy. You can charge your vehicle at a public charging station or at home using domestic outlets or a specially designed charging point. You need to wait a few minutes once you connect it.
The range of electric cars is between 200 to 300 miles, which means home charging is sufficient for everyday; however, it may require supplementation for a long-distance journey.
Different Types of Electric Vehicles Plugs and Chargers
While charging your vehicle, ensure that the outlets of your charging station match those of your vehicle. Particularly, the cable connecting the charging station to your car must have the correct plug on both ends. There are four types of plugs; two each of AC (Type 1, Type 2) and DC (CHAdeMO, CCS). Let’s first discuss the AC ones.
There are two types of AC plugs:
- Type 1
- Type 2
Type 1 is also known as a single-phase outlet. It is utilized by both American and Asian EVs. It allows you to charge your vehicle at a rate of up to 7.4 kW, according to the power of your vehicle and grid capabilities.
Type 2 plugs can be described as three-phase because they come with three wires that allow current to flow through. Therefore, they are able to accelerate the charging of your vehicle. At home, the top charge power is 22 kW. Similarly, charging at public stations can offer charges of up to 43 kW, depending on the capacity of your vehicle and grid capabilities.
The two types of DC plugs are:
CHAdeMO quick charging method was invented in Japan. It allows for extremely high-capacity charging and bidirectional charging. Currently, Asian car manufacturers are pioneering the field by providing electric vehicles that work with the CHAdeMO plug. It can charge up to 100 kW.
CCS plug functions as an improved version of the Type 2 plug. It features the addition of two power connections for rapid charging. It is compatible with AC as well as DC charges. It can charge at a speed of 350 kW or more.
Different Types of Charging Methods
Now that we have discussed the Variety of plugs, let us move on to the different types of charging methods.
In a broad classification, there are three kinds of EV charging:
- Level 1 (Slow Charging)
- Level 2 (Fast Charging)
- Level 3 (Rapid Charging)
Levels 1 and 2 chargers are AC-type chargers, but Level 3 is a DC charger. When the charge level increases, the charging speed is reduced. The greater the power of EV charging, the shorter it takes to charge.
Level 1 (Slow Charging)
Level 1 charging is based on the common 120-volt outlet in your home. All electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids can be charged at level 1 when you plug the unit into a standard wall outlet.
The Level 1 charger is believed to provide 3.5 to 6.5 miles per charge. This kind of charging is the longest, and it is used for primary purposes as an alternative or backup charger.
The majority of EVs have a manufacturer-branded level 1 charger set. Several companies manufacture Level 1 chargers. The majority are made to be used in homes and are priced at the equivalent of $596 to $813 for a charger, in accordance with the International Council on Clean Transportation.
Level 2 (Fast Charging)
The Level 2 charger can fully charge for a 300-mile range within 6–8 hours. They are common options for commercial and residential settings. These chargers usually need 220V or 240V power. They have various energy outputs ranging from 3 kW to 19 kW. The equipment costs range from $685 to $6,626 for each connector.
Level 3 (Rapid Charging)
Level 3 charging is also referred to as DC rapid charging. It is the quickest method of charging an electric vehicle, filling up the majority of vehicles in just a few minutes compared to the hours required for conventional AC charging.
In simple terms, level 3 quickly provides more power, which makes it perfect for locations that are on the move, such as gas stations and rest stops along the highway.
In contrast to level 1 and 2 charging, which use AC, level 3 charging relies on Direct Current (DC). Also, their voltage is greater than level 1 and level 2 charging. There are very few places in the residential area that provide the voltage that is needed for charging at level 3. This is why there aren’t many charging stations for level 3 in your home.
Additionally, fast DC Chargers cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. So even if the home has a 400-volt electric power source and you’re looking to install the charger, it will cost more than the electric vehicle you own.
