The preferred mode of transportation for commuters who are concerned about the environment is rapidly evolving be electric cars (EVs). Sales of electric vehicles increased by 140% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
States like Texas and California are providing incentives and subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles, which can be used in conjunction with green energy plans, like Rhythm’s EV electricity programs, to reduce the carbon footprint associated with charging electric vehicles.
An EV charger is a device that is plugged into a socket and that enables electric vehicles to be recharged. Technically speaking, it is “electric vehicle supply equipment” that provides power to your automobile, which then uses an “onboard charger” to charge the battery.
EV chargers can take a variety of forms, from simple wall outlets to sophisticated systems that use solar or wind energy to recharge the battery. They’re becoming more and more common, as more and more people switch to electric vehicles.
EV chargers can make it much easier for people to keep their cars running smoothly by ensuring that they have enough charge when they need it. In addition, they help reduce emissions by helping us keep our cars powered by electricity instead of gasoline.
At a basic level, an EV charger functions exactly like any other appliance or item you charge by putting into the wall: it draws an electric charge from either a 240v port or the grid it is linked to and distributes that electricity to the car.
Compared to conventional gasoline vehicles, EVs can typically recharge faster and emit no emissions. EVs have particular types of connectors, unlike smartphones, which can be recharged using any conventional wall outlet because all gadget makers use the same socket. There are basically 3 types of EV connections: AC connection, solar, and wind power charging stations available.
The way EV chargers function is by converting grid energy into DC power, which is then transferred straight to the EV battery. Because it uses less energy overall, this method is not just quicker than charging over a normal outlet, but also more efficient. Because EV batteries are created expressly for electric vehicles, EVs can benefit from this technology.
Through a connector or socket, an EV charger transfers electric current from the grid to the electric vehicle. To power its electric motor, the electric vehicle stores this electricity in a sizable battery pack. At its most basic, an EV charger functions exactly like any other appliance or item you charge by putting into the wall: it draws an electrical current from either a 240v outlet or the grid it is linked to and distributes that electricity to the car.
The connector of an EV charger is connected to an electric vehicle’s inlet, which is analogous to a conventional vehicle’s gas tank, using a charging cable.DC electricity is the only type that EV batteries can receive.
Level 1 Charging
Utilizing a standard 120-volt household outlet is level 1 charging. By connecting the charging apparatus to a standard wall outlet, any electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid can be charged on Level 1 at any time. The least quick way to charge an EV is at Level 1. It increases range by 3 to 5 miles per hour.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have smaller batteries, which currently have a capacity of less than 25 kWh, hence level 1 charging is effective for them. Since EV batteries are substantially bigger, Level 1 charging takes too long for the majority of daily charges, unless a short daily commute is required. Level 2 charging works better for the daily charging needs of the majority of BEV owners.
Level 2 charging
For everyday EV charging, level 2 charging is the most popular level. Level 2 charging equipment can be put at a person’s home, place of employment, as well as in public areas like malls, railway stations, and other places. Depending on the power output of the Level 2 charger and the maximum charge rate of the car, Level 2 charging can restore 12 to 80 miles of range per hour.
Since Level 2 charging can recharge a BEV up to 10 times faster than Level 1 charging, the majority of BEV owners decide to install Level 2 charging equipment in their homes. Even if you hook in with a practically empty battery, most of the time when charging from a Level 2 source, the vehicle will be fully charged overnight.
Up to 80 amps of power can be delivered by level 2 chargers. However, doing so necessitates a 100-amp 208-240V dedicated circuit as well as a substantial, pricey supply line from the breaker box. The majority of owners will do well to select a 40-amp charger that can send 9.6 kW to the EV. A 48-amp charger can charge significantly more quickly (11.5 kW), but it also requires thicker wire and must be hardwired in order to meet NEC code requirements. Because of this, 48-amp chargers can be much more expensive than 40-amp models while providing just slightly faster charging.
Level 3 charging
The quickest charging method, level 3, can recharge an EV at a rate of 3 to 20 miles of range per minute. Level 3 charging employs direct current (DC), as opposed to Level 1 and Level 2 charging, which use alternating current (AC) (DC). The voltage is also significantly higher than Level 1 & 2 charging, which is why level 3 chargers are not commonly found in homes. The high-voltage source necessary for level 3 charging is present in very few residential areas.
