Let’s face it, our technology is continually evolving, and with that comes the rise of electric vehicles. Before we know it, our roads will be filled up with these electric cars more than our conventional oil-powered vehicles. On top of the convenience of just plugging it up after a long tiresome day, electric vehicles can improve fuel economy, reduce pollution, and decrease fuel costs, which makes them the best eco-friendly solution for transportation.
Although there are numerous publicly accessible charging stations today, the advantages of owning an electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging station far outweigh the costs! But before jumping in and shelling out the money for an electric car charging station or if you are a potential electric car user, here are the Top 10 Things To Know before purchasing an Electric Vehicle Charging Station!
KNOWING THE TYPES OF CHARGINGThere are three types of electric car charging: Level 1 or 120-volt, Level 2 or 240-volt, and DC fast charging.
Level 1 Charging (120-Volt) - This is technically the basic of electric car charging, plugging your electric vehicle into a household electric outlet. This means you get 4.5 miles per one hour of charging, entailing 22 hours for a full charge. For the most part, this is quite sufficient as it is rare that you would need to charge from an empty to full. However, this may not cut it when you need to drive longer miles. That’s the time you would need an alternative. Aside from all of these, Level 1 charging is the slowest amongst the types so it may not be too reliable for long destinations.
Level 2 Charging (240-volt) - Faster than Level 1, this type of charging uses 240 volts power to enable quicker regeneration of an electric vehicle’s charging system. Using this type of charging requires an installation of an EVSE unit and electrical components capable of handling this voltage. Since it is a quicker charging solution, it is more expensive than the Level 1.
DC Fast Charging (also called DC Quick Charging) - This is the fastest type of charging that is currently available. As with charge anxiety over mobile phones, destination anxiety also plague potential electric vehicle users from fully plunging into the electric vehicle arena. As it is a known factor that electric vehicles take longer to charge using the Level 1 and Level 2 charging, thus the birth of DC Fast Chargers. Adding 170 miles can easily take 30 minutes at a DC Fast Charging station – just as fast as a quick bathroom break. This is because DC Fast Charging uses direct current (DC) rather than alternating current (AC).
TYPES OF PLUGS AND CONNECTORS
Knowing the types of electric car models and their different plug types will ensure that the electric car charging model that you are purchasing is appropriate for your personal or market needs.
Tesla – Standard connector for Tesla vehicles.
SAE J1772 – Standard plug type for electric cars in the United States. This plug type can be used for AC level 1 charging or AC level 2 charging.
CHAdeMO – Connectors used for fast charging stations developed by the CHAdeMO association which includes several Japanese automobile makers like Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fuji and Toyota. The Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi MiEV are compatible with CHAdeMO charging stations. Adapters are available for the models that are not directly compatible.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CABLE LENGTH
As with any form of charging, cable length is also a factor in determining efficiency. The longer the cable, the more convenient it is for the users. Currently, twenty five feet is the longest cable length provided by these electric car charging stations. There are also vendors selling these cables at varying lengths and versions. This gives the users added functional flexibility.
INDOOR OR OUTDOOR
Some charging station models are indoor only and others can be situated outdoors, mounted on a wall or pole. You have to plan out where exactly you plan to place the electric car charging station that will best suit your needs.
EV ELECTRICITY RATES
Some electric utilities offer special electricity rates for people who own electric cars. This is called the Time of Use (TOU) rate programs. Knowing the electricity rates would therefore give you a benchmark to the costs of owning an electric car charging station. You may even have lower electricity bills even before you owned an electric vehicle.
Yes. Electric car charging stations do require that you follow etiquette. There are not enough charging stations in most areas to support the demand of electric car users – all the more reason to invest in an electric car charging station. Thankfully, with common principles set in place, we can avoid altercations between users in public places.
Electric cars should not be parked in a charging slot if not charging. Although this may be a common matter of courtesy, EV owners tend to feel entitled to park in a charging slot just because they own an EV – which should never be the case. If you do not need the extra juice, leave the spot for those who might badly need to recharge.
Secondly, and understandably, is to not unplug someone else’s electric vehicle unless they are finished charging. Again, this is just common courtesy that all must practice. It is always a must to wait for the person in queue to finish charging their vehicle before unplugging their device.
Also, do only stay in a charging slot as long as it is necessary. As there are limited charging stations available as of this moment, the demand for this is pretty high. If you do not need the extra juice and you see that the line is piling it up, it is best to charge up and move along as necessary.
If you are going to purchase an electric car charging station for profit, location is crucial to ensure revenue. You may have to resort to ChargePoint to see how many charging stations are already in the area. Deliberating on the location in this regard is a big factor for success and may entail careful and longer decision making.
There are numerous apps for electric car charging stations so that the location of your charging station would be viewable and visible to the general public. Aside from the fact that this will ensure visibility for your electric car charging station, doing so will also establish yourself in the industry if you are planning to own one as a revenue generating entity.
The easiest way to find a station is with Plugshare, a map of charging stations around the US. The map shows where the stations are, what they offer, and whether or not they are in use in real time.
WEIGHING IN THE ADVANTAGES
What advantages can an electric car charging station bring? This may simply be having a charging solution for your electric vehicle to one-upping the competition for your businesses.
Owning an electric car charging station means that your customers can put their minds at ease in knowing that your establishment can be a pit stop for charging their electric vehicles.
Electric vehicle charging stations can also set your business apart from those without this added feature. It also reinforces an eco-friendly reputation for your property, whatever industry your business might fall under.
This may also bring in additional revenue to your business as an added paid service. On top of that, most charging stations today can have custom branding which will certainly give your establishment an edge over others.
There are numerous advantages of owning an electric car charging station, not only will you help out the insufficiency of electric car charging stations, but you can also promote an eco-friendly solution of transportation.
Once you have fully decided on purchasing an electric car charging station, you have to ensure that it is made by a quality manufacturer which is approved and listed by leading automobile manufacturers. Compatibility to your electric car is crucial. Furthermore, the manufacturer should also guarantee that after-sales service is available. A great after-sales service signifies that your needs would be taken care of and future problems with the product will be resolved with the manufacturer’s assistance. Buying from a reputable manufacturer or vendor will always be the best way to go.