AV Connect

Introduction to Public Chargers

With almost every major car manufacturer now in the game, electric vehicles are hitting the road in full force - you may have seen them in your neighborhoods or driving along the highway. And, as the number of electric cars grows, the question of how best to keep them fueled becomes increasingly important.

For now, most drivers rely on either their “home charging station” - a fixed unit that conveniently fuels their electric car while they eat, sleep and relax.  These Level 2 charging stations require a 240V outlet and can charge a car’s battery in up to 6 or 7 hours, depending on the battery’s state of charge (“fuel level”) and capacity (“size of the gas tank.”) In a pinch, all electric vehicles also come equipped with a Level 1 cord set that plugs into a standard wall socket. The Level 1 cord set plugs into a 120V outlet and “trickle” charges a vehicle in roughly 16 hours, usually less for a plug-in hybrid, which usually makes use of smaller batteries.

Many people are also actively advocating for workplace charging. For EV drivers lucky enough to have a second charging location available, refueling while at the office offers a chance to top off their batteries and extend their commutes. As the EV movement continues to grow, more and more businesses are expressing interest in offering charging for employees driving electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

In addition to the growing number of work place chargers, charging stations open to the public at large are cropping up across the country. These public charging pit stops often feature both Level 2 charging stations as well as Level 3 DC fast chargers; the latter are high-powered chargers that can refuel an EV in minutes.  A choice of two charging regimens is important in order to support both vehicles with and without fast charging capability.

Although public EV infrastructure is in its relative infancy, some adventurous drivers are pushing the limits of their electric “fuel tanks” with longer commutes. For these commuters, public or semi-private charging infrastructure is the key to practical EV driving. Some states, such as Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, have programs in place to install public EV fast charging along major highways and in the city at retail locations. These chargers are available to the public and can be accessed by a data network or a payment plan. [link to article 3] In Texas, NRG Energy’s eVgo program is partnering with large retailers in Dallas and Houston to offer subscription plans that allow drivers to charge at home and in public on a monthly-fee basis.

The EV charging landscape is quickly developing as clean driving gains momentum. States, counties, drivers, and employers are advocating for clean transportation, supporting programs to install EV charging infrastructure and offering incentives to drivers. The future of EVs is bright, with early-adopting drivers and forward-thinking businesses alike aligning behind this groundbreaking movement.

For more information about our charging solutions, visit www.evsolutions.com