How Much Do EV Charging Stations Cost. Ev car charging cost

How Much Do EV Charging Stations Cost?

There are 41,000 electric charging stations in the U.S. According to Grist, President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls to construct 500,000 more. Like the drivers of gasoline-powered cars, the 1.4 million drivers of electric vehicles in the U.S. also have to “fill up.”

An electric vehicle (EV) charging station’s cost involves more than just installing a pump. To maximize value and minimize expense, a business must consider networking its station to qualify for many utility incentives. over, a so-called “Smart station” generates operational data to help manage power consumption and ultimately save money.

Cost of a Commercial EV Charging Station

Average EV charging station installation cost for a level two station is around 6,000 per port, according to Future Energy’s data. But several factors affect commercial EV charging station costs: infrastructure, equipment, soft costs, subsidies, and software.

Factor #1: Infrastructure

A charging station supplies electricity to vehicles through its connection to the utility company. But these electrical conduits may require an upgrade, which can cost an average of 12,000 to 15,000, according to Future Energy.

Infrastructure is the primary variable in electric car charging station costs. For instance, connecting to an existing 240-volt circuit may require only a few hours of an electrician’s labor. But installing a dedicated 480-volt circuit could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Why the discrepancy? An electrical upgrade carries associated expenses, including electrical panels, meters to monitor electricity use, or even an additional transformer. An upgrade may also involve boring, trenching, and cement work for power lines.

Because there is rarely a cookie-cutter solution, many businesses work with an approved, experienced partner like Future Energy, as a go-between with the utility company and various contractors.

Factor #2: Equipment

Unlike infrastructure costs, equipment charges are relatively static and depend on the level of charger.

Level one, or residential chargers, cost about 600 for a dedicated 120-volt circuit. However, a home charger is not adequate for commercial enterprises, which need level-two or level-three chargers to handle the load.

The highest specification for a commercial EV charging station is level three, or direct current fast charge (DCFC). Level three stations can charge a vehicle in an hour with 480-volt direct current. Level three stations cost around 40,000 for a single port.

Most commercial enterprises look to install level two charging stations, which run on 240-volt power and provide a compromise between power and cost. A level two electric vehicle charging station costs around 2,500 for a non public facing and 5,500 for a public facing dual-port station—it can charge two cars simultaneously in eight to 10 hours.

Factor #3: Soft Costs

Companies can add value by working with an experienced partner such as Future Energy in designing custom environments and packaging cost of commercial EV charging station extras.

For instance, a customer can choose custom striping of parking spots and signage to go with the charging environment, which can cost around 1,500 but will help elevate a company’s branding.

Also, a business may desire protective bollards—short, sturdy posts that protect the machinery—which cost around 400 each. Or a station may require parking blocks for around 600 apiece.

Future Energy works with a business’s marketing team to facilitate communication with printers, painters, and other contractors to customize EV charging packages for a company’s branding.

Factor #4: Software

To qualify for certain financial incentives, the owner of an EV charging station must install software that networks with the utility company. The utility company collects and analyzes data from networked charging stations to improve the overall system and learn about EV charging demand. Generally, the cost to host this information in the Cloud is around 28 per month for each port.

Cost of Power Management

Beyond qualifying for incentives, businesses who use data wisely can save money in the long term. How? By monitoring peak load, the highest amount of electricity used in a set period, companies can monitor the rate on their electric bills.

Integrating Data Management

Future Energy’s Smart solutions emphasize proactive management of electricity usage through a cutting-edge software platform known as Interface. Interface integrates EV charging stations with existing operational data, communicating with the utility company and managing peak load demand.

Interface helps monitor building management, lighting, digital thermostats, security cameras, and other systems. Thus a company will not inadvertently raise its rate by exceeding peak demand, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars. Interface works passively in the background, sending real-time alerts.

Finding Incentives to Offset Costs

The sustainability movement has produced incentives and rebates at the local, state, and federal levels that help offset electric charging station costs.

For example, businesses can deduct up to 30% from their federal income tax for commercial EV charging station costs. Furthermore, a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency provides funds through the Electrify America plan, which distributes money from the 2 billion Volkswagen emissions settlement.

In addition, individual states provide incentives. A company can take a deduction on its state income tax and apply for various credits or grants.

