What is EV Charging and How Does it Work?
As a new electric vehicle (EV) owner, one of your major concerns must be when and how to charge your car battery.
Having driven gasoline powered cars all your life and filling up at your local gas stations when the gauge was almost empty, electric car charging is a foreign concept.
Unlike gassing up, EV charging requires more than just pulling in and pumping up. Because it stores electricity in a large battery pack to power its electric motor, you’ll have to plug its inlet (essentially, its gas tank) via EV chargers.
The same concept is implemented in plug in hybrid cars, but they use both battery to power an electric motor and gasoline to power an internal combustion engine.
But once you learn the ropes, you may find it’s actually much MORE convenient filling up your old ICE vehicle, especially with rising fuel costs.
We’re here to answer what EV charging is and how it works.
What is an EV charger?
Technically, EV chargers are called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). It’s used to charge both electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, just like your normal, run-of-the-mill rechargeable devices.
While filling up a conventional internal combustion engine merely takes a few minutes, charging electric cars could take longer.
But with ongoing developments in the electric vehicle industry, it won’t be long before electric car drivers enjoy ultra-fast charging with Rapid chargers.
Different types of chargers
Level 1 EV Charger
A Level 1 charging station is the simplest and has the slowest charging speed of the three. Most EVs come with a Level 1 electric car charger, which you can simply plug into your standard outlet.
Although it is convenient and affordable, the downside is that this charging cable operates on 110-120-volt AC power, resulting in slower charging speeds.
However, with an added 4 to 6 miles of range per hour, it will likely be enough for your daily commute.
If you have an EV with 200 miles of range, it will take around 35 to 50 hours to fully charge.
Level 2 EV charger
Level 2 charging uses connectors that are plugged into 220-240-volt outlets that are typically used for washing machines, electric clothes dryers, and other major appliances. The Tesla wall connector and Lectron V-BOX are an example of Level 2 chargers.
There are portable ones that you can just plug directly into a three-pronged outlet.
You probably have the outlet and circuit in your laundry room, but unplugging your washing machine every time your vehicle’s battery needs a recharge could be inconvenient.
Because of this, many EV drivers opt to install a Level 2 home charging station in their garage.
You’ll need the service of a professional electrician to install a 240-volt dedicated circuit to supply electrical current in your garage.
Such a circuit will let you hardwire your own charging station at home, but the 240-volt socket will also let you plug in a portable unit.
Though electrical upgrades could be costly, Level 2 chargers are significantly faster than Level 1 chargers.
These chargers are very reliable and can give your electric vehicles up to 200 miles of driving range in under 10 hours, so you’ll likely save money in the long run.
DC fast charging
DC fast charging uses direct current (DC power) instead of alternating current.
These DC fast chargers bypass the onboard charger to deliver DC power directly to your car, with up to 400-900V of maximum power.
This can charge your unit from zero to 80% in just under 30 minutes!
All EVs sold in North America use the Combined Charging System connector for DC charging.
In the case of Tesla vehicles, they have proprietary Superchargers with a charging power of up to 250 kW, which can fill up your Tesla model in just 20 minutes.
Because of the amount of energy needed, these types of EV charging stations aren’t usually found in residential areas.
Depending on your location, you may find a public charging station that can handle this level of charging.
You can use the phone app to search for public charging stations.
How does EV charging work?
An EV charger pulls electrical current from either a 240-volt outlet or the electric grid it’s hardwired to and delivers electricity to your electric vehicle, just like any other device you plug into your wall outlet.
What are the different levels of electric vehicle charging?
There are three levels of electric vehicle charging: Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging.
The first two levels use an AC charging system, while DC charging uses direct current (DC).
Level 1 uses a standard wall outlet. Of the three levels, it has the lowest cost to charge, as it doesn’t require a dedicated circuit and uses 110-120-volt AC power found in homes.
However, it’s also the slowest charging of the three, limited to just 4 to 6 miles of range per hour.
Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt outlet that we usually use for dyers, washers, and air-conditioning. You can either plug it directly or have it hardwired. The portable ones can charge at 40 amps, while the hardwired ones can go up to 48 amps.
Depending on your car’s battery capacity, it will take just under 10 hours to fully charge an EV using these AC charging stations.
Level 2 chargers are the top choice when installing charging stations at home, as it’s suitable for overnight charging. These can also be seen in public charging stations, as well as in offices, shopping centers, malls, and parking spaces.
