Electric Car Charging Stations: The Ultimate Guide

Did you recently purchase an electric car? Or, are you considering purchasing an electric car?

While electric cars can be very beneficial for the environment, one of the biggest concerns is finding a place to charge them.

Luckily, there are many car charging stations located throughout the US. Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about electric car charging stations.

Charging Your Car at Home

One of the best places to charge your electric car is at home. While more charging stations are popping up every day, most car charging happens at home.

In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, drivers charge their vehicles at home 80 percent of the time.

To charge your car at home, you’ll need to install a home charging point next to where you park your electric car. Most drivers use a dedicated home charging point because it comes with built-in safety features, and it’s faster.

Charging your car at home also tends to be more affordable than charging it at a public station. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay an initial installation fee for your home charger, which can drive up the cost.

Of course, there are also a number of home chargers (also known as home EV chargers) to choose from. Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing a home EV charger for your vehicle:

Speed

First, you need to consider how fast you want your car to charge. Most people invest in Level 2 chargers, which use 240 volts. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the charging speed will differ based on the amperage of the charger.

How much speed you need will also vary based on the range of your electric vehicle, your driving style, and your commute. For example, if your car has less range but you have a long commute and you tend to drive at top speed, then you may want to invest in a faster charger.

Most electric vehicles can take in around 32 amps, which will add around 25 miles of range per hour.

This means that a 32-amp charging station will be a good choice for most vehicles.

Supply

Another thing you need to keep in mind when choosing an EV home charger is how much space there is on your home electric panel.

As we mentioned earlier, level 2 EV chargers require 240 volts of electric connection. This means that you’ll need to choose a charger with a level that works with both your car’s and your home’s electrical capacity.

You also need to keep in mind the National Electric Code, which requires you to have an electric current that’s greater than 25% of the amperage of the charger’s output.

For example, let’s say you want to buy a level 2 charger with 40 amps. This means that your circuit breaker will need to be able to handle 50 amps or greater.

If you want, you can also purchase a flexible home charger that allows you to set the amperage according to the needs of your home.

To figure out how many amps your house has available, check your electrical panel. To do this, open the panel door and look for an unused circuit breaker.

Or, you can have an electrician check for you. If your panel is at capacity or close to capacity, you may want to consider upgrading your electric service.

Location of the Charger

Another very important thing to consider is the location of the charger. Ideally, you want to install your home car charger close to your electrical panel.

To do this, your electrician may need to run a conduit from where you plan to charge to the panel. Keep in mind that adding a lot of conduits can get expensive.

Also, keep in mind that installing your charger close to your garage door will make it easier for you to charge multiple cars at once.

Public Charging

Even if you have a reliable home charger, there are going to be times when you need to charge your car in public. This may happen when you’re on a road trip, or it may happen at any point when you find yourself far from home.

While they’re not as public as gasoline pumps, public charging stations are becoming more and more common.

The best place to find a public charging station is at a gas station. While many public charging stations offer free charging, others charge a fee. This feel will vary according to the operator.

Some places also require a membership to access their charging stations. For example, Tesla comes with an extensive network of stations that you can find at their dealerships and other locations worldwide. These charging stations are exclusively available to Tesla owners.

You can check out this guide on EV Charging Station Costs to learn more about how much you can expect to pay.

When choosing a public charger, make sure you check the level, as most places are set up for level 2 charging. Level 2 charging is best for those who have something else to do while their vehicle charges. For example, you may choose to run errands or grab a bite to eat while your car charges.

If you’re in a rush to charge your vehicle, look for a charging station with level 3 charging. Just be aware that some level 3 charging stations come with different connecting port configurations than others.

An adapter may be required to complete the charge.

Car Charging Stations: Time to Charge Your Vehicle

Now that you’ve read this guide on car charging stations, it’s time for you to decide how you’re going to charge your vehicle. With the right charger, your car will be ready to hit the road again.

Just like regular vehicles, electric vehicles also need regular maintenance and upkeep. For vehicle maintenance tips and tricks, be sure to browse our blog.