Also, local organizations and governments offer monetary incentives. For example, the Joint Utility Commission of New York offers a program called Make-Ready that covers up to 100% of the cost of electrical infrastructure.

Partnership with Future Energy

Working with an approved partner such as Future Energy helps companies navigate the complex landscape of tax write-offs, rebates, and incentives to save money. In fact, Future Energy’s data indicates that commercial enterprises that plan wisely can stack incentives to cover up to 80% of their EV charging stations cost.

How much do EV charging stations cost? Future Energy recognizes an EV charging station as more than just a piece of hardware. Contact Future Energy to help steward your company from planning to managing a Smart EV charging station, saving costs along the way.

Sam DiNello is Chief Executive Officer at Future Energy. He is an expert in the EV infrastructure space and passionate about innovative data-driven solutions that help companies access real-time intelligence for real-time action.

Owning an EV in Connecticut: Charging Cost, Incentives, and

Gone are the days when electric vehicles were a thing of the future—they have now become our present. There are 1,489 charging stations in Connecticut alone, with more to be established in the coming years. The US federal and state governments have initiated multiple programs to promote the purchase of EV vehicles by offering rebates and incentives.

But what does it take to own an EV in Connecticut? Many EV owners say that these vehicles release zero emissions and are cost-effective when calculating the total ownership cost in the long run. EVs also require less maintenance and gasoline expenses. The best part? They are fun to drive!

If you own an EV in Connecticut and need a brief overview of what’s waiting for you, this guide will discuss everything you need to know. From charging costs to incentives, we have got you covered. So, let’s dive right in!

Connecticut Electrical Car Charging Infrastructure

In 2021, the federal government allocated 53 million to encourage electric vehicles in Connecticut over the next five years. The goal was to reduce air pollution by promoting vehicles with minimal emissions. The funding was mentioned in the bipartisan infrastructure bill worth 1.25 trillion, passed by both Congress chambers.

The matching grant will be 80-20, meaning Connecticut will contribute 10.6 million to the total 63.6 million funding. This program changed the driving scenario in the state, with almost 17,000 registered EVs (as of July 2021) and 1,500 EV charging stations reported in Connecticut.

The state government strives to achieve 500,000 electric cars by 2030. That is why Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) initiated a 9-year program to promote the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging across the state. It focused on inclusion and equity.

This program applies to commercial and residential customers registered at Eversource and United Illuminating. Under this program, the state offered homeowners 1,000 for electric vehicle charger installation. This means residential customers can have 500 cashback for installing a Level 2 Smart charger and up to 500 for upgrading their home wiring to support the electric charging.

Which Cities Have the Highest EV Charging Stations in Connecticut?

Luckily, finding an electric charging station has become easier in Connecticut. You can easily find it in almost every city of the state, as it consists of almost 1,500 stations throughout. But for your ease, here is a breakdown of some cities with the highest number of EV charging stations:

CityPublic Charging StationsDCFC StationsTesla StationsFree Stations
Hartford 469 77 54 57
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk 430 124 88 73
New Haven-Milford 317 90 66 47

Types of EV Charging in Connecticut

Whether you are thinking of owning an electric vehicle (EV) or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), you will have to charge the car to keep using it. So, you must know about the most popular charging options available in the state. Depending on the location, there are three types of EV charging in Connecticut.

Here is a brief description of each for your better understanding:

Level 1 Charging

Level 1 Charging Involves plugging your EV into the typical household electrical outlet of 120 volts (AC). This outlet must be on a separate circuit. Level 1 charging is relatively slower, taking around 8 to 20 hours to charge an EV fully. So, you can leave your car overnight if you want to opt for this way of charging.

You can charge all types of EVs with Level 1 charging. They don’t require any special tools or equipment. Just plug your vehicle into the outlet at your home, preferably overnight, and take it out for a drive the next day.

Level 2 Charging

Level 2 Charging means plugging the EV into a 240 volts outlet at the home, public station, or place of work. It requires special equipment for different types of vehicles. Level 2 Charging is faster than Level 1, taking only 3 to 6 hours to charge a vehicle fully. You can opt for this type of charging for your commercial EVs.

