What you should know about EV fast charge: -Cars Automobiles

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Although most electric vehicle owners keep them charged at home, it is sometimes important to recharge the battery while driving.

Fortunately, the number of public charging stations for electric vehicles is growing rapidly. Published reports indicate that by the end of 2018, nearly 60,000 US public chargers were in operation. They are typically installed in multi-family homes, public parking garages, retail parking lots, car dealerships, and even some other city streets, most of which are in areas with higher EV penetration.

However, most public chargers are still limited to 240 volt (Level 2) charging, which makes them most suitable for "charging" the battery of an electric vehicle while shopping, dining or shopping. (Normal 110 volt house current is Level 1 charging.) If you do not have half a day or more to stay connected to a Level 2 unit, it's best to find a station that has a Level 3 charge with ultra-high power is also known as DC Fast Charging. This is the fastest system of all, capable of bringing the battery of an electric vehicle to 80 percent of its capacity in about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the vehicle and the ambient temperature (a cold battery is slower than a warm one). ,

Therefore, looking for Level 3 chargers is essential for anyone on a trip or otherwise out of their comfort zone when it comes to the range of their electric vehicle. A number of websites and smartphone apps have interactive maps that show the locations and networks of public charging stations, the type of charging they support, whether they are in use or not.

A number of initiatives and partnerships have been announced that will increase the number of Tier 3 chargers across America. EVgo's charging network is one of the most aggressive in this regard, with more than 1,100 public fast-charging devices operating in 66 major US cities and over 100 new units currently under construction. Another network, Electrify America, plans to install more than 2,000 DC fast chargers at nearly 500 subway and highway locations in 40 states and 17 major cities. Meanwhile, ChargePoint, the country's largest charging network, maintains around 60,000 charging points in 43 states, and although only about 1,000 Level 3 expansion plans are in the works.


Level 3 charging at a public power plant can be triggered either through the access card a network gives its members, or through the smartphone app, which is linked to a debit or credit account or a contactless credit card.

Charge sessions are usually limited in time. For example, EVgo limits active connections to 30 to 60 minutes (or when a battery reaches full capacity). There is a good reason for that. As soon as the battery of an electric vehicle has reached a certain capacity, which can be between 60 and 85 percent, depending on the vehicle, the charging process essentially slows down to the then costly Level 2 operation.

Note that multiple connector configurations are used for DC fast charging. Most models from Asian automakers use a so-called CHAdeMO connector (Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul EV), while German and American EVs use the SAE combo connector (BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt EV), with many Level 3 chargers supporting both types , Tesla uses a proprietary connector to access its supercharger network, which is limited to its own vehicles. However, Tesla owners may use other public chargers via an adapter supplied with the vehicle. For the type of plug that a particular Level 3 station uses, see the Chargers Locator and Charge Locator Web Sites listed above.


There are still a lot of 2nd-level chargers that you can use for free, but you have to pay for Charge 3, which is not cheap. The fee rates may be based on government regulations per minute or per kWh (kilowatt per hour) and may vary per provider and / or local supply and demand.

As an example, we found that the DC Fast Charging EVgo network in the Chicago area costs $ 0.29 per minute. At this speed, a 30-minute session, which we expect to travel 80 miles into the battery of an electric vehicle, would cost $ 8.70. That's $ 2.72 to cover 25 miles. By comparison, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the owner of a 36-kilometer Toyota Corolla costs $ 1.58 to run the same distance on regular gasoline at $ 2.28 a gallon. The house charge is still the most economical alternative. The EPA estimates running costs of $ 0.92 average on average electricity prices to drive a Chevrolet Bolt EV for 25 miles.

If you regularly use Level 3 charging, you often receive lower fees by paying a monthly prepayment. In addition, certain models may be eligible for the benefits. For example, EVGo offers buyers of the BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf in selected markets free two-year fees. While Tesla buyers were eligible for the free Supercharger deployment, the benefit for the new owners was discontinued from November last November.

Be sure to find out for comprehensive information on other aspects of electric vehicle purchase and ownership. We are also the leading marketplace for used electric vehicles on the Internet, with 100% free offers for sellers.


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