DC fast chargers, as the name suggests, use direct current to charge electric vehicles. DC charging stations can deliver up to 400-900V of maximum power. This can charge your car from zero to 80% in just under 30 minutes.
Because of the incredible power it requires, a DC fast charger cannot be used as a home charging station. You’ll often see these in commercial EV charging stations. If you’re lucky, you may stumble upon a public charging station that offers free chargers for the first 30 minutes. Some paid chargers have a fixed hourly or per kilowatt rate, while others will only ask for a parking fee.
How long does it take to charge an EV?
How long it takes to charge and electric vehicle will depend on the type of charging point you’re using and the battery electric vehicles have.
A Level 1 EV charger is limited to just 4 to 6 miles of range per hour, which could be enough for your daily commute. If you have an electric car with a 200-mile range, it will take around 35 to 50 hours to fully charge.
Level 2 EV charging station is the top choice for EV drivers for a home charging session because it uses 220-240-volt outlets that can supply up to 60 amps of power. These EV charging stations can give your electric vehicle up to 13 to 75 miles of range per hour. A full charge is possible in under 10 hours.
DC fast charging stations can give electric vehicles up to 400-900V. This EV charging station can charge your electric car from zero to 80% in just under 30 minutes.
The weather also affects charging speed. EV batteries take longer to charge during colder days as they have to maintain an operating temperature
How do public EV charging stations work?
If you plan on using EV charging stations to top up your car EV’s battery, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
An EV charging station may be free to use, or it may require a key fob or other access devices. Some may require credit card payment.
Parking spaces in malls, supermarkets, and offices may offer free charging for customers.
There are also charging memberships offered by commercial EV charging stations for discounted prices.
Not all chargers can fit your EV. but adapters can help
The J1772 plug is the commonly adopted standard for electric vehicles across North America and Canada.
As for Tesla, it has its proprietary charger that only Tesla EVs can use.
So, initially, only non-Tesla EVs had access to J1772 chargers, including the ultra-fast DC charging stations, while Tesla EVs had to stick with their own form of connector.
That’s until the introduction of adapters.
J1772 to Tesla adapters greatly increased the number of charging destinations for Tesla drivers.
While Tesla has its own Supercharging network for Rapid charging, they’re greatly outnumbered by CCS fast charging stations.
But thanks to CCS charger adapters for Tesla, Tesla owners can now access over 5,000 CCS fast chargers nationwide.
When it comes to Level 1 and Level 2 charging, in some areas like California, Tesla charging stations may be more available than J1772 chargers.
Luckily, there are Tesla to J1772 adapters that allow non-Tesla EVs access to more than 15,000 Tesla charging stations across the country.
Do note, though, that these adapters are only compatible with the Tesla High Powered Wall Connectors, all generations of Destination Chargers, and Mobile Connectors.
How to charge an electric car at home
Most electric vehicles already ship with a Level 1 electric car charger included, except for Tesla, which stopped including one starting April this year.
These chargers can be plugged into your standard home outlet. Though convenient, they offer very slow charging.
An overnight charge may give you enough juice for a short commute, but a full charge will take more than a day.
You may want to install a Level 2 charger at home to fully optimize your car’s power. You may purchase one from your car dealer or check out EV charger manufacturers like Lectron for more options.
Such chargers are significantly more powerful than Level 1 chargers and can fill up your car’s battery overnight.
Level 2 chargers are plugged into the same outlet you use for your bigger appliances (think air conditioning units, washers and dryers), so you’ll need to call a licensed electrician to install one.
For example, the Lectron V-BOX is a Level 2 charging station that provides up to 240V and 48A of power. It charges at 11.52 kWh and can fully charge an EV at home in less than six hours.
How does the cost of charging compare to gasoline?
With a current average gas price of 3.28 a gallon, it would cost around 45 to fill up a 12-gallon car tank.
For a car that gets 30 miles of range per gallon, a full tank would give it 360 miles of range.
Driving an average of 1,183 miles per month means having to refuel more than three times a month and spending around 144.
In comparison, driving the same range with an electric vehicle would only cost about 59.15. That’s a 40% increase!
Primary factors influencing EV charging
There’s no fixed rate for charging an electric vehicle. The cost will vary depending on several factors. Here are some of the things you should consider for maximum EV savings:
State of charge and depth of discharge
Depth of Discharge (DoP) helps you know how much of your EV’s battery capacity can be used and how long it will last. DoP refers to the amount of battery that has been discharged relative to the total electrical energy supply available. To put it into perspective, discharging 16 kilowatt hours from a 40-kilowatt hour EV battery means the DoP is 40% (16 kWh / 40 kWh).
