What You Need to Know About Charging Your Electric Car Away From Home
According to some automotive experts, electric cars will replace gasoline-powered cars as the next dominant automobile. Electric vehicles hold many advantages over the gas-powered car: The motor is less complex, electric cars do not emit exhaust, and the vehicle’s fuel—electricity—can be captured from renewable sources. Auto manufacturers have already released a few electric cars into the market, but certain challenges, such as battery efficiency and cost, have kept electric vehicles from being adopted on a wider scale.
If you decide to purchase an electric car, you’ll need to know how and when to recharge it in a world that does not yet fully accommodate electric vehicles. Read on to find out how to charge your electric car when you’re away from home.
Don’t depend on charging away from home—at least not yet
While electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations do exist, most are centralized in a few urban areas and are not yet very efficient. Until improvements are made to the infrastructure that electric cars will come to depend on, you can’t assume you’ll find an EV charging station when you need one. Electric car charging stations will eventually become as common as gas stations, but until then, remember to fully charge your battery before you leave home to get you where you need.
EV charging stations
If you live near a network of charging stations, they’re your best bet for charging an electric car away from the home. Charging stations can recharge an electric car battery faster than common electrical outlets, but still take longer than filling a tank with gas. Some of the faster charging stations can charge a Nissan Leaf battery to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes, while slower stations, which are usually installed at home, can take as long as eight hours. These EV charging stations are ideal if the car is being charged while parked at work or even a grocery store, but charging time makes them an inefficient choice for recharging in the middle of a long drive. If you are in need of a charging station, most have been indexed on Google Maps. Use the search term “EV Charging Station” to find one near you.
A common electrical outlet should be considered a last resort when charging an electrical vehicle. Most electric cars can connect to an electrical socket, but a full charge would take more than eight hours to complete. A 220-volt socket, as opposed to the standard 110 volts, will reduce the time but is still not an ideal option.
Whether you decide to buy an electric or gas-powered car, make sure it’s covered by automotive insurance. Compare car insurance reviews and car insurance quotes to make sure you get the coverage you need at an affordable price.
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” A 220-volt socket, as opposed to the standard 110 volts, will reduce the time but is still not an ideal option.” Why not? As the owner of EVs for twenty years, I charge my EV at friends’ homes all the time using either their dryer outlet in the garage or simply any 120v socket. Always suffices to provide enough energy to get me home fret-free. Been doing this for years. If a battery pack is not large enough to get one back home on a single charge, what could be more convenient than obtaining energy at the trip destination from already-available power sources?
Jennifer Lance says
As someone who lives off the grid, we don’t have 220 volt available.
For almost 9000 miles my Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a measured wall-to-wheels energy consumption of 4.2 miles/KWh, so for your off-grid energy draw you can figure how many KWh you’d need for a typical driving day. I actually use 120vac for about 90% of my charging (overnight). You could either install a 240v inverter or a step-up transformer, although I suspect you’d prefer drawing 900W at 120vac instead of 3KW at 240v out of your system.
Jennifer Lance says
Yes, we did buy a second inverter to stack them to make 220 when needed, but we haven’t installed it. I would love an EV for my commute to work and taking kids to school, about 40 miles a day. It would not work for our trips to town, as that is too far and would require staying longer in order to charge enough to get home. I am hoping a 4 wd or more rugged type EV comes out that can handle our dirt road.