Charge Up with your EV Charger

EV Chargers 101

With such a focus on renewable and clean energy, it’s no surprise that the automobile industry has been buzzing with electric vehicles. It seems as if every major car name is throwing their hat into the EV ring, from Hyundai to Volkswagen to (most famously) Tesla, it almost feels a bit daunting!

It may seem intimidating, but making the shift to an electric vehicle is a lot easier than you may think, especially when you have the right EV charger at hand.

But what exactly is an EV charger? Get ready, because this is EV Chargers 101!

 

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Part One: What IS an EV Charger anyway?

Let’s keep it simple; if you have a phone and use it daily, your battery life will decrease steadily until it reaches 0%. That’s why so many of us carry chargers if we leave the house; that way, once our battery gets low enough, we can simply charge it back up and remove the risk of losing battery life.

The same goes for electric vehicles! Like any chargeable electronic, electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles need the same form of charger to keep their battery full. Using a specified outlet or a grid it has been hardwired to, the EV charger can pull an electrical current that goes all the way to the vehicle; additionally, unlike the traditional gas-powered vehicles, most of the charging can simply be done at home, without the well-known driving anxiety of getting to a gas station before fuel runs out. Hybrid electric vehicles are a bit of a different variety, using an internal combustion engine working alongside electric motors that use energy stored in batteries, but they still fall under the electric vehicle umbrella and can still be easily charged.

In fact, around 80% of all EV charging is done at home, according to the JD Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study.

While it’s certainly far more convenient to charge your vehicle at home, let’s not forget one of the biggest drawbacks of chargeable electronics. Remember our phone comparison? Say you have an iPhone running low on battery, and you’re desperate to get that percentage up, a well-known predicament for phone users. You cannot grab any charger; your iPhone will only work with a charger meant for iPhones; the same goes with Samsung or any other phone. The same applies to EV chargers, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution since electric vehicles have different capabilities.

But you’re a new user, and you’re planning to have an EV charger at home with your vehicle. The last thing you want is to accidentally purchase a charger that won’t work. So, where do you start? What types of chargers are there, and which work best?

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Part Two: Choosing your EV Charger

As discussed in our previous section, finding the universal EV charger for an electric vehicle is difficult. While one of the standards that work with most vehicles is the J1772 Connector, it doesn’t go with all. If, say, you have a Tesla, the J1772 won’t work unless it has an adaptor. Thankfully, there are always a variety of solutions! Rock Lighting, for one, can sell different kinds of chargers for hybrid electric vehicles, giving more options than just the one charger vehicles come with.

But in addition to which charger works with your vehicle, several other factors determine which will work best for you, including:

  • Cost: A pretty simple factor, but nonetheless an important one for those looking to stay on budget. Chargers can range from $200 to over $1,000.
  • Charging Speed: If you’re looking to charge your vehicle fast, it’s important to consider your vehicle’s range, commute, and driving style. A rule of thumb is to make sure you can get a charger that gets your vehicle from empty to full overnight.
  • Power: Electric vehicle users often look for a charger that can deliver, ideally, 40-amps. Remember this, it will be rare for you to drive home with a near-empty battery, so there is no need to purchase the most POWERFUL charger. Stick with one that is slightly lower-powered. Your vehicle will still charge fine, and you will save money.
  • Length: Small details mean a lot, and this applies to the length of your charging cable! Charger cables can go from 12 to 25 feet, so choose wisely and go with a cable that can reach your vehicle when you park into different charging stations.

These are only a few of the factors to keep in mind when choosing an EV charger. It may seem like a lot, but thankfully, most websites give many answers to your possible questions. For example, Leviton, an American manufacturer of electrical wiring equipment, also focuses on electric vehicle charging with Evr-Green, and when looking over their supply of chargers, much of the critical information to consider when purchasing is right there for your viewing.

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30-AMP J1772 LEVEL 2 ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGE CONNECTOR WITH 20 FT. CORD, A2034-PEV

Part Three: Additional Training

There was a LOT thrown your way about EV chargers, but we hope this helps introduce what they are and what you should look at when purchasing one of your own. But if you still struggle with finding the perfect charger for your electric vehicle, don’t worry! Many manufacturers and companies work tirelessly to make sure you find the right match,Evr-Green from Leviton (mentioned in our previous section) offers a complete line of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and support services. If you are the owner of an electric vehicle, a commercial business owner, a public utility company, or a governmental body, there’s an Evr-Green solution.

Leviton is also proud to work with its distribution partners in supporting electric vehicle supply equipment. From in-person and virtual training on industry trends, codes, and requirements, and more with Leviton’s Evr-Green specialists to product demos, Leviton is ready to bring you up to speed on EV chargers.

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