Electric vehicle chargers come in all shapes and sizes. You might see public ones dotted around town or along the way to your destination, and they may be free or require payment via credit card or an app you’ve created on a smartphone (like when you use a pump at a gas station). Then there are EV chargers you can buy and install at home, either in your garage or, more likely, outside of it. And then there are DC fast-chargers that operate at 400 or 800 volts and charge at rates as high as 350 kW.
What are the 3 types of EV charging stations?
Choosing the right one for your electric vehicle depends on what you’re looking for in a home charging solution, as well as what kind of EV you own. Most EVs have plug-in ports that fit either Level 1 or Level 2 chargers. A Level 1 charger typically plugs into the same 120-volt outlets you’d use for a phone charger or lamp. It’s slow, but it’s fine for most daily driving or for adding a few miles to your range between fill-ups with gasoline.
Most EVs can also take advantage of Level 2 charging at public stations that you pay for using a credit card or through an app you’ve set up on your phone. The best-known provider, ChargePoint, has units across the country that integrate with a free mobile app you can add your vehicle to (and use to connect to its public chargers). It tailors the amount of energy delivered (in kilowatt hours or kWh) and the percent of battery replenished to each specific EV. You can even create a schedule to take advantage of variable-cost electricity during off-peak hours.