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10 Things Nobody Tells You About Charging An Electric Vehicle

10 Things Nobody Tells You About Charging An Electric Vehicle

  • EV charging speeds vary depending on the type of charger used and the state of the battery, with Level 3 DC fast chargers being the fastest.
  • Setting up an EV charger at home requires careful planning, such as checking if your home's electrical capacity can support it and obtaining permits.
  • Charging an EV at home can be a tedious process, especially with a standard Level 1 charger that offers slow charging speeds, making Level 2 or DC fast chargers essential in most cases.

The automotive industry is moving towards electrification, and nothing seems to be able to stand in the way of the EV revolution. With regulations getting tighter, the infrastructure improving at astonishing speeds, and multiple states set to ban the sale of new ICE-powered vehicles soon, it won't be long before EVs begin to outnumber gas-powered cars on the road.

In fact, the number of EV charging ports will soon outnumber the number of active gas stations in the U.S. Since an electric powertrain is different in every way imaginable from a gas-powered one, its maintenance is a completely different ball game as well.

Even though EVs have much fewer moving parts and require less maintenance in general than ICE-powered vehicles, EVs come with their own set of issues that are becoming apparent as their adoption becomes more widespread. Gone are the days when you had to worry about regular oil changes and engine services.

Now you get to worry about battery health and range anxiety, among other things. Charging your EV is near the top of the list, and it may seem as simple as plugging in your car just like you plug in your phone and forget about it, but it is not as simple as it appears, and here are 10 things no one is telling you about EV charging.

Charging Speeds Can Vary

The speed at which you can charge your EV can vary significantly based on various factors, the most prominent of which is the type of charger you use and the state of the battery when you plug it in. The most basic one is a Level 1 charger that can be plugged into a household outlet, and it offers the slowest charging speeds as low as two to five miles of range per hour of charging.

Level 2 charging requires a dedicated charger and is much faster at 10 to 30 miles of range per hour. A Level 3 DC fast charger is the fastest one, and it can replenish almost 80 percent of your battery in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. The maximum charging speed offered by such a charger also depends on the maximum speed supported by your car, with some new EVs supporting as much as 350 kW.

Setting Up a Charger At Home Requires Careful Planning

In an ideal world, you'd be able to drive your shiny new EV home, plug it into any outlet you want, and charge it up just like your phone or your laptop. Unfortunately, we do not live in a world like that, and setting up a proper EV charger at home is a complex process that presents various challenges.

For starters, you must make sure your home's electrical capacity can support the additional load of a heavy-duty EV charger. If it doesn't, an upgrade might be necessary before you can consider installing a charger. Getting a permit can be a time-consuming process, especially if you live in a multi-unit building, and it always comes with the looming danger of getting stuck in bureaucracy.

Charging Your EV At Home Can Be a Tedious Affair

Charging your EV at come can come with several challenges to make you pull your hair out. With a standard Level 1 charger, it can take ages to completely charge up your car's battery. On average, a Level 1 charger can provide between 2 and 5 miles of range per hour of charging. To calculate the exact time required to juice up your battery, you need to divide the total capacity by the charging rate of the charger.

For example, even if your car has a relatively small battery capacity of 60 kWh, it would require about 20 hours to charge it up with a Level 1 charger. These types of chargers are only suited for overnight charging, and employing the use of a Level 2 or DC fast charger is essential in most cases.

There Is a Certain Cost Attached To Charging Your EV

Contrary to what many people believe, the cost of charging your EV is not zero. Electricity is more readily available than the fuel used in ICE-powered vehicles, but its cost can vary a lot from area to area. The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is around 10 cents per kWh, and with an average efficiency of three miles per kWh, charging your car at home should cost you about 3.3 cents per mile.

Charging at a commercial fast charger is a lot faster than charging at home, but it can also cost a lot more. The average cost of completely filling up an EV battery from zero to 100 percent is between $10 and $30 under current conditions. Of course, this cost may generally be much less than the cost of filling up your gas tank, but there are other expenses associated with it.

