It usually takes only around 5 seconds of your time to “refuel” your electric car. Why? Because most charging (over 85%, according to EV driver polling) happens at home, overnight, while the driver sleeps. You just plug in your car when you get home and it’s typically re-charged back to full before you even wake up the next morning. In many cases, all you need is the included charging adapter and a standard outlet to recharge for the daily range you need – no “charging station” required! It really is that easy.
Figure 1: Courtesy of Georgia Power
The second most common place to charge is at the workplace. Since most people are at work for 7 or more hours, the time to charge is not a concern. The third most common charging happens at a place you can catch an “Opportunity Charge”: Typically a shopping area, restaurant, or recreation destination where you’d already planned to visit for one or more hours. Already numbering in the tens of thousands, more Workplace Charging and Opportunity Charging sites are being added every year. These are usually what’s known as Level 2 charging sites which add 12 to 70 miles of range per hour, depending upon the vehicle and station type.
Finally, there are two options for taking your electric car on longer trips.
- Choosing a PHEV (Plug in Hybrid Electric) means you can drive and refuel on any trip just as you do now, conveniently at the next gas station rest stop. But you can still charge up as well, whenever it’s also convenient. It’s the best of both worlds.
Figure 2: Courtesy of Gary Kendall, Ph. D.
- Choosing a BEV (Battery only Electric) means you’ll want to look for fast charging (Level 3) along your route and/or overnight destination charging (Level 1 or 2) where you’ll stay. Today’s fast charging can add from 60 up to 180 miles of range in under 30 minutes, depending on model and station. Thousands of fast chargers and destination chargers are being added every year, and the next generation of fast charging coming in just a few years will add twice the range in half the time!
Figure 3: Sample of US Fast Charging sites, 2018 (PlugShare.com)
So installing a dedicated charging unit at home may be something you don’t require, or you may decide you need or simply want. Check out this guide to Buying Your First Home EV Charger (plugincars.com) http://plugincars.com/quick-guide-buying-your-first-home-ev-charger-126875.html or to get a handy online map and mobile app to find charging near you, visit PlugShare or install their mobile app.