State of Charge (SoC) is the complete opposite. It refers to the percentage of batteries still available for use. Using our example earlier, a 40 kWh EV battery with a 40% DoP has a state of charge of 60% or 24 kWh.
The amperage matters during a charging process if you want to maintain a healthy battery. Most batteries used in electric cars can handle up to 32 amps.
A 32-amp charger can give your car battery up to 25 miles of range per hour.
An average deep cycle battery has a voltage of 12, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can just grab any 12-volt car charger and assume it can be fully charged safely.
If the charger exceeds 10% of the Amp-hour rating or capacity of your battery, you run the risk of overheating it. The amps can make or break your car’s battery.
Investing in a Smart charger can save you money in the long run. These chargers communicate with your car, the charging operator, and your utility company through data connections. This optimizes your energy consumption and costs.
An EV charger pulls electrical current from either a 240-volt outlet or the electric grid it’s hardwired to and delivers electricity to your electric vehicle, just like any other device you plug into your wall outlet.
There are three levels of electric vehicle charging: Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging. The first two levels use an AC charging system, while DC charging uses direct current (DC).
All EVs sold in North America use the SAE J1772 connector or the J-Plug for Level 1 and Level 2 charging (besides Tesla/NACS), while the Combined Charging System (CCS) connector is the standard for DC charging. Tesla has its own proprietary chargers, but these (except Superchargers) can be used by non-Tesla EVs using Tesla to J1772 adaptors.
Level 1 chargers can be plugged into a regular 120V outlet. Level 2 chargers use 220-240-volt outlets that are typically used for washing machines, electric clothes dryers, and other major appliances.
Yes, using a Level 1 charger plugged into your standard wall outlet. Level 2 chargers can be plugged into your 240-volt dryer plug. If you want a Level 2 charging station at home, check if your electrical grid can handle the additional burden.
Electric Car Terminology Guide
Learning about electric vehicles comes with a whole new vocabulary. Fortunately, the language around batteries, charging, and electricity is easy to learn, and GreenCars is here to help.
Electric Car Terminology Guide
One of the more confusing aspects of researching electric cars has to do with all the new terminology associated with electric motors and batteries. For over 100 years, we’ve been accustomed to words like horsepower, cylinders, and miles per gallon; with electric vehicles, there’s a whole new set of terms to learn.
Fortunately, once you’ve learned what each of the new terms means, it’s easy to relate them to their traditional equivalents and compare electric vehicle specs to figure out which one is best for you.
Charging and Electricity
The other major consideration for most potential EV buyers is, “how long does it take to charge an electric car?”
Most charging will be done at home with a charger in your garage or driveway, at which point, charging speed isn’t really an issue; you’ll probably leave home with a full “tank” every morning.
When taking a longer trip, however, there can be significant differences in charging speed, based not only on your vehicle’s ability to charge, but also on the specs of the charger you’re hooking up to.
On the vehicle side of things, there are two major stats to look out for: the voltage rating of the car’s electrical system and its maximum kW rating.
Electric Car Voltage
Think of voltage as the electrical “pressure,” how fast electrons can flow through a pipe. The higher the voltage of your EV’s system, the faster electrons can be pushed into it. Most electric cars use 400- or 450-volt electrical systems. 800-volt systems, in cars like the Porsche Taycan, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and others, can significantly improve charging time.
First introduced in racing series such as the Formula E global electric championship, an 800-volt system’s higher voltage and lower current means that the same amount of power can be moved using thinner wires. This reduces their weight and allows higher performance. A simplified analogy is a power drill: the higher the voltage, the more powerful it is – and the faster it charges.
For instance, the Porsche Taycan, one of the few vehicles currently available with 800-volt systems, can charge its battery from 5 to 80 percent in 22.5 minutes on a 270-kW 800-volt level 3 charger; while the same amount of charge on a 50-kW, 400-volt level 3 charger takes up to 90 minutes.
Electric Car Kilowatt Ratings
The kW rating is a measure of energy over time. Think of it as the size of the pipe delivering electrons from the charger to your car. How quickly your vehicle can ingest electrons may be limited by how quickly a charger can push them out.
When charging an EV, the bigger the kW rating, the bigger the pipe – and the faster your car charges. All things equal, a vehicle with a 200-kW rating can charge twice as fast as a vehicle with a 100-kW rating.