Charging Habits Can Make or Break Your Battery's Health

Just like any other electric battery, charging habits can greatly influence the health and performance of your EVs battery. While it may seem very convenient to plug your car's battery in and out at your leisure, EV batteries can cost an arm and a leg. You’ll probably want to do everything you can to prolong your battery's lifespan.

This includes making sure you don't always charge your battery at the fastest rate possible and strain it with excess heat and avoiding frequent deep discharges since completely discharging your battery regularly can stress it out. Charging frequency is also important, since extreme temperature fluctuations and leaving the battery fully charged for extended batteries can degrade your battery faster. EVs are getting more high-tech every day, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make use of the best charging practices available.

Not All Charging Stations Are the Same

EV charging stations represent a burgeoning business, and an increasing number of players are eager to have a piece of the pie. These charging stations can vary significantly in their capabilities and services rendered, with some of them offering only Level 2 charging while others offer faster solutions like Level 3 DC fast charging.

Tesla is the first name that springs to mind with its vast Supercharger network that it is opening to EVs made by other manufacturers as well, and others like Electrify America are hard at work expanding the public fast-charger network. In fact, this even prompted seven automakers to join forces to create a charging network to increase the reach of EVs and make them even more feasible. The future of EV charging stations looks bright, but it is important to pick one that is compatible with your own vehicle and won't damage your battery in the long run.

Public EV Charging Stations Require Some Etiquette

While being a decent human being is important at any type of public refueling station, EV charging stations come with their own set of unwritten rules. EVs can take a lot longer to charge than it takes to fill up a gas tank, and practicing 'charge and move' behavior is extremely important. The charging station is not your personal parking spot, and you should be promptly moving on, so you don't inconvenience others.

Leaving the charger in the same condition you found is also important, and leaving the cord hanging is just plain uncivilized. Worst of all, though, is 'ICEing', or parking a gas-powered car in an EV charging spot. These rules aren't rocket science, and every car owner should be able to follow them.

Your Charging Stop Could Become the Most Important Part of Planning Your Road Trip

Imagine this: you meticulously plan your road trip with your friends or family in your fancy new EV, mapping out every charted course and ensuring you get to that all-important spot just before sunset. You depart, excited to see what the journey has in store for you. Along the way, you realize that you did not consider the 40 minutes it would take to replenish your car's battery, and the golden hour comes and goes as you explain to your passengers how EVs are still the future of the automotive industry.

If the above scenario seems like nightmare fuel to you, you should know that planning your charging stops is about to become an integral part of your trips from now on. Manufacturers are already coming up with new and innovative ways to change that, though, and battery swapping is one of them.

Range Anxiety Is Real and Terrifying

The EV revolution is bringing its own set of automotive problems, and range anxiety is top of them. It's no secret that EVs last much less than ICE-powered vehicles in terms of the distance they can travel on one full charge, and range anxiety is a significant concern for many drivers.

The EV charging network is still not as widespread as the conventional gas station network, and availability in remote areas can limit your travel plans. Or, imagine you hit a charging station and it's not functional! On the bright side, EV tech is progressing in leaps and bounds, and there are cars that can go more than 400 miles on a single charge already, meaning range anxiety could become a thing of the past very soon.

Owning An EV Charging Station Is Much Different from Owning a Gas Station

On a slightly different yet related note, owning and operating a gas station may not be the most profitable business, but it is a business, nevertheless. As the automotive industry shifts towards electrification, it may seem like the perfect time to cash into the EV charging station industry, but investing in one as a business opportunity is a very different affair. Regulations around them are changing every day and even though the EV market is growing at a very fast pace, people's EV charging habits are much different than their refueling habits.


any people charge at home or at work, and the reduced cost of electricity means margins are even smaller than those you would get by owning a gas station. No one can say for sure what the industry will look like a few years from now, but you might want to consider your options carefully before dipping your toes, and your hard-earned dollars, in this line of work.

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