Do check out our blog on Types of Electric Vehicles
Difference Between AC and DC EV Charging
Following are the differences between AC and DC charging in EV:
|Aspect||AC Charging||DC Charging|
|Conversion Location||Conversion from AC to DC happens within the car’s onboard converter.||Conversion from AC to DC happens within the charging station.|
|Battery Storage||EV batteries store DC energy regardless of AC/DC charging.||DC power flows directly into the battery from the station.|
|Power Output||Relatively limited power due to the smaller onboard converter.||Higher power output due to larger converters in the station.|
|Charging Curve||Flat power delivery over time due to limited onboard converters||Initially, high power delivery gradually decreases as the battery fills.|
|Charging Speed||Slower compared to DC charging||Faster charging, especially for quick top-ups on long trips|
|Equipment Cost||Less bulky and expensive equipment||Bulkier and costlier equipment in the charging station.|
|Home Installation||Can be installed at home||Typically, not feasible for home installation|
|Charging Costs||Generally lower electric car charging costs||Higher charging costs due to higher infrastructure expenses|
|Usage Scenario||Suitable for overnight charging||Ideal for quick top-ups during long journeys|
Let us also have a look at the EV charging curves :
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Steps to Charge an Electric Vehicle
The process of charging an EV is similar to filling gasoline, except instead of inserting a fuel nozzle at a gas station, you need to use an adapter at an electric vehicle charging station. Follow these steps to charge your EV:
- Depending on the car model, you can access the charging port cover using the touchscreen or by pressing on the cover.
- Remove the charging station connector from the dock and plug it into the charging port of your vehicle. While charging, the charge port logo will turn green.
- The touchscreen will indicate the charge percentage and the estimated amount of time left. The vehicle should be 90% charged to ensure optimal battery performance.
- Once you charge it, press the button on the connector to stop charging, then disconnect the cord and reconnect to the charging station.
Charging at Home
You can charge your electric car at home, too. It is similar to charging an electronic device, like your laptop or mobile phone. Prefer overnight charging to keep your vehicle ready!
Home charging stations charge your vehicle with 3.6 kW or 7 kW, giving you around 15–30 miles per hour (compared with 2.3 kW from a three-pin plug that can provide an up-to 8-mile range in an hour).
The onboard electric car charger may restrict the maximum speed for charging. If your vehicle allows up to 3.6 kW of charging speed, then the use of a 7 kW charger will not likely harm the vehicle.
- Electric car charging installation by an expert
- For a charger that is hardwired, you should choose one that has easy access to the electric vehicle.
- Make use of your charger’s speedy charging capacity and built-in features to speed up the charging process.
- Connect the charger to fully charge your EV by the time you wake up in the morning.
Charging at Station
It is becoming increasingly convenient to charge your electric vehicle at stations. The stations are located in cities and let you recharge the battery while on the move; search for “EV charging station near me” on your search engine, and you will find multiple charging stations.
Public stations provide AC charging using wall boxes or DC fast charging. AC public charging is three to ten times more efficient than AC household charging.
Here are a few important things to consider while charging EVs at public charging stations:
- Electric cars can cover 30–50 kilometers in an hour with a 7 kW electricity outlet.
- Costs for charging at public stations will vary depending on your city and state.
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Cost and Time to Charge an Electric Vehicle
In India, the battery’s capacity ranges between 20 to 40 kWh in the majority of EVs. However, the price will depend on the electricity rates in your state if you are charging at home, which typically cost around 8 to 10 INR per unit. Whereas charging your electric vehicle at a charging station can cost between 100 to 200 INR.
What Affects the Charging Speed of an Electric Vehicle?
The charging speed of an electric car depends on the following three factors:
- The capacity of your car’s charger
- Energy level
In general, charging a car completely could take less than 30 minutes. It can also vary depending on factors like the size of your battery as well as how fast your charging device is.
Are Electric Vehicles Worth It?
Electric vehicles are environmental friendly, unlike traditional vehicles they do not emit harmful emissions. So, it’s an excellent idea to use them.
Owning an electric car can be a wise decision if you drive 40 miles a day or less, as you don’t need to charge your vehicle more than once a week.
In terms of the cost of maintenance, electric motors have proven to be quite reliable, so all you need to do is inspect your brakes frequently and replenish the windshield washer fluid.
It’s evident that EVs are becoming more useful and accessible. The growth of electric vehicle charging infrastructure marks a pivotal step towards the future of sustainable transportation. Embracing electric vehicles and supporting their charging ecosystem not only reduces emissions but also fosters a cleaner, more efficient tomorrow for generations to come.
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