Everything You Should Know About Charging Your Electric Vehicle

by May 5, 2023Car tips, Electric cars0 comments

Everything You Need to Know About Charging Your Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicle have changed the way we drive, providing a cleaner and greener alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. However, owning an electric car requires a bit of extra planning and consideration, especially when it comes to charging your electric vehicle. Charging your electric vehicle may appear to be as simple as putting in a large cable and then waiting, but there’s a lot more to these high-tech, environmentally friendly automobiles. When charging an EV, you’ll need to consider what type of charger you’ll need as well as your time and budget.


In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about charging an electric vehicle, from the different types of chargers to tips for charging at home and on the go.


Charging Your Electric Vehicle


Types of EV Chargers

Let’s start with some basics. Understanding the types of EV chargers is the first step to charging your electric vehicle. There are three main types of chargers for electric cars: Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Chargers.


Level 1 Chargers

Level 1 chargers are the slowest type of charger and use a standard 120-volt outlet. They typically take 8-12 hours to fully charge your car, making them best for overnight charging at home. Level 1 chargers are not suitable for quick top-ups while you’re on the go.


Level 2 Chargers

Level 2 chargers are faster than Level 1 chargers and use a 240-volt outlet. They can fully charge your electric vehicle in 4-8 hours, depending on your car’s battery size. Level 2 chargers are ideal for home charging or public charging stations.


Level 3 Chargers

Also known as “DC Fast Chargers,” these are the fastest type of charger and can fully charge your car in as little as 30 minutes. They use direct current (DC) and are best for long-distance travel or when you need a quick top-up while you’re on the go. However, not all electric cars are compatible with DC Fast Chargers, so be sure to check your car’s specifications before attempting to use one.


Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a unique receptacle with an access port. Most EVs come standard with a basic 110-volt connection cable that connects the car to a standard three-prong household outlet. This is a good starting point, but most drivers will prefer the faster charging options offered by a 240-volt charger. Charging times vary depending on the vehicle and battery capacity, but it’s safe to conclude that 110-volt charging is more suitable for occasional use or plug-in hybrids with smaller batteries. Most current-model EVs with larger batteries require more than 24 hours to charge from a standard household outlet, and they rarely provide more than a few kilometers of range every hour. These Level 2 chargers can usually charge a fully exhausted battery overnight at home, which means they are capable of adding enough juice in a few hours to handle a regular commute. Finally, Level 3 public chargers can add up to 30 kilometers of range per minute, but they consume a lot of power and are not suitable for use at home. Furthermore, if used on a frequent basis, these chargers may result in premature battery wear.


How Long Does It Take to Charge Your Electric Vehicle?

There is no simple answer to this, as charging times are significantly influenced by factors such as the car’s onboard charging infrastructure and battery capacity. Charge time estimates are specified per type of charger by automakers; however, when using their advertising and marketing materials, they often use ultra-fast Level 3 charging under optimal conditions.


When it comes to Level 2 charging, a typical 60-kWh battery will take approximately eight hours to recharge if it is nearly drained. Basic chargers function as a barrier between the 240-volt outlet and the car. They have indicators that indicate when the car is charging and will usually notify you when the battery is full. More recent chargers will connect to a smartphone app or even have their own touchscreen, where you can program charging periods and look at how much energy you’ve used. Also, nearly all electric vehicles have smartphone apps supported by their manufacturers that provide similar data and control over charging timetables, so you have to decide which interface you prefer.


However, driving an EV requires some adjustment because draining a battery to empty requires calling a tow truck. In general, drivers will not want to charge less than 20%. This not only provides a small buffer to ensure you can get to a charging station, but it is also optimal for battery health. Similarly, battery experts support charging up to 80% unless you are certain you will require the entire possible range. That final 20% of the charge requires a significant amount of energy, which generates a lot of heat, which is bad for the battery. In short, an EV battery performs best when charged between 20% and 80%.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge Your Electric Vehicle?

EV charging costs are complicated to assess due to a variety of variables. One thing is certain: for an average driver getting power at home from a regular utility supplier, an EV will cost far less to charge and drive per kilometer than a gasoline or diesel vehicle.


The EPA established a unit of measurement for comparing the energy usage of an electric vehicle to that of a gas-powered vehicle. The value is known as MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent, because it assumes that 33.7 kWh of electricity has the same energy content as a gallon of fuel. When comparing EVs, look at the MPGe figure to see which uses its energy the most efficiently.


Public charging stations typically require a free (or low-cost) membership and charge per-kWh prices that are significantly higher than what you could use at home. Check your home energy utility bill to see how much it will cost to charge an EV at home. Your utility company will usually charge a base fee plus a per-kWh rate.


Charging Your Electric Vehicle at Home

Home charging is the most convenient and cost-effective way to charge your electric vehicle. Here are some tips for charging your electric vehicle at home:


  • Install a dedicated circuit for your charging station to prevent overloading your home’s electrical system.
  • Choose a charging station that’s compatible with your car’s charging capabilities.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your charging station to avoid any potential safety hazards.
  • Consider installing a smart charging system to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates and to monitor your charging remotely.
  • Charging on the Go


When you’re on the go, you may need to use public charging stations. Here are some tips for charging your electric vehicle while you’re out:

  • Plan your route in advance and research charging stations along the way.
  • Bring the necessary adapters and cables for your car.
  • Be prepared to wait if all charging stations are in use.
  • Always park in designated electric vehicle (EV) parking spots to avoid fines or towing.


Charging your electric vehicle may seem daunting at first, but with the right information and tools, it can be a simple and hassle-free process. By following these tips and guidelines, you’ll be able to charge your electric vehicle safely and efficiently, both at home and on the go.

As always, Carnex can provide you with detailed information about buying and owning electric vehicles in Canada.

Carnex is the top online EV expert in Canada for buying and selling electric vehicles.

Looking to buy an electric vehicle and want to save money? Shop the best electric vehicles deals at Carnex!

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