Buying an electric car or hybrid means no more pumping gas. All you have to do is plug it in, and you are ready to go. This sounds simple, but there are a few things you need to know before you buy your first EV.
The first thing you need to know is that there are three levels of charging, and each works differently and takes different amounts of time. You need to consider this when planning your week or a longer trip.
Level 1 charging means you can use a cord to plug your car into a standard 110-volt outlet in your home. This charging method takes the longest and can charge from nearly empty to full in about 40-50 hours. It is important that you do not use a Level 1 charger with any other type of charging system. Most cars come with a Level 1 charger, and you might have to purchase cords that are compatible with Level 2 and Level 3.
Level 2 charging stations use a 220-volt outlet, which is the same type you use for larger appliances in your home. Charging can take from four to ten hours using this type of charging. Many workplaces and public buildings also have 220-volt outlets installed for their employees.
Level 3 charging is the type you get at public charging stations and is the fastest. This level can charge your vehicle in as little as 20 minutes. This is sometimes called DCFC or direct current fast chargers.
Can You Use Any Type of Charging?
It is important to read your owner’s manual and only use the recommended type of charging. For instance, newer Level 3 charging stations can deliver up to 350kW of power, but older EVs can only accept power at a rate of 50kW. Different EVs have different types of plugs, and not every one will work with all Level 3 chargers. This is something to consider when choosing your EV.
Charging at Home
Charging at home is the most common way to charge your EV. You can use Level 1 or Level 2 charging to make sure your car is ready to go in the morning. Before you begin charging your EV at home, you need to ensure your electrical system is ready. You can contact Fisher Electric in Santa Cruz, CA for all your at-home EV charging needs. If you choose Level 1 charging, we can make sure your system is in good shape and ready. We can also install a Level 2 charging port conveniently in your garage.