An electric car does not use an internal combustion engine. It uses a rechargeable battery pack and an electric motor to operate. Many drivers are opting to use electric cars to slay the use of fossil fuels. Charging electric cars is one of the ways of maintaining them. Charging could either be done at home or a station.
For home charging, there are set guidelines and instructions on how to charge electric car at home. It is as easy, efficient, and faster as charging it in a station. It has also appeared to be the cheapest and readily available choice for charging E.V.s.
Safety Tips Before You Start Charging
Charging electric cars at home becomes easy and effective when the right measures are applied. These measures ensure that there are no damages of any kind. They also help maintain the E.V.s in good shape, offering a long-term service. Some of the most important safety tips are:
- Understand the type of charger to use before purchase. The chargers are of two types, a level 1 charger and level 2 chargers. A level 1 charger provides ample charging capacity for many electric cars. On the other hand, a level 2 charger is faster and convenient for long-distance drives.
- Make sure that your electric system at home can accustom you to the demands of charging an electric car. This includes checking the installation of components like wires, which may increase the likelihood of an electrical fire. You should rectify all damages effectively.
- If you opted for a level 2 charger, it is advisable to determine whether the home electrical system has a high capacity. If the electrical system is not up to the task, you need to add circuits for the purpose. This will give you the capacity to charge the vehicle.
- Preserve the parts of your charging station according to the manual or given guidelines. Do not use an E.V. charger with clear signs of damage as this indicates potential hazards.
- Make sure that the charging station is covered to avoid water from entering. Water spills could lead to fatal accidents and damages. You should check all pipes passing through the stations for any water drips.
- When purchasing a charging device, ensure it is certified by a recognized laboratory in the country. This will help you use devices that are of quality. It also minimizes the possibility of using obsolete devices for your electric car.
How to Charge Electric Car At Home
Having an electric car is advantageous as you can charge it at home. There is no need to stop at a station to service your car. The process of charging these vehicles is fast and reliable. All you have to do is equip yourself with information on how to go about it. Your potential solution could include:
1. Installation of a Wallbox
A wall box is a charging point in the form of a box that is mounted on the wall. It works by connecting it to an electric grid using a circuit. The circuit should be able to carry a large load of power. The wallbox then converts the electricity to the type of current that your battery can hold.
Using a wallbox is advantageous as:
- They offer optimal safety – a wallbox is equipped with safety features that help avoid electric shock and overheating risks. It also has a diagnostic system that provides high power without posing a risk to the electric system.
- The wallbox charges faster, taking a shorter time to charge your car. The wallbox provides a higher wattage than a regular outlet. The wattage may range from 3.7Kw to even 22kw. This high power, in turn, makes the wallbox reliable.
- Using a wallbox is easy. When charging, all you have to do is hook up the charging lead to the car. There is no need to remove the charging cable afterward and put it away again.
2. Using a Three –Pin Plug
The other method of charging your electric car is using a three-pin plug. The slow charger mostly comes along with the vehicle. This type of charging is convenient for emergencies only since it is slow. It works by connecting the three-pin plug to a domestic power supply, which then charges the car.
The three-pin plug is portable and easy to use. It does not require the installation of cables or complex devices. The charger is more suitable for emergency purposes. However, it is not as reliable as using a wall box.
Many people have inquired on how to charge electric car at home without a garage. You will need to have an electric service and an area to park. Install a hard-wired charging station and attach it to a standing pole or an external wall. Ensure that you choose a charger with a long cord enough to reach the car’s charging port.
When it comes to home charging costs, the most commonly asked question is how much does it cost to charge an electric car at home. The cost of charging an electric car at home will depend on the charging method you are using. You can install an electric car calculator, and it will help you calculate the cost every time you charge the E.V.
When using the three-pin plug, the cost will be minimal as there are no installation costs incurred. On the other hand, it is more costly to use a wallbox. The wallbox needs installation hence incurring some costs. Generally, the home charging method of electric vehicles is considered to be less expensive.
Questions like how long does it take to charge an electric car at home have been asked by many. The time may vary depending on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point. For instance, the wallbox takes a minimal time to charge than the three-pin plug.
In some cases, you might need to charge your car while on the road. This brings in the question of how you charge an electric car on the road. To charge your electric car on the road, it is advisable to download an Electric Car charger app. The app gives you information on alternative fuel locations around where you are.
It also helps the drivers to plan trips that are within available chargers. The mobile app can also connect the chargers to the drivers while they are on the roads. These apps include ChargeHub, PlugShare and in some cases, the cars have an in-built navigation system.
Home Charging Station
The home charging station includes the level 1 and the level 2 charging stations. All-electric vehicles come with a level 1 charger which is portable. You can plug these chargers into household outlets. They do not require any specific installation. Cars like Tesla come with level 1 and 2 chargers.