Installing Level 2 charging equipment usually costs between 500 and 2,000, based on how you have installed it. However, many states in the US, including Connecticut, offer incentives for Level 2 charging equipment installation.

Level 3 Charging/DC Fast Charging/Tesla Supercharger

Level 3 Charging is popular as Tesla Supercharger (Tesla’s own stations) and DC Fast Charging. It involves using special equipment to charge the EV with a direct current of 480 volts. It is the fastest way of charging an EV in Connecticut, requiring up to 30 minutes to charge the battery 50-80%.

These stations need more power, so you won’t find them in residential homes but on highways or public areas. DC Charging stations make road trips feasible with fast charging. It’s recommended to confirm with your EV’s manufacturer to find the supported charging method.

What Is Workplace EV Charging?

Workplace EV charging saves employers and employees time, money, and effort, allowing them to FOCUS on their work. With EV stations installed, a company can promote sustainability and an environmentally-friendly approach.

The six essential components of a workplace EV charging program in Connecticut include the following:

  • Support. Spread the idea of having an EV charging station in your workplace and staff members. Include the management and the senior officials in this plan to make it successful.
  • Evaluate. Call professionals to evaluate the electrical system at the site. Meanwhile, take the opinions of employees about this plan. They will be hesitant initially, but since EV is the future, they’ll agree in the end.
  • Consider. Consider EV charging station installation cost and see if your company can afford it. Also, determine your company’s eligibility for tax credits involved in the process.
  • Choose. Choose the right type of charging system and discover different options available.
  • Install. Get the system installed while being wary of the local requirements for siting and signage. If you have a DEEP grant, you’ll have minimal requirements for installing an EV charging station.
  • Establish. Finally, establish the procedures to evaluate employee access, payments and system optimizations, and priority scheduling.

Where To Find Public Charging Stations in Connecticut?

A majority of public EV charging stations are Level 2, and most of them are free. But with dedication, you can also find many Level 3 charging stations in Connecticut. You may struggle to find a Level 1 station in the state, but they’re established in Vernon and Deep River.

You can locate a public charging station across the state from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Alternative Fueling Station’s official map. Alternatively, you can use multiple apps for this purpose. The two best include:

  • ChargeHub. It lists the charging stations based on their levels, location, and current status.
  • PlugShare. It includes an interactive map showing directions to all public charging stations in the US. The site also provides customer reviews and of different EV charging stations.

Cost of Owning Some Popular EVs in Connecticut

No matter what EV model you buy, you can expect lots of incentives to charge it. After all, the Connecticut government is adamant about reducing carbon emissions. So, here is a brief cost breakdown of owning an EV in Connecticut for three famous EV models.

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the highest-selling Tesla products. If you buy and own a Tesla for 5 years, it will cost you more than 67,000. This means you’ll have to pay between 13,000 to 15,000 every year to maintain your Tesla Model 3, including the car’s original price, repairs, fuel, and depreciation costs.

Regarding the charging costs, it’s important to know that the Long Range and Performance Model 3s include an 82 kWh battery. While the former offers 353 miles of range, the latter can drive up to 315 miles. For both variants, you’ll likely pay around 7.65 for a full charge in Connecticut.

Nissan Leaf (Version S)

The Nissan Leaf Version S costs around 31,600 in Connecticut. But once you claim the tax credit on EVs, its price can reduce to just 24,100. That usually costs less than what most people pay for conventional gasoline cars.

The average cost of electricity in Connecticut is around 0.2370/kWh. So, if you opt for a 40kWh full charge for your Nissan Leaf, you can expect to pay around 9.48. The price can be even higher for 62kWh of full charge, estimated anywhere around 14.69. Compared to the gas prices, you’re surely paying way less.

Chevrolet Bolt

According to Edmunds.com, owning a Chevrolet Bolt in the US usually costs the owner around 2,885 on average in maintenance over the span of five years. That’s almost half of what a similar-sized Chevrolet SUV running on gas would cost. Gasoline-powered Chevrolets may cost you 4,411 for the same time period. If you’ve installed charging stations at your home, you can expect to pay around 7 to 8 for your Chevy Bolt with a 60kWh battery. That’s pretty cost-effective compared to the gasoline counterparts.

