Charging

Charging your electric vehicle is the equivalent of filling up a conventional vehicle with gas. However, typically the fill station is your house. When beginners look at switching to an EV, they may be put off by the small changes in their driving behavior and habits, but the consensus among early adopters is that’s it’s much easier.

It couldn’t be simpler to charge your EV, we’ll help you break it down.

Utility Information:

A time-of-use rate is a rate offered by utilities to incentivize consumers to use electricity during specific times, generally overnight or low demand times (i.e. off-peak). Typically, this means that when there is higher electricity demand, the rate is higher, so when you use electricity becomes just as important as how much you use. This offers significant benefit to EV drivers as most EV charging is done overnight during the low-demand rate times.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce compiled a list of time-of-use rates that Minnesota utilities offer to customers that own an EV. It indicates what subscribers pay during off-peak and on-peak times of the day as well as contains information about available rebates and renewable energy programs.

Local Utility Resources:

Charging Terminology

LEVEL 1

Charging a vehicle at “Level 1” means plugging into a standard 120-volt supply. All drivers can charge their EV at Level 1, which requires no extra equipment or installation. On average, a Level 1 supply provides 2 to 5 miles of vehicle range per hour the vehicle is connected.

The best use cases for a Level 1 charger is workplaces and homes.

LEVEL 2

Charging a vehicle at “Level 2” means plugging into a 240-volt supply (think home appliances like refrigerators and dryers). Homeowners may decide to have a charging station professionally installed – also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) – in their garage. On average, Level 2 stations provide 10 to 20 miles of range per hour the vehicle is connected.

Locations where owners will be staying for two hours or more are great use cases for Level 2 chargers. Examples include workplaces and destinations like hotels, zoos, aquariums, and parks.

Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging

Is only really available as an option for public charging, and are often installed along transportation corridors. This is a similar technology as a Tesla supercharger. A fast charger can charge an EV about 50% in 20 minutes.

The three main standards for DC Fast Chargers include CHAdeMO, SAE Combo plug (or CCS), and Tesla Superchargers. Fortunately, an increasing number of fast chargers have outlets for both SAE and CHAdeMO fast charging. Tesla’s Supercharger system can only be used by Tesla vehicles and is not compatible with vehicles from any other manufacturer. However, Tesla vehicles can use CHAdeMO connectors through a vehicle adapter. DC Fast Chargers can deliver 60-80 miles of charge in only 20 minutes of the vehicle being connected.

Locations where owners will be staying for about 20 minutes are great use cases for DCFC. Examples include shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants, and along highway corridors.

For more technical information about charging technology click here.