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What’s the difference between fast charging stations and regular chargers for EVs?

by Alex Martin

There’s no doubt that electric vehicles have become a hot topic for discussion. A few years ago, it was a matter meant only for a few people interested in this change of technology. These days, an increasing number of states are now joining the trend towards caring for the health of not only individuals, but also our planet. That’s why they’re encouraging the adoption of electric cars and the installation of fast charging stations everywhere.

Greenhouse gasses have a notorious impact on the environment. It is evident, for example, when temperatures rise or when weather phenomena cause more disasters. There is no denying the influence that regular vehicles that use a combustion engine have on the release of such gasses. That’s precisely one of the main reasons why more people decide to choose an electric car. To make this work, there must also be both AC EV charging stations and fast charging stations at strategic points. It’s the only way for drivers to feel safe and secure.

Types of electric charge stations

Whether you’re thinking of buying a charger for your home, or if you want to use ultra-fast charging stations like those found along the West Coast Electric Highway, this information will be useful:

  • The electric current coming from the network is always an alternating one.
  • Electric car batteries need direct current to recharge.
  • EVs come with internal chargers that have the ability to convert AC to DC on top of the car, in order to power the battery.
  • Level 1 and Level 2 chargers provide alternating current, so the vehicle needs to perform the conversion inside.
  • Level 3 chargers, also known as DC fast chargers, provide direct current. Thus, they charge faster.

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Let’s look at the characteristics of electric vehicle chargers:

Level 1

 

When purchasing an EV, they always come with a cable and a connector to be able to recharge it. These are Level 1 chargers that use a standard 120-V outlet.

 

They use alternating current, so, in this case, the vehicle must convert the power to DC inside the vehicle.

 

Note that if you have a large vehicle, this charger may take a long time to recharge the batteries. A regular EV will recharge from 0 to 80% in about 24 hours.

 

It’s a great fit for people who either don’t use the EV every day or use it only a short time per day. Thus, they don’t need to charge the battery from 0 to 100 every day.

 

It’s ideal for overnight charging.

Level 2

These chargers can be found both in public charging stations and in residential areas.

 

They use a 240-V outlet, therefore, they charge a regular EV in an average of 8 hours and provide between 25 and 60 miles of range per hour of charge.

 

It’s perfect for those who want to plug in their electric vehicle while at the office. Overnight recharging is a possibility too.

 

They are compatible with all car makes and models. If needed, there exist adapters to be able to use them.

DCFC

These are fast charging stations for electric cars, which provide direct current.

Level 3 chargers can add up to 250 miles of range per hour. This means that a standard electric vehicle can reach full charge in less than an hour.

They are perfect for a quick charge, such as when traveling long distances.

DCFCs are seen in commercial locations and on the sides of large highway corridors.

EVCS’ compromise with drivers

At EVCS, we are committed to making drivers feel safe when planning a trip. That’s why we’ve created an app with an interactive map to find the nearest chargers, and continued to expand the largest and most important charging network: the West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH).

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Today, the WCEH has 56 EVCS owned high speed EV charging stations along major West Coast corridors, like I-5 and US-101.

The more public chargers there are, the greater the likelihood that more people will decide to go green.

 

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