Electric vehicles have the benefit of not requiring any gasoline to run. This implies that an EV user only needs one charger, which they can plug into the wall at home, rather than having to carry about several chargers. The car and the owner’s other electronics, such as their phones and tablets, can both be charged using the same charger.
It eliminates the need for several chargers, which helps you to keep everything tidy and organized. Additionally, it indicates that you won’t need to wait long for your automobile to begin charging – only a few hours will do!
Because an EV can only be driven for a short period of time with a full battery, an owner needs one charger at home. The vehicle will begin looking for a charger when the battery is low. EVs are considerably better suited for metropolitan locations where there is a plentiful supply of renewable energy because they utilize a lot less electricity than conventional vehicles. In order to lessen air pollution and promote sustainability, many communities have begun to establish public charging stations exclusively for electric vehicles.
Because they can charge their cars while they are not in use, EV owners only require one charger at home. They won’t have to be concerned about their devices’ batteries dying while they’re out and about thanks to this. Additionally, it implies that they can quickly recharge their car when needed.
Whether it is an internal supplier or one that is closely linked to the manufacturer, the majority of electric vehicle automakers will have a recommended EVSE provider. Some even provide alluring charging networks, like Tesla, or provide discounts, financing, and brand-specific installation. You can typically choose from a variety of EVSE types and brands, so if you search around early, you can compare costs.
While many online stores, like Amazon and Home Depot, carry a variety of EVSE brands, some manufacturers, like ChargePoint, sell directly to consumers through their websites. So, before making a decision, conduct some study.
It’s time to choose the charging station to purchase once you’ve determined that you can install the charging station and you know where you want it. Today, consumers have a lot of options, and not all charging stations are made equal.
Let’s examine the various qualities that you should take into account while choosing the best station for you.
Level 2 charging stations typically produce 16 to 80 amps of power. The speed at which your EV charges may significantly change as a result. You probably don’t want to get a charging station that isn’t powerful enough only to later need to purchase one that is.
You might want to think about acquiring a more potent unit even if your present EV can only handle 16 amps (3.3 kW), as your next EV will probably be able to handle at least 32 amps (7.7 kW) For this reason if you want to protect your investment, we advise purchasing a charging station that can give at least 32-amps and ideally 40-amps.
Some charging stations only have a 16-foot cord as standard. We advise ensuring that the cable is at least 20 feet long and, ideally, 24 to 25 feet.
Electric vehicle charging is a young industry, so there are many small start-up businesses producing EV chargers. Some of these businesses haven’t invested the time or money to have their products safely certified by a recognized testing organization like Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
You want to be sure that these devices are secure because they will be supplying a significant amount of electricity to your car on a daily basis and for many continuous hours. Even though a charge has received its safety certification, its safety is still probably in doubt.
Hardwiring simply indicates that the device is permanently linked to the power source; as a result, removal requires disassembling the charger and disconnecting the wiring. A plug-in unit simply plugs into an electrical outlet; it isn’t permanently attached to the power source. NEAM 14-50 or NEMA 6-50 outlets can accept chargers that produce no more than 40 amps.
Since many people lack a garage in which to keep an EV, its charging station must be installed outside. The narrative doesn’t end there; make sure the station is outdoor-rated. NEMA 3 or NEMA 4 ratings are often found on the majority of charging stations. Both are suitable for outdoor use, but NEMA 4 offers a little bit more security and protection from a direct hose blast of water. This might be helpful in regions that get wind-driven snowstorms or blowing rain.
For the plug’s protection when not in use, some charging stations incorporate an integrated or remote connector holster. Other stations simply instruct the user to drape the cable over the device’s body, leaving the connector exposed and hanging. When not in use, we advise ensuring sure the connector is adequately shielded. By doing this, the connector will avoid being contaminated by dirt, water, and other substances that could harm it.
A “dumb” or possibly “non-smart” charging station does little more than charging the vehicle. And for some owners, that is the only thing that matters. The owner of a smart charging station can monitor their charge, verify the power being delivered, analyze statistics from previous charging sessions, and even take part in utility demand response programs by connecting to WiFi or a PLC.
The owner may then determine how much it costs to power the automobile by seeing exactly how much energy it consumes. An EV owner can only guess how much it will cost to charge their vehicle without this feature.
Some smart chargers may also load-share so that two chargers can be connected to a single dedicated circuit, communicate with your utility so you can charge your car when the electricity is at its “greenest,” and link to Amazon Alexa for voice control of your charging. You should absolutely invest a little extra money and purchase a smart charging station if you want alternatives like these if you consider yourself somewhat of a data geek.