Level 1 chargers run on household 120-volt AC current and are the slowest, offering less than 5 kW – you’d need all day or more to fully charge up an empty electric car.
Level 2 chargers run on 240-volt AC current. They can charge an EV with 7 to over 20 kW capacity – meaning a full charge might take a few hours. They are perfect for home charging.
Level 3 chargers run on DC current. They are large, heavy, expensive, and found in public places. When you want and need a fast charge, they are perfect for use on a long trip. DC current means a direct pipe into your electric car’s battery. That pipe can be as “skinny” as 50 kW, or as wide as 350 kW.
The kW rating of the charger will give you a rough approximation of how quickly your vehicle’s battery can be charged. If your car has a 100-kWh battery and is on a 50-kW charger, it will take roughly two hours to fully charge; that same battery connected to a 100-kW charger would only require roughly one hour for the same result; on a 200-kW charger half an hour, and so on.
Why do we say “roughly?” Most Level 3 chargers will not deliver their full speed until they’ve been connected for a few minutes and other conditions may affect performance as well. Level 3 chargers will also slow down their charging once your battery reaches 80 percent or so to prevent over-charging.
Remember: just because a charger can push out electrons at a high rate may not mean your car can ingest them that fast. Ultimately, charging speed will be limited by your car’s kW rating. For instance, a Volkswagen ID.4, which can be charged at 125 kW, will max out at 125 kW, even if it’s connected to a 350-kW Electrify America charger. While a Hyundai Ioniq 5 can make use of the full 350 kW.
What’s Next for the Future of Electric Cars?
If all of this sounds like a lot, it is – for a little while. The more you read about electric vehicles, the more familiar you’ll become with doing the basic math that lets you easily compare the vehicles you’re considering.
importantly, the technology and charging infrastructure in the EV space is moving so quickly that you’ll need to do less math and less guessing over time. and more, chargers are being opened every day. Meaning that, should you choose to go electric, your experience is sure to get better over time – no matter what vehicle you choose.
There’s no one size fits all answer. We’ll help you figure out what’s right for you.
There are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for home EV charging equipment for your electric vehicle. You certainly want to make sure you’re buying a unit from a reputable company, that the unit is safety certified, has a good warranty, and is built to last many years.
However, one of the most important considerations is: How powerful of a charging station do you need? Most battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) available today can accept between 40 to 48-amps while charging from a level 2, 240-volt source. However, there are charging stations available today that can deliver more power, and some that can deliver far less, so deciding how many amps you need for your EV charger might seem a little confusing.
There are four main questions you should consider before purchasing your home EV charging equipment.
How much power can your EV accept?
Electric vehicles are limited to accepting a certain amount of electricity which will be listed in either amperage (amps) or kilowatt (kW). All EVs have onboard chargers, which convert the electricity they receive in the form of alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) which is how it is stored in the vehicle’s battery.
The power of the onboard charger dictates how much AC power the vehicle can accept. Some EVs have more powerful onboard chargers than others, and they range in power from 16-amps (3.7 kW) up to 80-amps (19.2kW). Therefore, the first thing you need to consider is how much power can your EV accept.
How many miles do you usually drive?
Most Americans drive about 40 miles per day. With home EV charging, you only need to replenish the miles you drove that day because you can plug in every night when you arrive home. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know what your daily and weekly driving needs are, because you can probably get by just fine with a home charger that delivers much less power than your EV is capable of accepting.
If you do use a lower-powered home charger and occasionally need more range for a long trip, you can access public DC fast chargers to rapidly charge up for the long drive.
How much power is available at your home?
Your home has a limited supply of electricity, and you may not have enough available power to install a high-powered dedicated circuit for the EV charger without an expensive service upgrade.
You should always have an electrician perform a load calculation of your service before purchasing your EV, so you know if you can install a home charger, and if so, what is the maximum amperage it can deliver.
What is your EV charger budget?
Besides the cost of any possible electric service upgrades, you may need to install the dedicated EV charging circuit, you also need to consider the cost of the charger. Electric vehicle charging equipment can cost as little as 200, and it can also cost up to 2,000, depending on how powerful the unit is and what features it offers.
You should decide what you can and are willing to pay for the charger and installation before searching for a charger. Talk to your electrician about the difference in cost to install the charger based on how many amps it will deliver.
Lower-powered chargers should cost less to install because the thinner wire as well as the less-powerful circuit breaker will cost less than what is required for higher-powered chargers.
