One of the differences between electric vehicles and ICE is how the two ‘refuel.’ If you own the latter, you have to drive to the filling station. However, you have several options with the former, some of which are very convenient and even free!
Whichever method of charging an electric vehicle that you choose, you pay less than for ICEs. In this article, we will look at your options when it comes to charging your electric car.
We will start with the most convenient method.
This method of charging your electric vehicle is the most convenient because you can do it at your convenience since it is where you live. For instance, all you have to do after getting back from work is to remember to plug it in, and you could wake up to a full battery the next day.
This is why it is the most popular among electric vehicle owners.
Another reason to charge at home is it can help you reduce your charging costs. For instance, you can schedule your charging to off-peak periods like overnight or weekends when the price of electricity is lower. You might also get on electricity plans meant for electric vehicle owners to cut your costs.
Similarly, with home charging, you can completely go zero-emission. Unlike other forms of charging that might be supplying you power from emission-producing plants, you could select a utility company that offers green energy. You could also set up your own solar panels to charge your car from the sun.
Charging at home is safer because some public chargers are in deserted spots where you may not be comfortable being alone.
You can charge at home with Level 1 or Level 2 charging as they are not too expensive to set up. As an added advantage, home chargers increase the value of your home.
Level 2 chargers are faster, and you could get a full battery in about eight hours, depending on your car. However, since you do not need to charge 100 percent each time (just like you did not need to buy a full tank of gas each time), Level 1 might be adequate for you, especially if you own a plug-in hybrid.
The next method of charging is usually free, something you can’t replicate with ICEs.
The term destination charging means you charge your car at a place you visit for other purposes. In other words, you are taking advantage of a charging opportunity while you engage in other activities.
This works well for places where you have to spend some time.
Some businesses try to attract and retain the loyalty of EV owners (they are statistically among the most affluent and educated demography) by offering free charging. For example, you could get a battery top-up as you get your groceries at the supermarket or a haircut at the barbershop.
In some hotels, you could get complimentary EV charging, just like free Wifi. On longer trips, you could plan your overnight stays in these hotels and charge your car overnight.
Apart from filling up your battery for free, you can put your money where your mouth is on environmental conservation by supporting businesses that help to reduce pollution by offering destination charging.
Level 2 is the most common for destination charging as they are faster while not being too expensive.
The last charging option is the fastest.
Public DC rapid charging
As an ICE driver, you probably have your favorite gas station chain or network. EV charging works that way, too, as third-party companies operate a network of public chargers where you can pull in to fill up your battery.
These public charging stations usually provide DC fast chargers to get your battery to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. Because of the high installation cost, they are typically run for profit, so you will be charged to use the facility.
Fast chargers are often located along highways to cater to drivers on longer trips who need to charge fast during a stopover for food or use the bathroom.
Popular charging networks include Electrify America, which has a presence all over North America, and ChargePoint. Tesla maintains its Superchargers exclusively for its cars and has over 25,000 charging points globally.
There are smartphone apps that help you locate public chargers on the map. They can even report if they are in good shape or available so you can plan your trip accordingly. Tesla cars can route your trip to give you the most charging opportunities.
A word of caution: it is not advisable to rely on public chargers for all your charging needs as they could increase the rate of your battery degradation.
Since you have several choices for charging your electric car, it is more convenient to maintain than an ICE.
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