Everything You Should Know About EV Charging
EV charging is used for charging electric vehicles that work on battery instead of fuel. When you drive an Electric Vehicle (EV), it stores electrical energy and this energy is used over some time as you drive the vehicle.
However, to keep the vehicle running, one needs to charge its battery. The process of charging is called EV charging, which can be done by three different types of charging: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.
Understanding the Types of Charging
This refers to the basic and slowest EV charging as it uses 120V AC, available at household electrical outlets. While level 1 is slow, it is convenient for overnight charging at home. You might need to charge overnight to ensure that your electric vehicle runs a few miles.
This level is much faster compared to level 2 as it uses 240V AC. It is available at several public charging stations and just a couple of charging hours can make your electric vehicle run for 20-25 miles.
If you're looking forward to having a rapid charging option, then level 3 - also known as DC Fast Charging - is the best way to save time. This will quickly charge your electric vehicle, available at public stations that allows you to drive 60-80 miles with just 30 minutes of charge. This is perfect for longer trips.
However, it is worth noting that EV charging can vary depending on the vehicle make and model as different vehicles might have different charging connectors and standards, such as CCS (Combined Charging System), CHAdeMO, or Tesla's proprietary connector.
Explaining the Types of Electric Vehicles
There are several types of electric vehicles available in the market. Let’s have a look at some popular ones and how they work:
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
BEVs are purely electric vehicles as the working of the machine completely relies on electricity for its power source. It comes with large batteries and produces zero carbon emissions. For instance, the Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
PHEVs, on the other hand, come with an electric supply as well as an internal combustion engine. The electric-only mode can work for a limited time as the battery capacity is less and eventually, the user has to switch to fuel mode like regular vehicles. Toyota Prius Prime, Ford Escape PHEV, and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are some examples.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
HEVs come with an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. One of the drawbacks of this vehicle is that you can't charge it externally as it relies on regenerative braking and the engine to recharge the battery. This type is available in the Toyota Prius (non-plug-in version), Honda Insight, and Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs)
EREVs are similar to PHEVs but they operate in electric mode. One of the most popular EREVs in the market is the BMW i3 with Range Extender that uses the internal combustion engine to charge the vehicle's battery whenever required.
Electric scooters are mainly used in urban cities for short distances. In fact, in many cities, they are provided on a rental basis for the tourist to hang around the city with ease. Lime and Bird are two popular electric scooter services in the market.
EV Charging Infrastructure
Any city must have an EV ecosystem to ensure the crucial adoption of electric vehicles in day-to-day commutes. The infrastructure consists of a network of charging stations and related services that ensure electric vehicle owners can charge their vehicles conveniently.
EV charging infrastructure consists of public charging stations that should be available at parking lots, shopping centers, and highways. It should also allow EV owners to do Level 2 charging at home alongside workplaces.
Smartphone applications and websites also help EV owners for locating charging stations, check availability, and make payments. Furthermore, charging stations might come with different payment methods such as subscription-based services, pay-as-you-go, and free charging at some locations.
There are charging stations that use payment methods of credit cards and payment through mobile app services. The infrastructure also heavily relies on private companies and governments for the regulation of the installation and operation of charging stations to ensure safety, reliability, and compatibility.
Benefits of EV
Gas Emission: There are ample benefits are using electric vehicles for individuals as well as society as a whole. EVs help to reduce carbon footprint as it produces zero tailpipe emissions. This is possible because electric vehicles use electricity to work that comes from renewable sources like wind or solar power.
Low Cost: It is cheaper to operate an EV compared to a fueled vehicle as gas or diesel fuel is more expensive. Moreover, there are fewer parts in electric vehicles, which helps to reduce the maintenance cost overall.
Environment Friendly: As the emission of harmful pollutants - such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) - is reduced, electric vehicles ensure that the air quality is improved.
Reduced Noise Pollution: Compared to fuel-operated vehicles, EVs are much quieter which leads to reducing noise pollution and improves the quality of life for locals in the area. Hence, using EVs is highly recommended in the long run.
Government Benefits: To encourage the public to switch towards electric vehicles, several governments are offering tax benefits and incentives for using electric vehicles. For instance, registration fees are reduced, additional rebates, subsidies, exemptions from sales tax, free parking space, and more.
Cost Savings: In the long term, electric vehicle saves a lot of unnecessary expenses. However, the upfront cost of an electric vehicle might be more compared to regular ones but eventually, it will save you a lot on maintenance and fuel. Hence, it is considered as an investment.
Many countries worldwide - including Norway, China, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Sweden, and Japan - have adopted EVs and created an infrastructure to encourage more users to purchase electric vehicles.
These countries are improving their infrastructure on a regular basis and also urging other emerging economies to step forward to help reduce their carbon footprint.