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Perhaps you’re interested in getting to know the world of electric vehicles, or you may already own one of these types of vehicles. Whatever the case, understanding the different types of chargers, connectors, and which electric charging stations to choose is essential for the proper usage of your vehicle.
In the beginning, it can be a bit tricky. There are many concepts you will need to understand and assimilate, such as Volts, levels of charging, and the types of electric charging stations which are available on the market. Understanding their differences and when it is best to use which one is important. That’s the reason we’ll give you the key information needed to understand this.
Types of electric vehicle chargers
Just as there are different grades of gasoline for filling a conventional car’s tank, there exist several ways to charge an electric vehicle. It is done through electric charging stations with different charging levels.
Choosing which charger to use depends on a few variables, such as how fast you need to recharge your EV, and where you are located.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that, regardless of the charger you use, the charging speed will strongly depend on the vehicle you own and the capacity of its batteries. So, no matter how many fast EV charging stations are used, the vehicle will charge at a certain speed and up to a certain limit. With that said, let’s explore the varieties of electric vehicle charging stations that exist.
First, there are three kinds of chargers, which differ mainly in the charging range and the speed at which they fill the EV batteries.
- It uses a standard 120-V outlet, just like those that can be found at home.
- Every EV comes with a Level 1 (L1) charger.
- It adds between 3 and 5 miles per hour, making it the slowest way of recharging an EV.
- L1 can be used both at home, and at public places.
- It’s perfect for overnight charging, since it can take up to 24 hours to fill up the battery to its 100%.
- Level 1 chargers aren’t recommendable for those who use their cars a lot on a daily basis, and need a plenty of recharges every day.
- These chargers require a 240-V connection.
- They are not quite expensive. That’s the reason they can be installed and found both in residential areas and electric car charging points.
- It adds between 12 and 80 miles of range per hour, which means it’s way faster than Level 1 chargers.
- L2 can take a battery from 0 to 100% in less than 8 hours, approximately.
- It’s the most frequently used for daily charging.
Level 3 or DCFC
- DCFC chargers need a 400-V electricity connection.
- This type of electric vehicle charging station is quite expensive and requires a lot of space for its installation.
- It adds between 3 and 20 miles of range per minute, making it the fastest charger on the market.
- A standard EV can be charged from zero to 80% in less than an hour.
- It’s ideal for quick recharge when making long trips, for example
How can I find DC fast chargers near me?
There are several ways to find public charging stations with both Level 1 and DCFC chargers.
A handful of companies developed a number of different apps to help users find these charging points. They usually consist of a map and a search engine to find the nearest stations.
Some of these apps even let users plan a road trip, highlighting all the charging stations along the way at which they can stop to recharge.
Most of these public points are located in places of interest, so you can go shopping, admire a landscape, or have a coffee while your vehicle is recharging. Practical, isn’t it?
With all this information in hand, you can now begin to use the app that works best for you, and pick the perfect charger for your electric vehicle.