Charging Cost of an EV in Connecticut

Electric vehicles may have a high initial cost, but they’re actually more cost-effective than vehicles running on gasoline in the long run. EVs don’t require gas or any other fuel to operate. That’s a relief, considering increased gas in the country. In fact, charging an EV is also relatively cheaper than filling up gas tanks in conventional cars.

So, the question is, “what is the estimated charging cost of an EV in Connecticut?” The answer typically varies depending on what type of charging you opt for for your EV and your state.

For instance, Level 1 charging is rare on public roads, but these stations are mostly free. Yes, there are some exceptions. But even if you’re paying for it, you’ll have an average hit of 1.50 to 14, depending on your car’s charging time.

On the other hand, Level 2 charging stations are the most common, established across Connecticut. If it’s your lucky day, you may get your car charged for free, but that’s rare. Typically, you’ll have to pay at these stations by the amount of electricity you would use.

Suppose you stop by an Electrify America charging station (Level 2). You will be charged almost 0.43/kWh in that case. So, your final bill will be estimated based on how long your EV’s battery takes to charge. It will probably be about 10 for an hour of charging.

The DC fast chargers are the third type of charging station, which is not much more expensive than Level 2 charging stations. However, you must first check whether the station charges by minutes or the kWhs. The average cost for DC fast charging across Connecticut is 0.35/kWh, totaling between 10 and 30 per charge.

Remember, you may also have to calculate the additional costs that some stations charge. This includes the service fee and parking charges.

Incentives To Own an EV in Connecticut

Connecticut is focusing on expanding its electrical cars (EVs) infrastructure to promote sustainability and establish an environmentally-friendly culture. The government aims to register almost half a million EVs in Connecticut by 2023. However, achieving this goal would be impossible if the officials didn’t offer incentives and rebates to people on EV purchases.

The PURA’s nine-year program that encourages people to EV purchase includes special rebates and incentives for residential and commercial customers. Of the total 1000 incentive, homeowners will have 500 as a charger rebate and 500 as funds to update their home’s wiring. They can also avail of a 200 credit on their annual electricity bills and 100 for a single payment by shifting to off-peak charging.

Regarding commercial customers, the program offers up to 20,000 rebates to those installing a Level 2 Charging station. over, businesses that opt for DC Fast Charging station installation will get up to 150,000 rebates. In fact, these rebates can reach up to 40,000 for Level 2 Charging and 250,000 for DC Fast Charging stations, only for underserved parties.

The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Program (CHEAPR) also includes up to 7,500 rebates for those who lease or buy eligible EVs or hybrid vehicles. If you purchased your EV after 2010, you’d also be eligible for 7,500 as a federal tax credit and a 30% tax credit for installing an EV charging station.

Many utility companies like Norwich Public Utilities also offer incentives of a maximum of 1,500 for people purchasing or leasing an EV or hybrid vehicle. The company also gives up to 4,000 rebates to those installing an EV charger.

Summary: Owning an EV in Connecticut

It’s easy to own and maintain an EV in Connecticut. All credit goes to the incentives and programs launched by the state and federal governments to promote the leasing and purchasing of electric cars (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

You can charge your EV for free with Level 1 Charging, at 0.43/kWh with Level 2 Charging, and at 0.35/kWh with Level 3 Charging. The total cost will depend on your EV’s charging time. The PURA’s nine-year program offers multiple rebates and incentives to residential and commercial customers for installing charging stations at their homes or workplaces and updating the place’s electric wiring. The Norwich Public Utilities and CHEAPR also offer incentives for owning and charging an EV in Connecticut.

Breaking EV News

June 8, 2023 — At the start of 2024, General Motors (GM) and Ford EVs will be able to use an adaptor to charge at 12,000 Tesla Superchargers. Both companies will feature Tesla’s North American Charging Standard connector starting in 2025.

In an interview, GM’s CEO Mary Barra said that this collaboration “…could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”

Owning an EV in Connecticut: Charging Cost, Incentives, and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How many electric car charging stations are there in Connecticut?

There are almost 1,500 public EV charging stations across Connecticut.

How many EVs are in Connecticut?

Nearly 14,000 electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) have been registered in Connecticut as of Jan 01, 2021. However, we can expect the figure to be higher in 2023.

How much do EVs cost?

