3 Things You Need to Know About Charging Electric Cars
Imagine a long, errand-packed day. You have to drive down to Denver and back. You have to get groceries. You have to pick up your kids from school.
As you pull into your driveway, you realize your car needs fuel. But, instead of backing out and heading to the closest gas station, you plug your electric vehicle into a home charging station, go inside, and enjoy some well-earned relaxation. Electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) have many benefits, home charging stations among them.
If, like many Coloradoans, you’re conscientious about your ecological footprint, the thought of replacing your Subaru with a Tesla has probably crossed your mind. EVs and PHEVs release zero tailpipe emissions. And the electricity their engines generate release about half of the CO2 of internal combustion engines.
The unmatched convenience of at-home recharging and the reduced environmental impact aside, many people have concerns about EVs and PHEVs. Specifically, they have questions about how these vehicles charge and how reliable their batteries are. The following are three things we think you should know.
1. You Need to Charge Your EV Every 100 Miles or So
The high-tech batteries that power electric and plug-in cars are improving every year. However, they currently limit how long you can go without recharging to about 100 miles. This restriction, while seemingly inconvenient, doesn’t deter car owners in Europe and in certain US cities because they don’t need to drive more than 100 miles in a day.
In other parts of the US, particularly rural and sprawling suburban areas where residents need to drive longer distances, EV and PHEV owners should plan to recharge at home. You also should place a pin for other electric car charging stations on your phone’s Google maps app. These locations, on a long day of driving, will save your car from losing charge.
2. Home Chargers Vary in Their Maximum Charging Capacity
Most EV charging happens at home. You can plug your car into a normal electric outlet, connecting it to the car’s onboard charger through its charging cord. Unfortunately, this makeshift effort will only allow your car to charge at a glacial pace. For every one hour of charging on a standard electric outlet, your car will be able to drive four more miles.
Because they don’t want to wait two days for their car to be charged, many EV owners also purchase home charging units. These tailor-made car chargers allow you to power your vehicle after charging it overnight.
That said, home electric car chargers vary greatly in how much charge they emit. A Toyota Prius Plug-In, for example, has a maximum charge of 3.3kW, or about 11 miles per hour. Luxury-class electric cars, such as Mercedes, Tesla, and BMV, have much larger charging capacity. Depending on the make and model you buy, these higher-end EVs will charge between 25 and 60 miles per hour.
3. Only Certified Electricians Should Install Your Home Charging Station
It’s tempting to cut corners during the installation process and do it yourself. Unless you’re exceptionally gifted at electrical work, don’t take the project on yourself. It can not only put your car at risk, but also potentially put your well-being at risk. Only hire an experienced, certified electrician to install your home charging station.
At Chadwick Electric Services, we offer electric car charger installation to commercial, governmental, industrial, and residential customers. Our staff technicians are certified in installing, maintaining, and repairing EV car chargers for Tesla, Honda, Ford, BMW, Kia, Volkswagen, Nissan, Cadillac, and Chevy models. Contact us today at (970) 482-9449, and get a free home charger estimate.