More and more, electric vehicles are showing up in your neighborhood, on the street, and on car lots. The charging stations are also everywhere. Energy and fuel efficiency, going green, and fuel alternatives are the key factors for the need for electric vehicles. Are they really as beneficial as they are marketed to be, though? You may also be wondering if the price of the vehicle and the charging stations are worth it as well. Keep reading so you can learn more about the benefits of electric vehicles!
Regular fuel vehicles account for 75% of carbon monoxide pollution in the United States. Fuel vehicles also account for:
- Hydrocarbons: a toxic combination of hydrogen and carbon
- Nitrogen Oxides: burning fuel forming a compound reaction
- Particulate Matter: small particles of foreign substances that go into the air and contribute to smog and haze and can damage your lungs
These deadly pollutants not only diminish our Earth and the ozone layer, but they affect our health as well.
Electric Vehicles, or EV’s, are “green” vehicles and are environmentally friendly as they don’t emit tailpipe pollutants.
Energy and Fuel Efficiency
Electric vehicles are exactly as they sound: they run on electricity only. These cars use electric motors and rechargeable battery packs. Rechargeable batteries may not sound like a long-term option, but there are benefits that come along with an electric vehicle.
Electric vehicles are much more energy-efficient than regular gas and diesel vehicles. EV’s convert anywhere from 59% to 62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Gas and diesel vehicles, on average, only convert 17% to 20% of the energy stored in the gas.
One drawback of an electric vehicle, though, could be the charging station and the charging time. You may think it’ll be more expensive to charge your electric car than to buy gas, but that’s not true! On average, Americans spend about $1,400 on gasoline each year (based on 15,000) miles. To charge an EV, though, it’s only about $540 per year (based on 15,000 miles).
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Using a charging station helps decrease charge time in your vehicle and helps with the safety of your home, too. You have a higher chance of tripping a breaker if your EV overloads the circuit. Aside from frustration, this could cause other issues over time. This could burn out a breaker and damage your breaker box, leading to an increased risk of fire in your home. By using a professionally installed charging station, the energy will be distributed more evenly and you won’t have to worry about tripping breakers or a possible breaker box replacement.
Depending on the charging station you purchase for your home, vehicle charging can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 15 hours — which is a wide range. When you purchase an EV, it usually comes with a charger that you plug into your home outlet. These chargers do work, but they are going to be on the higher-end of charging time and take anywhere from 8 to 15 hours. Another downside of the charging plugs is the amount of energy they can consume. The average EV needs about 30 kWh of electricity to power it for about 100 miles. By using a charging station, your EV can charge in 20 minutes to 8 hours depending on the station you choose.
Choosing a charging station can seem tricky since there are many on the market, but that is why we are here to help! There are two major types of stations you can have installed: Level 2 and Level 3 chargers.
Level 2 Chargers
A level 2 charger is the typical charging station installed in homes and in public. These charging stations charge your vehicle to full capacity in 3 to 8 hours. A level 2 has 3 to 20 (although typically 6) kW. Typically, a level 2 charger can charge your 30 kWh EV in 4 hours. On an average day, this can keep your car fully charged from the time you leave to the time you are home for the night. Unlike a level 1 (plug-to-outlet), though, level 2 chargers need to be installed professionally for the safety of your home and yourself. This way, your home electrical lines are not damaged from an attempted installation and you are not electrocuted and seriously injured.
Level 3 Chargers
A level 3 charger, or a DCFC (DC Fast Charge), cannot charge all brands and types of smart cars. They are the quickest charging station available and can fully charge an EV in 20 minutes to 1 hour. Unfortunately, this model is not compatible with all-electric vehicles on the market. So far, Tesla Model S and Model X are two of the only vehicles compatible with a level 3. Again, if you are looking to install a level 3 charger, it should be done by a professional electrician to deter damage.
Overall, there is a lot of information available to determine which charging station is right for you, your home, and your EV. But don’t worry! Instead of trying to decipher all of the EV lingo on your own, we will help you determine the best charging station for your unique needs. Here at Raceway Electric, LLC, we don’t stock specific brands and stick you with a model that doesn’t work well with your lifestyle. Instead, we will find the most compatible solution to suit your needs to make sure your experience is customized to you. For more information on your electrical charging station installation, contact us today!