EVs cost between 25,000 to 2,000,000, considering the three most famous EVs in the US. The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is priced at 39,990), Chevy Bolt at 36,620, and the Toyota Prius Prime costs around 27,600.

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle in CT?

Assuming a driving distance of 14,263 miles yearly, you might pay 1016 if the rate is 25.43 cents per kWh. This includes 19.58 to fully charge a 77 kWh battery and 7.12 cents per mile.

Does CT have an EV tax credit?

much, charging, stations, cost

The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Program (CHEAPR) offers up to 7,500 rebates for purchasing an EV or PHEV. It also provides a 7,500 federal tax credit and a 30% tax credit for those who buy an EV and install the charging station after 2010.

The Complete Guide to Electric Car Charger Costs for Fleets

Learn about electric car charger costs, charging networks, and the basics of installing EV chargers for your fleet.

When evaluating electric vehicles (EVs) for your fleet, one of the first considerations is charging—cost, availability, and timing. On average, the cost to charge an electric car is 3.5x less per mile compared to the cost to fuel a gas-powered car. While the cost of charging varies by location and time of day, electricity are more stable than gas prices.

EVs in a fleet can choose whether to use public or private charging networks. The U.S. public EV charging network has approximately 47,000 level 2 and DC fast chargers combined—about 6,500 of those are DC fast chargers, found on this interactive map. Both public and private charger quantities are rapidly growing—from 2015 to 2020, the number of charging stations grew by over 100%, and in 2021 alone the total amount of charging stations increased by 55%.

All-electric, battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) both use EV chargers but have different charging times as PHEVs have smaller batteries and thus, faster charging times. This guide will FOCUS on the basics of EV charging based on charger type, location, and time of use.

Types of electric vehicle chargers

There are three types of EV chargers—Level 1, 2, and 3— that use two types of power: Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). The main difference between AC and DC power is charging speed.

EV batteries only accept DC power—Level 1 and 2 chargers distribute AC power, so the conversion to DC power occurs inside the EV battery, leading to slower charging times. Level 3, or DC fast chargers, convert AC to DC power inside the charging station, not the vehicle’s battery, for the fastest charging times.

40 hours to charge BEV from empty

AC power; slowest charger; standard for home charging

4-10 hours to charge BEV from empty

AC power; most commonly found at commercial or public charging stations

20-60 minutes to charge BEV from empty

DC power; also known as DC fast chargers, DCFC, or superchargers; needed for MHD vehicle charging

Calculating EV fleet charging costs

Several factors contribute to the cost of charging such as battery size, cost of electricity, and location of the charging station. Despite these factors influencing the price range of charging, the average cost to fill up a tank of gas is still around 350% more.

Battery size

The first, and constant, charge factor is battery size. The smaller the battery’s kilowatt-hour (kWh) capacity, the less energy it will need to reach a full charge. From there, the battery size, calculated in kWh, is multiplied by the cost of energy which averages 0.10 per kWh in the U.S. You can roughly calculate the cost to charge your EV with this equation: Battery capacity kWh × cost per kWh = charging cost

For example, the battery size for a Tesla Model S is 100kWh so the cost to charge from empty, on average, is 10.

Time of use

The next factor is time-of-use (TOU) where early-bird, peak, and off-peak hours affect pricing. While TOU hours can vary per electricity provider, they typically fall into these timeframes:

  • Early-bird hours are from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. and have the lowest cost.
  • Peak hours are from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and have the highest cost.
  • Off-peak hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. and fall in between early-bird and peak hour pricing.

Both demand and energy supply affect pricing in each TOU window. During early-bird hours when demand is the lowest, electricity rates mirror this with the lowest rates. During peak hours when solar energy is decreasing but demand is high, the cost of electricity is the highest. During off-peak hours when solar energy is most plentiful or demand is decreasing, electricity rates are not as costly as with peak hours.

Location: private vs. public stations

Another major factor in charging cost is location. Charging via private stations, like at a fleet depot or at home, will yield closest to the charging cost calculation above. Public charging stations, like those in retail or commercial parking lots, will average higher rates with more variability. Some public charging networks, like EVgo. have rolled out monthly subscriptions where members receive better rates than non-members, while other providers charge per minute of use instead of by kWh consumed. State and metropolitan area also affect rates—for example, Los Angeles has some of the most expensive electricity rates in the U.S.

