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| Nov 8, 2019

Electric Vehicle Charging–The Basics

As electric vehicles have become more popular over the past five years, the number of public charging stations have increased 20 – 36 percent year over year. Given this trend and Co|Lab’s pursuit of LEED v4 Platinum certification, a ChargePoint electric vehicle (EV) charging station was installed on-site.

When determining the best charging network to join, it is imperative to consider the vehicle makes and models one anticipates charging, as well as the type of “juice” to offer. The basics of EV charging are broken down here:

The Lingo

  • Battery Electric Vehicle: a 100 percent electric vehicle
  • Hybrid Vehicle (HEV): a vehicle requiring both gasoline and electricity—the car’s engine will default to the appropriate source of power based on the speed and propulsion of the car
  • Plug-in Hybrid (PEHV): a vehicle requiring both gasoline and electricity—the car utilizes electricity until the battery drains to a certain level, at which point it will rely on gasoline reserves
  • Smart Charging Network: there are several networks of charging stations available such as EVO Charge, Blink, and ChargePoint—these networks charge a membership fee for full network access (CharePoint’s network, for example, can be mapped here)

The Juice

  • 120V Power (3KW): vehicles can be charged utilizing any standard 120V outlet—this is also referred to as “level 1” charging—and may take up to 24 hours
  • 240V Power: vehicles are also typically sold with plugs for 240V power which requires the purchase of a separate charging cable and the installation of a 240V power receptacle (similar to a clothes dryer)—this outlet would provide what is called “level 2” charging and is faster than level 1 charging
  • Rapid Charging Points (50KW): rapid charging points are available at “fast-charging stations” and can charge a car up to 80 percent in as little as a half-hour

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