The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) is revolutionizing (and shaking up) the automotive industry. With it comes the need for a robust charging infrastructure. As more and more people switch to EVs, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a charging network that can support the growing demand for electric mobility.
Types of Charging Stations: There are two main types of EV charging stations – Level 1 and Level 2, and Level 3 (DC fast charging).
Level 1 charging stations use a standard 110V outlet, which is suitable for overnight charging at home. An example would be my current daily driver- a Ford Lightning (with the extended range battery). I can expect *about* a mile an hour charging (!!)
Level 2 charging stations are more powerful and are typically found at public charging locations. Usually, I see 6 to 150 Kilowatt per hour charging. These are the “bare minimum” chargers you want to find out in public. We have a level 2 ChargePoint at our shop, and it ranges from 6-7 kw/hr charging. What’s this equate to? If I plug in at 50% in the morning at 8am, usually around 3pm it’s back to 90%. Now, using a large 150 kw/hr charger you can charge in a moderate/reasonable amount of time. My truck goes from 50-80% and takes about 30 minutes.
Level 3 DC fast charging stations are the most powerful of all and can charge the fastest (so far). Manufacturers have been hinting that Level 4 charging may be coming soon. When I plug into a L3 charger, I can go from 5% to 90% in about an hour. 50-80% is usually less than 20 minutes. This is a “reasonable” speed that doesn’t inconvenience you too terribly (if you can find one of these big chargers)
Home Charging: Home charging is the most convenient and cost-effective way to charge an EV. With a Level 2 charging station installed at home, an EV owner can easily charge their vehicle overnight and have a full battery the next day. Ford Motor Company (and other manufacturers have been planning/talking about) uses the truck for backup house electricity with their chargers. The Ford Lightning can provide power to run the entire house for 1-3 days (or longer!) depending on the loads. That’s impressive! I believe their ultimate plan having this technology in the wild is the trucks will essentially be a battery bank/power reserve- the more trucks plugged in, the larger power source that can go back into the grid.
Public Charging: Public charging stations are an essential part of the EV charging infrastructure, allowing EV owners to charge their vehicles while they are out and about. These charging stations are usually located at shopping centers, airports, and other public locations, and they range from Level 2 charging stations to DC fast charging stations. Using popular apps like Tesla’s app, A Better Route Planner, PlugShare, Chargepoint app, Ford’s Sync app, and Electrify America are some of the “meat and potato” apps that can help you plan, route, and charge your EV while travelling.
Workplace Charging: Workplace charging is becoming increasingly popular, as more and more employers are recognizing the benefits of providing charging options for their employees. This not only makes it easier for employees to charge their EVs, but it also helps to promote sustainable transportation. This is what we have at ABR Houston TX for our employees, clients, servicing EV vehicles, and the general public (it’s free!)
Government Incentives: Governments around the world are taking steps to encourage the growth of the EV market and the development of EV charging infrastructure. This includes tax credits, grants, and other incentives for EV owners, charging station manufacturers, and charging station operators. Your mileage may vary depending on the state that you live in.
The growth of the EV market is driving the need for a robust charging infrastructure. From home charging to public charging and workplace charging, the development of a comprehensive charging network is essential for the success of EVs. With government incentives and the support of the private sector, the future of electric mobility is looking bright, and we can expect to see continued growth in the EV charging infrastructure.
CEO – ABR Houston