Type of charger

Using DC fast chargers, or superchargers, will be more expensive than level 2 chargers since DC fast chargers require more energy. A common strategy for optimized cost and timing is to charge your EV to 80% with a level 2 charger, followed by a supercharger for the remaining 20%.

Installation costs of EV charging stations

EV charging costs can be unpredictable on the road, leading fleets to install their own charging systems and infrastructure. Charger level and quantity are the primary cost variables when purchasing charging stations.

Type of chargers

  • Level 1: These chargers are used for residential charging and are not suitable for commercial fleets as they are slow and can overload circuits.
  • Level 2: The cost of installation ranges from 1,200 to 6,000 per charger. Level 2 chargers are suitable for light-duty trucks and passenger vehicles in a fleet.
  • Level 3 (DCFC): The cost of installation ranges from 30,000 to 80,000 per charger. Level 3 chargers are required for medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles.

Number of chargers

Most level 2 chargers will complete a charge in about six hours—one charger per vehicle is often recommended for fleet depots that house light-duty EVs overnight. The recommended number of DC fast chargers at fleet depots will vary depending on your EV needs—maybe a few superchargers are needed to charge light-duty vehicles quickly during the day, or maybe your fleet is starting to roll out heavy-duty EVs and requires one DCFC per vehicle.

Charging station rebates and incentives

Similar to purchasing electric vehicles, there are tax credits and rebates available for purchasing charging stations. The current federal tax credit, Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit. covers up to 30,000 or 30% of installation costs of EV charging stations.

Local government incentives are widely available as well— Charge Ahead Colorado offers grants up to 80% of installation costs for all levels of chargers, while California’s CALeVIP program grants up to 80,000 per commercially installed DCFC. Tax incentives by state can be found on AFDC.

Other cost factors

  • Solar power: Fleet facilities can install solar panels at their depots to offset or even cover the electricity costs their vehicles consume. There are additional costs to installing solar panels but most providers will assist you with ROI calculations.
  • Networked vs. non-networked chargers: Networked chargers have built-in software and Wi-Fi to provide usage data, diagnose problems, balance peak-time loads, and more, while non-networked chargers are less expensive by only providing electricity without internet capabilities.
much, charging, stations, cost

Ev car charging cost

Welcome to EV101: Electric Vehicle Charging Basics

What Affects Charging Speed?

Your vehicle

There are a lot of variables that affect each vehicle’s charging speed. When a battery is more depleted, the charging speed is typically faster. However, batteries don’t like to charge quickly when they’re too hot or too cold, so charging may be slower in extreme temperatures.

Different vehicle manufacturers design different batteries. And because the battery is usually the single most expensive “thing” inside a vehicle, it’s in everyone’s best interest to maximize the battery’s longevity, health, and safety. As a result, when a vehicle charges, the vehicle decides the power it draws from the charger in a way that maximizes longevity.

The charging system

Different electric vehicles have different capacities for charging speeds; charging stations also have different capacities, and the maximum rate of your charging session is determined by whichever is lower, the capability of the car or the charger. For example, a 50 kW capable EV would not charge any faster at a 350 kW station. Also, it is worth noting that higher capable vehicles can charge at lower capable stations, they are just limited to what the station can provide.

Outside temperature

How Does the Vehicle Decide Your Charging Rate?

The vehicle’s Battery Management System (BMS — or “brain”) considers all of the factors explained above in order to maximize the longevity of the battery. Is the battery hot right now? Is it cold outside? Is the battery old and deteriorated? How full is the battery? Given all of this information, the vehicle tells the charger the voltage and current it can accept. the product of which determines the charge rate.

When the vehicle starts charging, it may reach (or get close to) the maximum charging rate (i.e. 50 kW). But as the charge continues — and the battery gets hotter and its cells start to fill — the vehicle will slow the charging rate to reduce the strain on the battery. When the battery is about 80% full, the charge rate can slow rapidly, as shown in the example below:

Why Does My Charging Speed Slow Down as I Charge?

To answer that question, we first have to understand the vehicle’s battery. When most people imagine a car battery, they might imagine one big block sitting inside the car. In reality, inside a “battery pack” are hundreds — and often thousands — of smaller “battery cells.” (The Tesla Model S has up to 7,104 battery cells!) As a result, when a battery charges, those thousands of cells are actually what’s being charged.