EV charging circuits and miles added
Eye on the future
While you may be just getting your first electric vehicle, it surely won’t be your last. The entire industry is in the early years of transitioning to EVs while internal combustion is being phased out. Therefore, it makes sense to consider down the road when you may have two EVs in the garage.
If you have the budget to install a high-powered circuit for charging now, it’s probably the right decision, even if your current EV cannot accept all the power the circuit can deliver. In a few years, you may need to charge two EVs at once, and the single high-powered circuit can power two EV chargers, and ultimately save you the expense of installing a second, lower-powered circuit.
So check out the video and let us know if you have any questions about your home EV charging needs. Leave your Комментарии и мнения владельцев and questions in the comment section below and we’ll try to answer them.
How to Charge a Nissan LEAF: Charging Time, Costs Options
At Nissan, we want to ensure all current and potential LEAF owners understand how charging works so they can be confident Electric Vehicle (EV) owners. In this article, we will break down how to charge your electric car, all of the different charging options, charging time, costs, where to charge and more.
If you haven’t yet experienced the thrill of our technology, check out the Nissan LEAF.
How to charge your Nissan LEAF
Charging the Nissan LEAF can be easy whether you’re at home or on the go. [] You can connect and charge your Nissan LEAF in four quick steps:
Park and make sure the car is turned off.
LEAF home charger installation
How to charge your Nissan LEAF at home
It’s important to know how to charge your LEAF in your house. Fortunately, charging your LEAF at home is as easy as plugging your electric vehicle into an appropriate dedicated outlet. Just be sure that no other appliances are being supplied electricity from the same circuit. If you’re using a Level 1 charger, plug the three-prong plug into a 120-volt outlet and the charging cable into your LEAF’s charging port. See Owner’s Manual for charging instructions and safety precautions.
If you’re using a Level 2 charger, an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) wall unit — as well as a 220-240-volt outlet — will need to be professionally installed. [] Once installation is complete, plug the cord from your Level 2 charging unit into your LEAF’s charging port. []
How to charge your Nissan LEAF at public charging stations
Charging your LEAF at a public charging station — especially at a direct current (DC) fast charging station — will give you the most range in the shortest amount of time. To get started, locate your nearest public fast charging station. []
Once you arrive at a DC fast charger station with available CHAdeMO charging connectors, open the door to your LEAF’s charging port and plug the CHAdeMO charging connector from the station into the CHAdeMO port. Your LEAF will recognize when it is plugged in, and you can now pay, re-charge, and get back on the road.
Nissan LEAF charging options
The Nissan LEAF includes charging options that can be categorized based on the charging speed, compatibility, and required voltage. The Nissan LEAF has three main charging options: level 1 charging for standard 120-V outlets for trickle charging, level 2 charging for standard home and public charging, and level 3 for public DC fast charging. [][]
Level 1 charger. 120-V standard outlet
Using a standard 120 volt outlet, Level 1 chargers are typically utilized at home. While Level 1 chargers can harness household alternating current (AC) electricity via a three-prong plug, they do require a dedicated 15 amp circuit to function properly. This simply means no other electrical appliances should be hooked up to the same circuit to avoid overloading the system. Level 1 charging is the slowest charging option, adding approximately 2 to 5 miles to your LEAF’s driving range every hour.
Alternatively, using the electric vehicle supply equipment, the trickle charging function can be performed. These chargers are portable, come with the vehicle, and do not require the installation of any specialty charging equipment. Trickle chargers are designed to be left for longer a longer period to recharge the car’s battery as they power the battery at the lowest amperage.
All Nissan LEAF drivers receive a Nissan Portable Charge Cable that’s compatible with 120-volt outlets, but there are faster at-home charging options available for purchase. []
Level 2 charger. 240-V home and public charging
Level 2 chargers can be used at home or public charging stations, but at-home charging requires a 220-240-volt outlet, installation of additional charging equipment, and a dedicated 50 amp circuit []. Some level 2 EVSE chargers have different circuit current requirements. Refer to the manufacturer’s requirements for electrical installation. Find an installer today.
Fortunately, there are more than 35,000 EVgo and EVgo roaming Level 2 chargers in the U.S [] that can add approximately 10 to 25 miles to your LEAF’s range each hour of charging. [] It’s also important to note that Level 2 chargers are compatible with all electric vehicles and hybrids.
Nissan has teamed up with Wallbox to simplify your home charging experience. Whether you need a Level 2 home charger or a bundled home charger and home installation, Wallbox has you covered. []