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The Basics of EV Charging

Electric vehicles are becoming more readily available. Companies like Ford are putting a lot of effort into creating more electric and hybrid models.


However, many people still have a lot of questions regarding electric vehicles, also known as EVs. What is the difference between the chargers? Are chargers accessible? How do I find a charger?


These are just a few questions people have when considering making the switch to EV. We can help answer some of these questions and put some concern at ease.


I have a Hybrid do I need a charger?

That depends on the type of hybrid you have. A regular hybrid vehicle recharges the battery through a process of regeneration or regenerative braking. This means it does not need an external charger.


A plug-in hybrid does use an external charger as it has a larger battery that it relies on more. If you have a plug-in hybrid, charging levels and times are something you will need to consider.


What are Charging Levels?

There are three levels of EV charging; Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. You may also see Level 3 split into two categories: DC Fast Charging and Tesla Supercharging. The thing to keep in mind here is the higher the level the faster the charge.


It is also important to remember that each EV will charge at a different rate, simply because each can accept different levels from the chargers.


Level 1

Level 1 charging uses a common 120-volt household outlet. It is the slowest way to charge a plug-in hybrid or EV. It takes 12 to 20 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle.


The charging cable that comes with the purchase or lease of an EV is essentially a Level 1 charger. These chargers use basic house electrical current and many simply plug into a standard grounded wall socket using a common three-prong plug. A Level 1 at-home charging solution is perfect for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). Typically, you can easily recharge the battery of a PHEV overnight on a Level 1 Charger.


Level 2

Level 2 charging is the most commonly used level for daily EV charging. These chargers can be installed at home, and you can also find them at workplaces and public spaces like shopping centers.


These chargers are 10 times faster than Level 1 charging. Charging from a Level 2 source usually means the vehicle will be completely charged overnight, even if you plugged in with a nearly empty battery.


This level uses 240-volt circuits, the kind typically used for electric clothes dryers. For that reason, a large number of people who install a Level 2 charging station in their home hire an electrician to run a 240-volt circuit to their garage or desired charging area.


Level 3

This is the fastest charger of the three. It is commonly referred to as a DC Fast Charger, with DC standing for Direct Current. Using this level charger, you will often see your vehicle go from 10% charge to 80% charge in about 40 minutes.


The voltage on a Level 3 charger is much higher than Levels 1 and 2. This is why you don’t see level 3 chargers installed at home. Very few residential locations have the high-voltage supply required for this level of charging. Not to mention they are expensive to install.

Which is why you will find Level 3 chargers in public places and offered at businesses. These are also paid services to use.


And, there is no need to worry about overcharging your car. The car will not allow the charger to deliver too much power. If you plug your car in overnight to charge, you don’t have to worry about it, the car will stop charging when it is done regardless of if it is still plugged in.


How do I install a Charger at Home?

Before you purchase an EV, plan ahead and find a safe spot for your charging point so you have room for the equipment and cables to safely run to your vehicle. The best way to do that is to hire a Licensed Electrical Contracting business to assess your current panel, make sure it can handle the extra electrical load, and install the EV charging station.


How do I Find Where Chargers are Available?


This is actually pretty easy. There are multiple websites available to you that list where nearby charging stations are. If you have the FordPass App, which you totally should as it is awesome, it is made even simpler.


When you go into the app click on the map icon at the bottom of the screen. This will give you the option of dealerships or charging. When you click the charging option it will show you all the public charging spots, and their levels in your area.


Charging stations are expanding across the country, and your car is very smart. There are power saving features that turn off non-essential functions much like when your cell phone gets low on battery and goes into power saving mode. With this in mind, it is a good idea to plan your route and to have easy access to apps like FordPass and Flo – a charging network which helps you find and pay for charging all in the app.


Electric vehicles are new and developing in our world, so it is completely natural to have questions and concerns. Our talented team at the Quick Lane are up to date on the latest news and information on all things EV, and they would be happy to help and talk you through it all.

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