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πŸš—πŸ”Œ Got EV Charging Questions? EnerSavings has Answers

Monday, 13 March 2023 04:04.PM

With the proliferation of EVs, comes a raft of questions from potential consumers about the electrification of the automotive sector, and the inevitable shift from gasoline-powered internal combustion engines to batteries.

EnerSavings experts have been fielding β€” an answering β€” a raft of questions from curious tire kickers.

How long does it take to charge my car?

This seems like a simple question, but has an answer that is more complicated than it sounds. The charging time will depend on what type of charger you have and the power acceptance rate of the car. There is a charger in the vehicle that converts AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current), and these on-board chargers have a maximum power acceptance rate measured in kilowatt hours. The higher the rate the faster the car will charge.

EnerSavings suggest a Work. Rest. Play. approach to EV charging.

When you are at work, plug in the car so that it charges through the day. When you get home, plug it in so it charges overnight, ensuring you have a full battery the next morning for the day ahead. When on a trip, plan your pit stops around Level 3 public chargers. Stop for a bathroom break and refreshments and plug in.

What kind of charger should I have in my home?

It is recommended that homes be equipped with a Level 2 charger. They will provide a full charge overnight, ensuring the battery is full when you leave for work in the morning.

My car came with a charger; is that good enough?

If that charger is Level 1 charger that simply plugs into a typical home outlet (120 volt AC source), then no, it isn’t.

Level 2 charging stations are connected to a 240 volt AC source, and deliver more power to the battery.

For comparison purposes, a Level 1 charger delivers about 1.4 kilowatts per hour. For a Chevrolet Bolt, with a capacity of 60 kWh, that would take 43 hours for a full charge. A Level 2 charger delivers 7.2 kilowatts each hour, charging the same car in eight hours.

Should I let the battery run all the way down before charging it?

You should never let your EV battery run all the way down to zero. This causes undue stress on the battery and its components. For frequent charging, use Level 1 or Level 2 chargers that power the battery through the car’s onboard systems, and protect the battery from degradation. Let it charge gradually overnight while you sleep.
While Level 3 DC fast chargers are perfectly OK, and can provide a sufficient charge within a half hour while you are on a road trip, it is not recommended that these be used on a daily basis.

How can I get charging in my condominium parking spot?

This is really a question for your condo board and the readiness of the electrical infrastructure powering your building. But this is something condominiums will have to begin considering as the number of EVs on the roads continues to climb. They should be proactively planning an EV strategy that will be prepared for Level 2 charging stations in all of their parking spots, and how this will fit within the power grid.

SOURCE: Enterprise Canada