Locally it’s a matter of practicality. The closest supercharger to us is 12 miles away, and there is only one, maybe two. Living in a rural, small town in northern Wisconsin challenges EV usage here. We would need to use a Level 2 type charger to get the maximum benefit for EV usage. This would involve a particular installation at our residence. It would also require the local electric company to install phased electricity in our part of town.
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A brief look at the types of EV charging stations currently available.
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), are designed to provide electrical energy to recharge electric vehicles. Three primary types of EV charging stations are available to the general public: Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging. Each type has its power output, charging speed, and use case.
Level 1 Charging Stations:
Level 1 charging stations use a standard 120-volt (V) alternating current (AC) outlet, similar to those found in households. These chargers typically deliver 2-5 miles of range per hour of charging, making them suitable for short-range EVs or plug-in hybrids with small battery capacities.
Low-cost charging option, as it does not require any additional equipment or installation
Convenient for home use and overnight charging
Slow charging speed, making it unsuitable for long-distance travel or vehicles with large battery capacity
Level 2 Charging Stations:
Level 2 charging stations use a 240V AC supply, providing 15-70 miles of range per hour of charging. This type of charger is commonly found in the residential, workplace, and public locations, as they offer a faster charging rate than Level 1 stations.
Faster charging speed compared to Level 1, making it more practical for daily use
It can be installed at home, workplaces, or public areas.
Compatible with all EV models that have a standard J1772 connector
Requires professional installation due to higher voltage requirements
Higher upfront cost compared to Level 1 chargers.
DC Fast Charging Stations:
DC Fast Charging stations, or Level 3 charging stations, provide direct current (DC) power to EVs, significantly reducing charging time. They can deliver 60-200 miles of range per 20-30 minutes of charging. DC Fast Charging stations are usually found along highways or areas where quick charging is needed.
There are three primary DC Fast Charging connector types: CHAdeMO, CCS (Combined Charging System), and Tesla Superchargers.
Rapid charging speed, ideal for long-distance travel or quick top-ups
Availability along highways and commercial areas
Higher upfront and operating costs compared to Level 1 and Level 2 chargers.
Not all EV models are compatible with every DC Fast Charging connector type.
Repeated use of DC Fast Charging may harm battery life.
The three EV charger stations available to the general public are Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging stations. Each has advantages and disadvantages, with the primary differences being charging speed, compatibility, and cost. EV drivers must understand these differences to decide which charging station best suits their needs.
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