A premium, the safety-certified electric vehicle charging station will cost you between $400 and $1,200. But you don’t always receive more for your money. Additionally, several of the charging stations on the list below frequently have deals and discounts, so do some comparison shopping before you buy.
Some believe that the added cost is justified by having access to features like reviewing charging session history, calculating exact charging costs, using Amazon Alexa to voice-control your charging, and other advanced smart-charging options. We provide our top pick for these more expensive smart chargers.
Costs will vary depending on what is currently charged for electrical work, how much work needs to be done, and how much any required permits would cost. The cost could be as minimal as a few hundred dollars if the ideal location for your EVSE is on the internal garage wall right behind the exterior-mounted fuse panel.
It could cost hundreds extra if the electrician has to put a wire through the wall and then 20 feet to the site of the EVSE, winding the conduit around a few corners on the way. And if you need to replace your electrical service because your older home just doesn’t have a large enough fuse box, you’re often talking about spending well over $2,000.
The cost and process don’t end with the purchase of the charging station. To connect things up, you’ll need a certified electrician, and some places demand licenses and inspections. The only exception is if your garage already has a properly installed dedicated 240-volt power receptacle. So you could buy a portable EVSE, hang it up, and plug it in yourself.
You must install the correct-size circuit breaker in the fuse box and route wiring from the box to the EVSE’s location for both hard-wired and plug-in Level 2 EVSEs. The EVSE is then either connected directly or, for plug-in models, the appropriate receptacle is installed so the EVSE can be plugged in.
The type of plug the EVSE has will be specified on its specifications sheet. The majority of 240-volt garage outlets are NEMA 6-50, while home clothes dryers are either NEMA 10-30 or NEMA 14-30. All are shown in this NEMA reference chart online. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, or NEMA for short, is the organization that establishes standards for many types of electrical equipment.
The speed at which you may charge ultimately depends on one of two separate power levels offered by home-based charging equipment. Equipment for level 1 EV charging provides 110 or 120 volts of regular household outlet electricity. It offers an extremely sluggish method of recharging car batteries. Electric ovens and laundry dryers use the same type of power as level 2 EV charging, which offers power at 220 to 240 volts and higher current.
A Level 1 EV charging cord is standard equipment in the trunk of almost all plug-in cars. Even though you might be tempted by the short chord on the input end, you should never use any kind of extension cord with a Level 1 EV charging cord. Even though you might be tempted by the short chord on the input end, you should never use any kind of extension cord with a Level 1 EV charging cord.
Because Level 1 EV charging cord sets are portable and can be plugged into any ordinary wall outlet, you can essentially charge your plug-in vehicle wherever you go. The problem with Level 1 charging is that it is essentially a trickle charge, giving you only 2 or 3 miles of driving range for every hour of charging.
Because level 2 charging uses higher voltage and amperage, it is completed significantly more quickly. But in order to handle the extra electrons and the heat they produce, stronger machinery and garage wiring are needed. Although level 2 EVSE charging equipment often costs more to purchase, there are additional benefits in terms of convenience and time savings. And if your utility company offers time-of-day charge concessions to owners of plug-in vehicles, you might actually spend less on electricity overall.
Your electric vehicle can be charged at home as frequently as necessary. It may be charged entirely overnight and then topped off during the day if necessary, just like a mobile phone. While most drivers don’t need to charge their cars every day, many do so out of habit to ensure they have the most flexibility in case they need to make an unforeseen trip.
Drivers of electric vehicles can drive for as little as 2p per mile by charging overnight and taking advantage of the low evening electricity rates. The battery of the automobile is always fully charged in the morning for the day ahead thanks to overnight charging. When the battery is full, there is no need to unhook it because a dedicated home charger will automatically finish charging.
The majority of drivers also utilize the charging stations at their places of employment or other public places to top off their batteries.
By disseminating these safety guidelines, you may help protect the locals in your town from fire and electric shock caused by charging EVs. Have a licensed electrician install the following before purchasing an EV:
As one can tell from the above-mentioned points, charging EVs at home is as easy and simple as you would imagine. All you need is a suitable EV charger for your vehicle, which will help restore its battery in no time. A good example of such a charger would be this unique model that supports both DC and AC charging modes. Not only does it come equipped with two powerful chargers but also comes with an LCD display to help guide users while they are using the EV charger.
Contact Beny for all your EV charging requirements.