The popularity of Electric Vehicles is growing and therefore the need for locations to charge them is also in demand. Whether at home, work or when travelling, owners of electric vehicles need to continually recharge their batteries to stay moving. In Canada today there are approximately 5000 public charging stations, this number will need to grow to meet future demand.
Features & Benefits
There are three levels of charging stations available based on their electrical output, which in turn reflects the time it takes to charge a vehicle’s battery.
All electric vehicles can plug into a standard electrical outlet (120 V) to charge. However, it takes a lot of time for the batteries to charge this way. For every hour of charging time, you can travel approximately 8 kms. A full battery recharge can take 8 – 15 hours.
A Level 2 charger supplies 240 volts. An hour of charging at a Level 2 station will provide roughly 25-30 kms of travel and fully recharge a vehicle in 4-8 hours. This is the most common type of electric vehicle charging station and is often installed at the home of EV drivers or by businesses for the convenience of their workers and clients (parking garages, hotels, gas stations, office buildings, etc.) All electric vehicles sold in Canada use a standard J1772 charge connector (except for Tesla who offers a converter package for their vehicles).
The Level 3 charger supplies 480 volts of electricity. It will charge a battery up to 80% of a full charge in 30-45 minutes (charging over 80% takes more time). The connectors for this type of charging are dependent on the make of your vehicle and are not available for all makes/models. This type of charger is typically found at public charging stations.
To find a charging station, please visit one of the following websites: ChargeHub, PlugShare, or CAA.
Home and Business EV Charging
The most common vehicle charging option is the Level 2. At 240V it will recharge a vehicle either overnight or during the workday providing a fully charged vehicle whenever it is needed. Commercial sites may add a pay station that charges based on usage to generate revenue to offset the electrical costs. Ideal locations for these include parkades, hotels, or anywhere motorists park for extended times.
At home the addition of a Level 2 charger ensures that your vehicle is ready to go every morning.
More Level 3 charging stations (pay for use) are going to be needed in the future as the number of electric vehicles on the road grows. These will be vital for anybody who is travelling any distance in an electric vehicle. If the average electric vehicle travels 500 – 700 kms on a single charge, then requires 8 hours to recharge, the motorist is not going very far in a single day. With the addition of Level 3 charging stations, vehicles can recharge to at least 80% while the travellers eat dinner at a restaurant for example, which is much faster than charging overnight at a hotel.