The level 2 charger, on the other hand, charges the E.V. faster. Many people opt to buy a charging station that delivers more power than their electric cars can accept. This ensures that they are ready if their next electric car charges at a high rate. Therefore, they tend to use the level 2 charging station.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Charging Station
When looking for a charging station or designing a home charging station, you need to be very careful since the well-being of your vehicle depends on it. Some factors to be keen on are:
Level 2 charging stations provide a large capacity of powers ranging from 16 to 80 amps. This accelerates the speed of charging your electric vehicle. This type of station is preferred as it helps avoid the hustle of finding an expensive high-powered station later. A charging station that gives at least 32 amps is more preferable.
2. Cable length
A preferable cable length that you are advised to use is at least 20 feet. This helps suit your needs conveniently. You can also opt for a length of 24 to 25 feet in length. The longer the length, the more suitable it is.
3. Safety certified
Due to the increased use of electric cars, there has been a rise in companies making E.V. chargers. Some of these companies are not following the right measures of certifying the safety of the device. This may lead to car damages and is also not safe for people. It is therefore advisable to use certified chargers.
Having a charging system that costs more does not necessarily mean it is the best choice or quality. A charging station that is less expensive, has an amicable warranty, and is built well is the quality one. When looking for a charging system, look for the ones with discounts and special offers also.
To calculate the charging cost, use a cost to charge electric car calculator. You will first select the vehicle you are using and enter the power rating of your home charger. Enter the home electricity cost. This will show your cost per mile for your home charge and the total cost as well.
If you want to charge your vehicle cheaply, look for the free car charging points near me. Some places to charge for free are public parking garages, some urban street corners, and retail parking lots. The use of mobile apps like plug share could also help get to these places.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Can You Plug An Electric Car Into A Regular Outlet?
It is possible to plug an electric car into a regular outlet. Electric vehicles today have a charging unit that you can plug into any standard 110v outlet. This unit enables you to charge an electric car from household outlets.
Q: Is it Expensive to Charge an Electric Car At Home?
Charging an electric car at home is cheaper compared to using commercial charging stations. A three-pin plug, for instance, does not come with installation costs. You only need to use an existing socket in the house. This allows you to save on costs. However, you have to ensure that the socket in your garage can charge an E.V.
Q: Should I Charge My Electric Car Every Night?
Generally, you don’t need to charge an electric car every night. This is hazardous as it can damage the lifespan of your car’s battery. The manufactures provide electric car batteries that can hold power for a long time. This allows you to skip plugging in for few nights.
Q: How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?
At public points, the cost of charging your electric car will depend on the location of charge points and the charge point network. Many offer a pay-per-session method to street chargers.
When using the home charging method, get your electricity bill, divide the number of kWh you used into the total bottom-line dollar. This, however, varies with every person.
Q: How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car At Home?
Generally, an electric car can fully charge in thirty minutes. However, the time is taken to charge an electric car varies. It depends on the size of your car’s battery and the speed of your charging point. For instance, using a three-pin plug at your house may take longer compared to a wallbox charger.
Q: Can I Charge My Electric Car With An Extension Cord?
The use of extension cords is greatly cautioned by manufacturers and the Electric Safety Foundation International. The majority of those cords are inappropriate to use in electric vehicles. It is advised not to use the cords as they increase the risk of an electrical fire.
This happens mostly when you use an extension with a substantial power outlet and which is skinny. The other risk occurs when you use an extension cord not specifically designed for that car, which may cause damage.
Q: Do Electric Cars Lose Charge When Parked?
Electric cars lose charge when they are parked though it is minimal. However, it can add up over time. It is recommendable to charge the car at least 80% and not 100%. This ensures that the battery is not damaged when put into storage.
Electric vehicles have power save modes that help minimize energy consumption during parking. This is advised to save power. This also helps disengage any unnecessary system which tends to drain your battery.
Q: It Okay To Charge Electric Car Every Day?
It is not advisable to charge your electric car every day. This minimizes the lifespan of your car’s battery. The SOC for your battery should be between 30% and 80%. This is also included in the car’s manual on battery charging recommendations. This helps maintain your battery for a long span of period.
Q: How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car At Target?
Charging your car at target is free in the first two hours. However, this depends on how you plug into the plug and where you are plugging in. Charging can be either free or surprisingly costly. The pricing also varies with states.
Q: Where Can I Charge My Electric Car For Free?
There are various charging points where you can freely charge your electric car. New car dealerships mostly offer free charging. Points like retail parking lots and public parking garages offer free charging. You can also be able to access free charging points using modern networks like a free-to-download mobile application.
Charging your electric car at home has proven to be more efficient. You can either use the wallbox or the three-pin plug. Ensure you follow all the set guidelines on the installation and use of any device to avoid damage.
When choosing a home charger station, make sure you consider factors like cost, power, and safety certification. It is also advisable to have a mobile app that will help you charge your car in times of emergencies. The above information on how to charge electric car at home will make your charging process easier.