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How to Find Your Local Electric Car Charging Station

Mike Jeffries | December 7, 2020

EV charging station

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), more than 384,000 electric vehicles were sold in 2015. That number continues to increase every year, which means that more people than ever are looking for ways to charge these vehicles. Perhaps you too have recently purchased an electric vehicle or are considering one. If so, you'll find the following information about how to find an electric car charging station very useful.

Related Blog: Charging an Electric Car When You Don't Have a Home Charging Station

Three Types of Charging Stations

When it comes to charging stations, you basically have three levels to choose from. 

The first is Level 1, which uses a 120 volt AC plug that comes standard with the vehicle. This is the most convenient option and will allow you to charge your vehicle anywhere. However, it is also the slowest, requiring up to 20 hours in some cases to fully charge your battery.

A Level 2 charging station requires a 240 volt AC plug. Level 2 stations can charge your vehicle much faster. In some cases, you can add a 60 - 100-mile range in as little as two to three hours. To use a Level 2 charging station, you will need a special cord that is typically purchased separately. You will also require a special outlet similar to the one used for an electric clothes dryer, which can be installed inside your garage.

Level 3 charging stations also known as DC Fast Charging stations. This type of charging station will provide you with up to a 100-mile range after only 15 to 20 minutes of charging. These are more complex stations that are typically found in public areas or at businesses and used for community or commercial use.

How Do Charging Stations Work?

Using a car charging station is easy and basically involves removing the cord and plugging it into an outlet, either at home or at an electric car charging station. The light on your charger will then turn green indicating that charging is in progress.

When charging at a public network, you may need to download an app, such as the ChargePoint App, or purchase a membership. You will then need to hold your phone or a device similar to a key fob up to the station to begin the charging process. 

Where Can I Find a Car Charging Station?

As electric cars become more common, more and more charging stations are popping up all the time. Many employers now offer these stations free of charge to their employees or you can find them at public places like parking garages, public parking, or restaurants and stores.

Several websites, such as ChargeHub, have interactive maps where you can locate charging stations. These sites are useful tools when charging your electric car while away from home or in an unfamiliar location. 

To find stations on the go, you may also download the ChargePoint app. With the ChargePoint app, you can find available stations or receive notifications when one in your local area becomes available.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost to charge an electric vehicle varies based upon the level of charging station you use, the electricity rates, and if you’re using a private or public charging station. 

For Level 1 and 2 charging, you can often fully charge your vehicle for anywhere between $3 and $10. It costs less to charge your vehicle during off-peak periods when electricity rates are cheapest. This is why many people choose to charge their cars at home overnight while they are sleeping.

An easy and free option, after initial installation investment, is to have a charging station installed at your home or business.

Home charging is the most convenient and economical way to recharge an electric car. If you've recently bought an electric car, we recommend upgrading to a Level 2 charging station so that you can charge yours within only a few hours. 

Business owners may also wish to install a Level 2 or Level 3 charging station for their employees or even their own fleet vehicles. To find out more about having a charging station installed in your home or business, please contact us.

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Topics: EV Charging Stations

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