A helpful analogy might be to imagine sitting in a movie theater. When the theater is empty, it’s easy to find a seat right away. But as the theater fills up, we have to take a few moments to find a seat — and climb over people (without knocking over their popcorn). That’s what happens with battery cells at the molecular level. When the battery cells are nearly empty, it’s easy to “find a seat” to charge. But as the battery cells fill up, it takes more time to find (and navigate) the empty cells. Generally, above 80% full is when it’s hardest for electrons to find a seat in your battery’s movie theater.

NOTE: Your charging speed will slow down throughout the course of your charge. And every vehicle decides that “slow down rate” differently. Every manufacturer determines this in order to keep your vehicle’s battery healthy and increase longevity.

Why Does My Charging Speed Slow Down as I Charge?

To answer that question, we first have to understand the vehicle’s battery. When most people imagine a car battery, they might imagine one big block sitting inside the car. In reality, inside a “battery pack” are hundreds — and often thousands — of smaller “battery cells.” (The Tesla Model S has up to 7,104 battery cells!) As a result, when a battery charges, those thousands of cells are actually what’s being charged.

A helpful analogy might be to imagine sitting in a movie theater. When the theater is empty, it’s easy to find a seat right away. But as the theater fills up, we have to take a few moments to find a seat — and climb over people (without knocking over their popcorn). That’s what happens with battery cells at the molecular level. When the battery cells are nearly empty, it’s easy to “find a seat” to charge. But as the battery cells fill up, it takes more time to find (and navigate) the empty cells. Generally, above 80% full is when it’s hardest for electrons to find a seat in your battery’s movie theater.

NOTE: Your charging speed will slow down throughout the course of your charge. And every vehicle decides that “slow down rate” differently. Every manufacturer determines this in order to keep your vehicle’s battery healthy and increase longevity.

Why Am I Not Getting the Maximum Charge Rate on My Car’s Nameplate?

There are several reasons for this. When a car advertises a maximum charging rate of 50 kW, that doesn’t mean it can consistently charge at that rate.

When a vehicle connects to a charger, a conversation takes place between the charger and the vehicle — and it’s dominated by the vehicle. The charger tells the vehicle both the voltage and current rates it can accept, and the charger provides only what the vehicle can accommodate. As a result, the vehicle manages its battery to provide the longest useful life by not overcharging it. Here are some examples of things that affect your charging speed:

What Does a Level 3 Charger Cost?

Just like a new car, a charger for an electrical vehicle (EV) comes with features that affect price. There is no single answer to the question: What does a level 3 charger cost?

You can purchase a basic, inexpensive car. But additional features increase the price. Similarly, level 3 charging station costs range from 40,000 to 175,000 per unit.

It’s not just about the price tag, though. Level 3 chargers vary widely by capability. And, in many cases, your company can recoup the investment through the business value that EV charging provides to your customers, your employees, and your brand.

What Are Level 3 Chargers?

EV charging equipment is classified by how fast it replenishes an EV’s battery. Any charger that exceeds 25 miles of charge per hour is a level 3 charger.

Use of Direct Current

Level 3 chargers have the capability to convert alternating current from the grid to direct current (DC) for the battery to store. They’re more expensive than level 2 chargers due to this internal conversion capability.

Differences with Level 2 Chargers

Level 2 chargers rely on the EV to convert AC to DC, a much slower process and why level 2 chargers cost less: about 2,500 to 5,500 per unit.

Level 1 charging involves a regular 120-volt outlet and is appropriate for residential use.

Other Names for Level 3 Chargers

Level 3 chargers also are called direct-current fast chargers (or DC fast chargers or DCFC). In the US, more than 15% of public-facing EV charging ports are DC fast chargers, according to the Department of Energy.

How Do You Use Level 3 Chargers?

Level 3 charging runs off 480-volt power lines. Interestingly, the higher-capacity conduit, panels, and circuit breakers don’t add significant expense over what similar level 2 equipment would cost.

“Fueling” the Electric Vehicle

Similar to a gas pump, the driver inserts the charging cable into the port of the car. Depending on the make of the EV, the charging cord may require a connector to fit into the car’s charging socket.

