A home charging station is an essential part of owning a battery-operated car. You have probably seen public charging stations placed here and there, but their presence is too scattered to really offer a working solution. In the end, it is far more convenient to have a charger installed into your home. If you are new to the alternative fuel world than you may not know exactly what you should look for. Here are some important tips to help you find the right charger for your specific situation.
Know the Fundamentals
A home charging station is actually called an EVSE and is not really a charger at all. Most battery-operated vehicles come with the charger built into the car. Any electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE, mainly connects that charger to a power source. It is important because it anchors the charger and prevents vehicle batteries from overheating. If you are just learning about this you are not alone. Many people are completely unaware of EVSE until they do a little research. This is why if you are going alternative you need to understand the basic fundamentals and proper lingo. It prevents you from being taken advantage of, and also better communicates what you need to providers.
Connector, Cord, and Plug-In
Although most cars use a standard five prong connector known as a J1772, some automobile companies like to go a different way. This is why it is important to know the proper connector for your particular automobile. If the connector does not work your EVSE system is completely useless. So, ask about the type of connector, and if it is a standard J1772 be sure to count five prongs. The connector is not the only option you need to consider. Cord length is also an important factor as the connector has to be able to reach your car. Now EVSE cords max out at 50 feet so they are more than capable of reaching a necessary distance. What many people do not realize is that every foot of this distance costs money. So be sure to take exact measurements of where your car will park and estimate the needed length. Plug-ins are a pivotal point of today’s EV chargers for home. This is because consumers are not saddled with only hard wire as a choice. A hard wire connection is attached directly to your home’s electrical system. A plug-in can be carried with you and plugs into the wall with a standard 120V connector. This allows charging to be portable.
The newest electric cars on the market can go around 200 miles without needing a charge. This is great but the car will still need a boost from time to time. EVSE chargers come in various levels that effect how fast the battery charges. They type you purchase needs to be based on your specific situation. Level 1 is the lowest and plugs directly into a normal socket. Charging is very slow, however. Level 2 is a 240V plug and has a significantly faster charging time. It also costs about $300 dollars more than a level 1. Level 3 is the fastest and on par with those outdoor super chargers. It is the most expensive option. If you have a low-travel commute, your work happens to have an outdoor charger, or you own a new model car a level 3 may not be needed. If you live in a rural area and drive a lot then a level 1 is probably not adequate.