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Beginners Guide to Electric Vehicle Chargers

There are more than 10 million electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles on the road today and, if you haven’t seen any yet, keep your eyes peeled, because you soon will. The EV industry is valued at over $250 billion and is poised to keep trending up. More than six million plug-in EVs are sold annually. 

A common concern that people have, when considering whether or not to invest in this vanguard technology relates to charging. Many folks ask, “Is there an EV charger near me?” There are two answers. First, there are more than 47,000 charging stations in America, according to the Federal Highway Administration, so there is likely one somewhere close by. Second, statistical analysis shows that that number will increase exponentially in the years to come.

Types of Chargers

An EV battery charger is the means by which the EV vehicle receives its charge. There are three levels of charging options available in North America, designated as levels 1, 2 and 3. Levels 1 and 2 are both available for charging at home and this is because neither demands too much electricity. 

Level 1 charging occurs when owners employ the charger that is included in the vehicle. These chargers can be plugged directly into a standard electrical outlet, which is 120 volts. The other end is plugged directly into the car. It has a charge capacity of 120 miles in 20 hours. 

Level 2 charging occurs when a charger other than the one that came with the vehicle is employed. These chargers can still be used at home, but they use a 240-volt outlet, which means that some work needs to be done to the electrical panel before a suitable outlet can be utilized. Level 2 chargers allow for charging that is 3 to 7 times faster than that of level 1 chargers.

Level 3 chargers are the fastest on the market. They require too much energy to be used at home but because of that power, they can charge between 3 and 20 miles of range per minute. Whereas the other charging types use alternating current (AC), level 3 chargers use direct current (DC).

Where Can You Charge?

There are three places where EV owners can charge their vehicles, but this small number belies the convenience that they offer. Indeed, between home charging, public charging and charging at work, EV owners have plenty of options. 

Home charging stations are relatively easy to install and operate, but public chargers, which are located along major roadways across North America, are much faster. Some of these are network-based, which means that you need to sign up for the network. Others do not require any kind of membership.

Electric vehicles are the automotive trend of the future, which means that EV charging stations will continue to pop up all across America. Owners will have scores of options, from installing an EV battery charger at home to finding them en masse along the myriad routes that they travel. They will eventually replace traditional gas stations as EVs replace gas and diesel-powered vehicles in the years to come. Visit an auto parts store online or walk into your nearest store today to pick up charging cables and plugs or any other EV charging equipment that you may need.