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The Basics of EV Charging

EV Charger

Plug in! Today, we are charging up. Oil and gas, step aside! As with any new technology, EV Charging will take a little time to learn and to become familiar with, but that time is now. Stay tuned because our team here at Good Faith Energy is here to educate you, and if you need help getting started with a new EV Charger at home or at your commercial business, our licensed electricians can help with that too! As a fellow electric car enthusiast and owner myself, I had the exact same questions that you might be asking yourself today: How and where do I charge my car? Am I going to have range anxiety? Why do EVs charge so slow?

How and Where Do I Charge My EV?

Believe it or not, EVs are easier to keep charged or filled up than you might think. Imagine a world where you get home from work, and there is a gas pump in your garage, but way less filthy, and about a quarter of the cost. You get home, you grab the pump (your charger), you plug it into your car, and you walk away. Then in the morning, you have a full tank of gas (a charged battery). This is essentially what EV charging at home is like. You literally leave home every day with what is equivalent to a full tank of gas every single day. Imagine that.

Am I Going to Have Range Anxiety?

Really, think about it. How often do you leave your house with a full tank of gas and then have to stop during the day to fill it up again? Pretty rare, right? The only time this happens to me is when I go on road trips, which for me is maybe once every month or two. If you are one of those rare people that drive over 300 miles per day, there are still EV options available for you. Plug-in hybrids offer that extra range and flexibility with the benefits of being able to still stop for a quick gas fill up while still maintaining higher gas mileage than most other internal combustion engine vehicles. So will you have range anxiety? Yes, for the first week, and then basically never again.

Why Do EVs Charge So Slow?

Charge speeds vary. A typical charging session at home from a 110v outlet (a regular American plug found in almost every building) can take a very long time. This is known as Level 1 Charging. From a nearly dead battery to a full charge can take up to a few days at speeds of 1-5 miles of range added to the battery per hour. Unless your commute is less than 30-50 miles per day, this most likely won’t cut it. Now if your commute is less than 30-50 miles per day, a Level 1 Charger might actually work. A Level 2 Charger or 240v outlet is an upgrade that you can add to almost any breaker box, and is what 99% of EV drivers rely on. This will increase your charge speeds up to 25-50 miles of range added to the battery per hour. This might still seem slow compared to a typical gas tank fill up, but the truth is, if you plug your vehicle in overnight, you can go from an empty battery to a full charge in 8 hours or less.

Still seems like a long time, huh? Maybe, but now you have to consider a previous statement. How often do you use a full tank of gas per day? VERY RARELY! You only have to charge up the amount of battery that was used the day before. This means that if your daily commute is 100 miles, you only need to charge up 100 miles. This will cut that charge time down to 2-4 hours. This also assumes you need to have a full charge. Again, if your commute is only 100 miles per day and your battery has an estimated range of 200 miles, then really you only need to charge every other day rather than every day. My personal commute is roughly 60 miles/day. This means that on a normal day, I only need to charge for 2.4 hrs at 25 miles of range per hour. This is easy, because I have access to a charger at home and at work. This also means that I only have to charge every 2-3 days. Level 3 Charging is a nice option as well. Level 3 is known as DC Fast Charging.

These chargers can be found at some public charging stations. Tesla actually offers their own proprietary Level 3 Charging network that you may have heard of, the Tesla Supercharger Network, and can be found basically everywhere in the United States as well as most of the world. These Level 3 Chargers can juice up your car to about 80% charge in 30 minutes or less in many cases. In general, these speeds are not necessary for your normal commute, but can come in handy if you maybe forgot to plug in the night before. These are great for road trips as they are typically located along interstate highways or at some travel destinations. If you are running low on juice and need just a few miles to make it home, you can actually just plug into a level 3 charger for a minute or two similar to a normal gas station fill up to get enough electricity to make it home. Then, you plug in at home again, and you are all set.

EV Charging is Easy

Electricity is changing the way we “fill our tanks”. The days of Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) and gas stations are numbered. Electric vehicles are taking over. Even some of the big oil and gas leaders such as Shell, Circle K, and 7-Eleven are jumping on board. It wasn’t long ago that Tesla seemed more like another doomed startup company from Silicon Valley. Today, they are leading the CHARGE! The world’s governments and businesses are committed to going “green”. Automotive companies are funding billions to electrify their inventory. Tesla doesn’t walk alone anymore, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Hyundai, Kia etc. all stand proud as “new” EV manufacturers. The people have spoken. Electric is the way forward.

The EV revolution is here to stay and luckily, Good Faith Energy installs chargers both residential and commercial for every electric vehicle. Have a question or concern about EV Charging? Interested in getting a Level 2 or Level 3 Charger installed at your home or business? Please contact us and ask for one of our EV Charging experts.

Fact checked by Jacob Petrosky – 4/25/2024