Understanding Energy Use

Level 3 chargers can communicate in the Cloud through network software. Future Energy’s software solution, Interface, allows you to monitor and control all of your electrical use in real-time.

Storing Energy

Some level 3 chargers not only convert energy but also can store it. For example, a ChargePoint DCFC can cost in excess of 100,000, but it includes power blocks and other internal equipment that mitigate the need for a utility upgrade.

What Are the Cost Factors of Level 3 Chargers?

Future Energy recommends the installation of level 3 infrastructure even if your immediate plans call for the installation of level 2 chargers.

Power Output

Level 3 chargers have a wide range of power output, which affects cost. A charger that delivers up to 25 kilowatts of AC power is considered level 3. However, the top end of the power output extends up to about 500 kilowatts and delivers up to 200 miles of range in 30 minutes of charge.

Type of Connector

There are four types of connectors for level 3 chargers. Similar to different phone chargers for an iPhone or Android, these attachments fit into the EV’s charging socket.

CHAdeMO (pronounced “CHA-di-mo”): Developed by Japanese automakers seeking to form a global infrastructure of level 3 public EV charging stations, CHAdeMO is an abbreviation of CHArge de MOve.” The word loosely derives from the Japanese phrase “How about a cup of tea?”—a nod to how quickly a driver can charge an EV using a level 3 charger. The connector contains two large pins exclusively for DC charging.

SAE Combo (also called CCS, or “Combo Charging System”): The Society of Automotive Engineers created its own standard for fast charging. SAE CCS connectors support both level 3 fast charging and level 2 charging.

Tesla: Tesla offers a proprietary connector. Only Tesla EVs can use Tesla level 3 chargers, also called Superchargers.

GB/T: GB/T is the English equivalent of China’s Guobiao Standards. GB/T connectors are exclusively for level 3 charging in China.

OCPP Compliance

The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) facilitates communication among EV charging stations and many software systems that help manage EV charging networks in the Cloud. In fact, OCPP has become the benchmark for interoperability for EV charging worldwide.

Software Integration

Beyond OCPP compliance, the features of level 3 charging station software also affect cost. These include incorporation of a touch screen or other services the software provides.

Warranty

The length and type of warranty also affects level 3 charger cost. The standard warranty is two years, but some chargers offer three-year warranties or guarantee the product up to a certain number of charging cycles.

What Are the Benefits of Installing Level 3 Chargers?

The real question surrounding level 3 charging station cost is not the price tag. Instead, the question is how the features of the level 3 charger you choose can enhance your business operations.

Rebates for Level 3 Chargers

The nationwide push toward EV adoption has unleashed numerous financial incentives for your business to install level 3 EV chargers.

In many cases, these incentives, rebates, and grants can cover 100% of your electric car charging station’s cost.

However, not all level 3 chargers are eligible for rebates. Future Energy can help you identify which equipment qualifies so that you don’t miss out on recouping some of your investment. In fact, Future Energy’s Financial Incentive National Database (FIND) tool instantly identifies every available financial opportunity for any Future Energy client nationwide.

Business Value of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Because the market for EVs is so new, it’s important to think about benefits beyond purely a revenue-generating business model. Instead, public EV charging stations are a way to demonstrate your company culture and beliefs.

For example, you can offer level 3 charging as an employee benefit.

Brand Enhancement

Companies are beginning to see how offering level 3 EV charging enhances their reputation. Future Energy is working with an automotive maintenance company to install level 3 chargers at thousands of its locations in the Midwest. The company plans to offer complimentary charging with its automotive services.

These public EV charging stations show potential customers that this company is a forward-thinking leader in the burgeoning market. Beyond the attraction of additional customers, Future Energy is helping the company use the fast chargers to enhance its brand.

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Who Can Help You Understand Level 3 Charger Cost?

The question of what a level 3 charger costs isn’t a simple answer. At Future Energy, we help you see beyond the monetary answer to unlock the business value of incorporating level 3 charging solutions into your operations. Contact us today to find out how your business can benefit.

Sam DiNello is Chief Executive Officer at Future Energy. He is an expert in the EV infrastructure space and passionate about innovative data-driven solutions that help companies access real-time intelligence for real-time action.

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