So, you just bought an EV and you need to charge it. Which charger should you use and how much should you charge your new car? You might be surprised.
80-90% of charging takes place at home, but drivers often recharge at work, restaurants, the gym, and many other locations to “top off their tank.” While it may seem counterproductive at first, no EV should be charged to 100% or allowed to go as low as 0%. This drains battery life. EVs perform best when their charge varies between 15%-85% which is typically controlled by your car’s firmware. How long charging takes and how much to charge depends partly on the type of charger used.
Level 1 Chargers
Drivers with their own homes will probably be happy with a Level 1 charger cord that comes with the EV. Most vehicles can be charged with either a Level 1 charger (1.1kW) or a Level 2 (6.6kW). According to Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, it may take up to 20 hours to fully charge an EV with a Level 1 charger (which generally adds 4-5 miles of range per hour). Level 1 chargers are very simple to install—just plug into the wall and go. For most, a 110 volt, 15 amp outlet works just fine.
Drivers usually charge their vehicles overnight since it takes an extended period of time to charge a car with a Level 1 charger. It’s fine to allow your car to fully charge overnight, but not every single night. 3-4 times per week keeps a vehicle charged at around 80%
Level 2 Chargers
Level 2 Chargers require 208-240 volts, 40-85 amps (remove the amperages, it’s confusing), and charge at 20-65 miles per hour, and they are unlikely to be found installed in garages of single-family homes. These faster chargers are found in public parking garages, workplaces, healthcare centers, gyms, shopping centers, restaurants, and more.
EV owners often drop by public chargers several times a week to “top off” their battery. In some ways, an EV is like a pre-paid phone; the owner adds more money and minutes every time they get the opportunity and don’t wait for the minutes/your battery to run out.
The EV Lifestyle
Part of being an EV owner is understanding it’s best to charge your car a bit at a time. At the mall? Charge for half an hour. At a restaurant? Same thing.
If you’re still concerned about overcharging your battery, there are four easy steps you can take to ensure your battery has a long life. Charge to 85-90%, don’t drain your battery to completely empty, avoid leaving the car in extremely hot conditions and limit DCFC charging.
Blink partners with businesses all over the country to bring powerful Level 2 chargers to convenient public places, allowing you to top off your battery as your living your daily life. In fact, if you know a location that doesn’t have EV charging stations and you’d like us to reach out to the business, please let us know. We will share with them the benefits of deploying public chargers at their facility.