Charging an electric vehicle (EV) is incredibly easy, especially these days, as you can conveniently charge at home or at the expanding network of charging stations located at workplaces, apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants, public garages, and towns and villages. Most EVs come with their own Level 1 charger, which can simply be plugged into a standard outlet at your home. Or for even faster home charging, you can install Level 2 charging. This means you can drive EVs even farther and more conveniently.
Level 1 charging requires a standard 120-volt outlet. Most electric vehicles come equipped with a cord that you can simply plug into the wall. Charging times for these average around four miles of range for each hour of charging, making them ideal for commutes under 40 miles. It's as simple as charging a smartphone or laptop.
Level 2 charging requires a 240-volt outlet. There are a few ways to obtain at-home level 2 charging: install a 240-volt outlet and plug in a Level 2 charging cable or purchase a Level 2 home charging station. In either case, a licensed electrician can perform the necessary work. A pure EV will gain around 25 miles of range for each hour of charging, or four to eight hours for a full charge. Plug-in Electric Hybrids will obtain a full charge in two hours or less.
Level 3, or direct-current fast charging (DCFC), is the fastest charging available for passenger vehicles. You cannot install a DCFC unit in your home, but they are widely available for public use for charging on the go. Fast chargers can deliver a charge of up to 200 miles (depending on vehicle make and model) in just one to two hours.
EV battery size is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The more capacity a battery has, the farther your vehicle can travel on a single charge. Different EV models can travel a different number of miles for every kWh of battery capacity. The vehicle's battery size and efficiency together determine its range, along with driving conditions. For example, in the Northeast, the weather is always a factor when it comes to travel. That remains true for EVs, as cold weather will impact the range of your EV. That said, EVs can handle whatever a Northeastern winter can throw at them. For more information on range, the Environmental Protection Agency's miles-per-charge ratings for EVs are a good reference source until you become familiar with your vehicle.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locations
Frequently Asked Questions
The simple answer: it depends on many factors, including the charging device, size of the EV battery and the power source. Charging a vehicle using a common 120-volt (Level 1), 14-amp receptacle provides on average 4 miles of range for each hour of charging. A 240-volt outlet (Level 2), on the other hand provides on average 25 miles of range for each hour of charging. The fast-charging stations (Level 3 or DCFC) available in public spaces can deliver on average up to 200 miles of range in just one to two hours.