Consumer interest in electric vehicles has risen in recent years as people struggle to find alternative energy sources. Concerns over rising gas prices and climate change are influencing people’s decisions to opt for electric vehicles.
But like most new concepts, electric vehicles are raising some questions. Unease over the initial price of an EV still dominates the minds of most consumers. Other concerns include faulty batteries, possible electric fires, and insufficient range. However, there’s plenty of evidence that shows how EVs can be a good investment. You can save on gas and repairs, plus you’ll help slow climate change.
You might be thinking about how you can charge your car. One of the questions that comes to mind is which EV car charger you should own. Are they universal?
Are EV Chargers Universal?
The question of the universality of electric car chargers isn’t that simple. The reality is that the different levels resemble the different types of fuel available for gas-powered vehicles. There’s regular unleaded (87 octane), midgrade (89-90 octane), and premium (91-94 octane), which is the highest grade of the three. The lowest grade is regular unleaded, which is more universal because most cars are made for that type of fuel.
Now let’s compare fuel to electric car chargers. Electric vehicle charger types include level one and level two EV chargers. These chargers have some similarities but also some key differences. For the most part, these chargers are universal. There is, however, a notable exception. The Tesla Supercharger is only compatible with Tesla vehicles. This is a key consideration for owners. Depending on your vehicle type, you will need to select the appropriate charger to meet your individual needs.
Level One Car Chargers
Level one chargers come with a nozzle and a typical household electrical outlet. You don’t need to take your car to a charging station. Instead, you can charge your vehicle in your garage or parking area. Passenger EVs that come with an SAE J1772 are compatible with level one chargers. Also known as the J port, it allows the car the option to use a level two charger if a level one isn’t available.
The real beauty about level one chargers is that they don’t take a lot of electricity to charge up your car. In fact, your car will only use 120 volts to charge, which is the same amount of juice needed for a laptop or a lamp.
Another asset of level one chargers is the speed of charge. A full eight hours of charging should be enough to keep your vehicle running for 30-40 miles. However, it’s important not to let your battery run too low because an empty battery could take up to 24 hours to reach a full charge.
Where Are Level One Chargers Most Useful?
Ease of use and affordability make level one chargers a universal choice for EV owners. You can charge up your vehicle while you’re at work or in a public garage. They’re great for hybrid vehicles because of their low voltage use. However, there is one major drawback, and that’s the charging time. It takes a lot longer to get a charge that’s good enough for 30-40 miles of driving. It’s important to remember to plug it in before bedtime.
Level Two Chargers
Another universal charger is the level two, which is the most popular among EV owners. The charger uses 240 volts to power up an EV within hours. The charge goes through a charging station, which acts to protect the battery by moderating the load.
The main problem is charging from home. Installation of a level two charger is more complex than the level one. Since it requires more voltage, it could trip your circuit breaker. For this, you’ll need a high-voltage outlet that can handle a 240-volt load. You’ll also need to have another circuit installed on your breaker, along with some possible rewiring. However, you can always use a public charging station whenever you need to juice up. At this point, because of the increased complexity, most level two chargers are found at public charging stations. However, you can opt to have one installed at your home.
What makes the level two chargers so popular is that they provide excellent performance at a fair price. All you need is an all-purpose J plug for a good charge. The amount of time you spend recharging your vehicle depends on two things: the size of the car and whether or not it’s a hybrid. A purely electric vehicle can take anywhere from four to 10 hours for a full charge. For hybrids, all you need is a total of two hours. With a level two charger, all you need is to charge your vehicle for a maximum of one hour to get 32 hours of battery power.
One of the greatest perks of having a level two charger is that it’s great for topping off your battery. It has shorter charging times and it’s very convenient. It’s an excellent choice for longer commute times.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge Your EV?
The next thing to consider is the cost. Charging prices for EVs vary by state. Charges typically range from $4.51 to more than $10. With costs being so much lower than gas, more people are making the switch to electric vehicles.
The Future of Electric Vehicles: Will They Replace Gas Vehicles?
Several states offer incentives for people to switch to electric vehicles. With more states stepping up their EV incentive programs, it may be worth your while to consider an electric vehicle. Consumers choosing electric vehicles are also eligible for large federal tax incentives. Auto manufacturers are also under federal mandates to increase the production of these vehicles, meaning electric vehicles have the potential to overtake gas-powered vehicles over time. By adopting this new technology now, homeowners avoid the rush of installing their personal EV chargers during a time of increased usage.
Call the Pros
If you’re interested in getting an electric vehicle charger for your home, give Potts Electric a call. We serve the St. Louis MO area and can help you with your needs. We’ll upgrade your system so that you can use a level one or level two charger. Our experts know how to set you up so that you can charge your car while at home. They’ll match your home’s electrical system with the right kind of charging station. A qualified electrician will help you decide where you want to put it. They can adjust your home’s power capacity so you can charge without tripping the breaker. To learn more about our home electric services, contact Potts Electric today. We also offer a full line of residential and commercial electrical services and products including smart home technology, generators, new constructions, and electrical panels. Financing is also available on approved credit.