As more people switch to driving electric vehicles, the need for electric charging stations is growing. Understanding the various kinds of charging stations and how they operate can be a little overwhelming if you’re new to the world of electric cars. We have you covered with this comprehensive guide to electric charging stations, so don’t worry.
You can learn everything you need to know about electric charging stations in this article, including their various types, how to use them, and some charging advice for electric cars. Let’s explore the world of electric charging stations now as you unwind and take a seat.
How Electric Charging Stations Work
An electric car receives electrical energy from an electric charging station via a charging cable. The energy is then kept in the battery of the car for later use. The procedure is as follows:
- Using a charging cable, the electric vehicle (EV) is joined to the charging station.
- To make sure it is compatible and capable of receiving a charge, the EV communicates with the charging station.
- When compatibility is established, the charging station transmits electrical power to the EV via the cable.
- The on-board charger of the EV transforms the electrical energy from the charging station into a format compatible with the battery of the vehicle.
- Until it is time to use the energy to power the car, it is kept in the battery of the vehicle.
There are various kinds of charging stations with various charging speeds and various kinds of charging cables. To effectively plan their charging needs, EV owners must have a thorough understanding of the different types of charging stations and their capabilities.
Types Of Electric Charging Stations
There are three main types of electric charging stations: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 (DC Fast Charging).
Level 1 charging stations are the slowest and simplest type of charging stations. They use a standard 120-volt household outlet and take longer to charge electric vehicles, typically around 8-12 hours for a full charge. These types of charging stations are suitable for drivers who only need to charge their vehicles overnight at home or during the workday.
Level 2 charging stations are faster and more powerful than Level 1 stations, with the ability to provide 240 volts of power. This allows them to charge an electric vehicle much faster than Level 1 charging stations, with a full charge taking around 4-6 hours. Level 2 charging stations can be found in public places such as car parks, shopping centres, and some workplaces.
Level 3 charging stations, also known as DC fast charging, are the fastest and most powerful type of electric charging stations. They are capable of charging an electric vehicle up to 80% in just 20-30 minutes, making them ideal for drivers on long journeys who need to quickly top up their battery. Level 3 charging stations can be found at some motorway service stations and other high traffic locations.
It’s important to note that not all electric vehicles are compatible with all types of electric charging stations. Some electric vehicles can only be charged using Level 1 or Level 2 charging stations, while others can also use Level 3 (DC Fast Charging) stations. It’s important to check your electric vehicle’s manual to find out which types of charging stations are compatible with your vehicle.
Factors To Consider When Choosing An Electric Charging Station
When choosing an electric charging station, there are several factors to consider to ensure you choose the one that best suits your needs. Here are some of the main factors to consider:
- Charging speed: The charging speed of an electric charging station is an essential factor to consider. If you need a quick charge, then you may want to consider a fast-charging station.
- Location: Consider the location of the charging station. It’s important to choose a charging station that is convenient for you and your daily routine. If you plan to charge your vehicle while running errands or during your daily commute, then you may want to choose a charging station that is located near your workplace or local shopping centre.
- Compatibility: Not all electric vehicles are compatible with all charging stations. Make sure the charging station you choose is compatible with your electric vehicle.
- Cost: The cost of charging can vary from station to station, and it’s important to consider this when choosing a charging station. Some stations offer free charging, while others may charge a fee per hour or per kWh.
- Accessibility: Consider the accessibility of the charging station. Is it available 24/7, or does it have specific operating hours? Is it easy to access, or do you need to park in a specific location to charge your vehicle?
- Amenities: Some charging stations may offer additional amenities such as Wi-Fi, restrooms, or nearby restaurants or shops. These amenities can make charging your vehicle more convenient and enjoyable.
How To Find Electric Charging Stations
If you’re considering buying an electric car or have recently made the switch, one of the most important things to consider is how to find electric charging stations. While public charging stations are becoming more prevalent, they may not be as abundant in certain areas, making it important to plan your charging stops in advance. Here are some tips on how to find electric charging stations:
- Use Online Maps and Apps: There are several online maps and mobile apps that provide information on electric charging stations near you. PlugShare, for example, allows you to search for charging stations by location and filter the results by charger type and network. The app also allows you to see if the station is currently in use, and provides reviews and ratings from other users.
- Check with Your Electric Car Manufacturer: Many electric car manufacturers offer their own mobile apps that can help you find charging stations. These apps often provide information on charging station locations, availability, and pricing. Some even allow you to reserve a charging spot in advance.
- Check with Your Energy Provider: In some cases, your energy provider may offer a map of electric charging stations in your area. This can be especially helpful if you’re looking for charging stations that are part of your energy provider’s network.
- Plan Your Route in Advance: If you’re planning a long road trip, it’s important to plan your charging stops in advance. Use online maps and apps to identify charging stations along your route, and consider factors such as charging speed, availability, and cost.
- Ask Other Electric Car Owners: Finally, consider reaching out to other electric car owners in your area or online communities. They may have valuable insights on the best charging stations in the area, as well as tips on how to maximise your charging time.
Tips For Using Electric Charging Stations
If you’re new to using electric charging stations, it’s important to know a few tips to make the experience smooth and hassle-free. Here are some tips for using electric charging stations:
- Plan ahead: Before you hit the road, map out your route and plan where you will stop to charge your electric vehicle. Use apps or websites that show you the location of charging stations and their availability.
- Check the charging speed: Electric charging stations come in different speeds, ranging from slow chargers that take several hours to fast chargers that can charge your EV in under an hour. Make sure to check the charging speed of the station you plan to use.
- Bring your charging cable: Some electric charging stations provide cables, while others don’t. To avoid any inconvenience, always bring your charging cable with you.
- Park correctly: When you arrive at the charging station, make sure to park your vehicle in the designated charging spot. Avoid parking in spots reserved for regular cars or blocking other EVs from charging.
- Be mindful of time limits: Some electric charging stations have time limits, so be mindful of how long you are parked there. Move your vehicle promptly after it is fully charged to allow others to use the station.
- Be respectful: Electric charging stations are shared resources, so be respectful of others who are also using the station. Don’t unplug someone else’s car unless you have their permission, and don’t park your EV at a charging station if it’s not charging.
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, and as a result, so are electric charging stations. With this ultimate guide, we hope we’ve provided you with everything you need to know about electric charging stations, including how they work, the different types available, factors to consider when choosing one, and tips for using them effectively.
At GET Electric, we’re committed to making it easy and affordable for people to transition to electric vehicles. That’s why we offer a range of high-quality electric charging stations and related services, including installation, maintenance, and repair. Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, or public authority, we have the expertise and resources to help you find the right electric charging solution for your needs.
Please call us today on 1800 GET NOW to learn more about our EV charging and infrastructure solutions or leave an enquiry and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.