Take Charge of Your Power
How to Charge Your Electric Vehicle: a 1-Stop Shop Guide for EV Charging
Few would disagree that electric vehicles are the future. But, before they become as common as gas-powered cars, there will need to be a ton of education about electric, especially when it comes to charging.
Why is charging so common to hear in the news? Well, it’s more complicated than you’d think. Many new EV owners assume they’ll be able to charge their car at home. Then they learn using a standard wall outlet only gives 3 miles of range per 1 hour of charging, totaling 3 days to fully charge a Tesla Model 3.
Time, budget, and electrical infrastructure both at home and on-the-road are just a few of the factors that comprise today’s charging landscape. Here’s what you should know:
Important key terms
Level 1 Charging
The slowest form of charging, Level 1 (L1) is done via your standard wall outlet (110 or 120 volts). L1 charging usually adds 3 miles of range per 1 hour of charging, approximately taking 3 days to fully charge a Tesla Model 3.
Level 2 Charging
L2 charging is done in the home via an EVSE and power source (usually a NEMA 10-30, 14-30, or 14-50 outlet). L2 charging usually adds between 15-25 miles of range per 1 hour of charge and is reserved for homeowners--today folks who rent or live in multi-family complexes and apartments usually can’t charge at home.
Level 3 Charging
Superchargers, fast chargers, or DC chargers are public stations where owners can fully charge their EV in under an hour or less. Tesla has their own reserved spots, while non-Tesla EVs can fast charge at EVgo and Electrify America stations. Due to a limited number, lines can become lengthy (as seen in November of 2019 at the San Luis Obispo Tesla supercharger, which featured a line of over 17 cars).
SAE J1772 - the standard plug for all electric vehicles on the market that aren’t Teslas. Don’t worry, though: Teslas come with an adapter that allows owners to also use the J1772.
NEMA 14-50 - this is the standard outlet EV owners will have installed for Level 2 charging. This outlet offers 40 amps.
What You'll Need:
220v/240v power outlet
EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment)
NeoCharge Smart Splitter
You’ll often hear EVSEs referred to as chargers, though they technically aren’t. The charger is on board your car, while the EVSE supplies you the power from the outlet. Top EVSEs includes the Juicebox, Clipper Creek, and the Chargepoint Home.
How much will it cost to charge at home?
While this varies depending on how much you charge, your price per kw/h, and time of use, the vast majority of studies find that charging an electric vehicle costs less than fueling a gas-powered car. For example, one study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that an average user would pay $1,400 per year on gas, while an EV owner would only spend $540.