How to Charge an Electric Car: A Guide to Charging Your EV
If you’re considering owning an electrical car, charging it is something you need to get right. Like any other thing that runs on a battery, charging an electric car needs to be done safely to avoid potential dangers. Doing this also involves plugging in your car when you park to recharge it and waiting until the battery is full. Depending on your location, you can find some charging points or stations. You can even choose to charge your electric car at home if you have a charging point installed where you park your car. However, there are a few things you first need to know about how to charge an electric car, and this post will guide you.
What are EV Chargers?
An EV charger, also known as an Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) or EV charging station, is an electrical device that provides a safe and efficient form of electrical transmission from a local grid through a dedicated circuit to charge an electric vehicle. An EV charger uses two-way communication between the EV and the charging station to improve safety when sending electricity through the EV charger and the charging cable.
For many electric car users, the overall process of keeping your car charged may be more convenient than refuelling a traditional vehicle. Charging an electric vehicle comes in three levels.
Level 1 – Portable EVSE
Level one portable EVSE chargers are usually the least expensive. Unlike other chargers, these are portable and do not require you to install any additional equipment. While they are the least expensive, they also take the most time to charge a car’s battery, as they deliver only about 2.0 kW of power through a regular 10A socket. That means you can wait about 4 to 48 hours for your vehicle to charge, depending on your battery size.
Level 2 – Wall Chargers
You’ll find these wall chargers mostly in residential and commercial buildings. They deliver faster AC charging, compared to the level 1 chargers, with an increased charging power of about 7.2 kW, considerably reducing your charging time. The good news is that you can get a level 2 wall charger installed in your garage by a trusted professional. You can contact an electrical business for the installation of your charging unit. However, some electric car manufacturers such as Tesla and Ford have specially designed level 2 chargers for their electric cars.
Level 3 – DC Fast Chargers
This level offers rapid charging capacity ranging from 50 kW using a rapid charger to about 350 kW using an ultra-rapid charging unit. You will find this level ideal when driving long distances with little downtime for charging. That is why you will mostly find DC fast chargers in commercial and industrial applications. They require high-powered equipment and specialised training to install and maintain them.
To charge your electric car, you need to plug it into an EV charging station specially designed for the purpose. EV charging systems offer three main charging levels, from 1 to 3. The right option will depend on your electric car’s charging needs.