One of the biggest complaints electric car owners have is the extended amount of time it takes to fully recharge their electric car’s batteries. Depending on your vehicle and the EV car charger you use, you may find yourself waiting over 12 hours to fully charge your vehicle. However, there are a few ways EV owners can make their electric cars charge faster and even save money in the process. Whether you charge at a public car charging station or charge at home, it’s easier than you may think to get your EV to charge faster.
Electric Vehicle Charging Basics
In order to understand how you can charge your electric vehicle faster and more efficiently, you will first need to learn about the various electric vehicle chargers on the marketplace today.
Level 1 EV Charging
These charges provide charging power through a household 120 V AC plug and do not require additional equipment in order to charge your vehicle. This method of charging is often used in private residences and at some businesses.
A Level 1 charger can be plugged with one end into any 120 V outlet and requires no additional installation or infrastructure costs if you have an outlet located near your electric vehicle. Although they may require no additional equipment, Level 1 charging is the slowest way to charge your electric vehicle and often requires extensive hours of charging time in order to fully charge your car.
Level 2 EV Charging
Unlike Level 1 electric vehicle chargers, Level 2 chargers normally provide charging through a 240 V plug and require a dedicated circuit breaker (based on the chosen chargers’ Amperage). These chargers are sold separately from the car, although many electric vehicle owners choose to purchase them at the same time they purchase their electric car.
Level 2 chargers are the most prevalent type of chargers and are available throughout Canada from companies such as MetroEV. Public electric car charging stations are often Level 2 chargers, along with most free EV charging stations you find.
DC Fast Chargers
DC fast chargers, also commonly known as Level 3 chargers, typically provide charging through a 480 V input and will require a special socket in your electric vehicle (CCS/CHAdeMO). Depending on your vehicle, these fast-charging stations can provide an 80% charge in less than an hour by converting AC power to DC power. You will typically find these chargers at commercial vehicle charging stations alongside major highways and shopping centers that experience high levels of traffic.
Sometimes referred to as EV fast chargers, Level 3 electric car chargers will require significant investment and additional infrastructure to install. Thankfully, the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Initiative (EVAFIDI) can cover up to 50% of the cost to purchase and install a DC fast charging station at your business or workplace.
How to Charge Your Electric Vehicle Faster
Upgrade Your Electric Car Charging Station
If you just purchased your electric vehicle, chances are you may be using a Level 1 charger that charges your electric vehicle through a standard electrical socket. Unfortunately, many EV owners may need to charge their cars anywhere from 8 to 12 hours in order to reach a full charge from a depleted battery. It provides 6-8km/hour. However, upgrading to a Level 2 charger at your home or workplace can significantly reduce your charging time. Level 2 chargers offered by MetroEV can provide up to 32km/hour.
Depending on your vehicle, these electric car stations can charge your car from fully depleted to fully charged in 2-10+ hours, with most vehicles being fully charged in just a couple of hours. A Level 2 charger will charge nearly 3 to 5 times faster than a standard Level 1 charger and does not require any unreasonable demand for power from your building’s existing electrical infrastructure.
Additionally, many local governments and utilities are now offering customers incentives to install Level 2 chargers in their homes or businesses. Level 2 chargers can also be more energy-efficient than Level 1 chargers and are ideal for multi-residential buildings.
EV fast-charging stations, otherwise known as DC fast chargers or Level 3 chargers, can also help save consumers a great deal of time when it comes to charging their electric vehicles. These EV charging stations are ideal for businesses, retail locations, and workplaces. When compared to Level 2 chargers, a DC fast charger may offer 10-30 times the charging speed depending on your vehicle. In other words, 15 minutes of charging at a Level 3 station can provide the same charge as 5 hours at a Level 2 station.
Charge When Its Warmer
Electric vehicle owners could face longer charging times when temperatures drop. EV fast chargers will take a longer period of time to charge your vehicle in colder climates due to the fact that colder temperatures will impact the electrochemical reactions within your battery.
Under some of the coldest conditions, researchers have found that charging in the cold could be roughly three times slower when compared to charging in warmer weather at a Level 3 charger. Charging your car during the daytime when it may be warmer can help increase the speed at which your electric vehicle charges. However, charging costs during a warmer time in the day or during peak hours will be more expensive when compared to charging at night when it may be colder.
Warm Up Your Batteries
Warming up your electric car’s batteries can help to lower the time it takes to charge your car. Plugging into a standard Level 1 charger can help provide the needed power to precondition the car before you use a Level 3 fast charger. Most Level 2 chargers, however, do not require you to warm up the car due to the lower power rating they have when compared to a Level 3 fast charger.
Other Factors to Consider
Alongside the tips above, there are some other factors EV owners must consider when it comes to the time it takes to charge their electric vehicle. For instance, you can only charge an EV’s battery at the maximum charge rate the vehicle accepts. As an example, if your EV’s maximum charge rate is 7kW, you will not be able to charge your car faster by using a 22kW charger.
Additionally, the speed at which your car charges will also be determined by the maximum charging rate of the charger you are using. If your vehicle can charge at 11kW but you only have access to a 7kW charger, you will only be able to charge at 7kW.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?
The cost to charge an electric car will vary on a multitude of factors, with one of the most important being the cost of electricity in your area. The cost of electricity in any given area can vary greatly, based on demand and peak hours. Thus, charging your EV overnight is not only cheaper but also greener in most scenarios.
When you charge at night, you will be able to take advantage of significantly lower energy prices, since you may be using off-peak electricity that is generated by cleaner energy sources. During the daytime, however, natural gas or other forms of energy may be required to meet an area’s electrical demand, which can cause charging your EV to become more expensive.
Commercial EV charging station costs may be much higher than charging at home since most commercial EV stations are used during the daytime when electricity is at its highest demand. Another advantage of installing a home charger is the far lower cost of residential electricity when compared to the cost of commercial electricity. In Ontario for instance, it may be far less expensive to charge at home than at a public charging station.
Choosing The Best Electric Vehicle Chargers
If you decide to take advantage of significantly lower residential electricity costs, you may be considering installing a Level 2 charger. MetroEV offers EV owners access to Level 2 electric charging stations that can be installed in your own home or office without any significant modifications to your electrical system. Having a Level 2 EV charger installed in your home or workplace can provide convenient, energy-efficient and reliable charging.
Thanks to government initiatives, your electric vehicle charging station cost may be lower than you think. If you are looking to add a high-powered DC fast charging station to your business or workplace, such as the ones offered by MetroEV, you may be able to find local initiatives that can help cover the cost of the charger’s installation and any infrastructure investments that may be required.
Thanks to a multitude of government programs and recent advancements in electric vehicle charging technology, charging your EV can take less time than you may think and cost far less than you may expect. If you are looking to install a Level 2 charger in your home or a Level 3 fast charger at your business or workplace, MetroEV can help. Our team will evaluate your location, gain approvals, and provide you with ongoing support throughout your EV ownership. To learn more, contact MetroEV today to see how much time and money you could save.