Chargers and Charging Stations for Cars
When buying an electric car, it is important to pay attention not only to the technical characteristics or appearance of the vehicle. One of the essential details is the type of charger that is used to charge the batteries. Due to the lack of a single standard for charging an electric vehicle, it is important for the buyer to assess:
- how the existing infrastructure of charging stations will be able to meet the need for replenishment of the charge in a timely manner
- what type of charger is better to buy for home use
Types of Charging Stations for Electric Cars
Charging station types are classified from least powerful to most powerful according to American or European standards. American standards include 3 levels:
- Level 1 – charging duration from 8 to 12 hours. Charging speed – 20-40 km run in 1 hour. Advantage – small size, use of alternating current.
- Level 2 – charging duration from 4 to 6 hours, the speed is twice as high as at Level 1. Such stations operate from conventional mains. Being an intermediate option between low-power and high-power charging stations, they are considered optimal and are most widely used.
- Level 3 is a type of fast charge and is able to charge a Tesla car by 80% in just half an hour.
European standards classify by charging mode:
- Mode 1 – Works from a household network and is similar to the American Level 1. Due to its low power, it is used extremely rarely. Batteries charge in 10-12 hours
- Mode 2 – Medium power charger that runs on a standard electric network. Charging time – 8 hours
- Mode 3 – Due to their high power, such stations are capable of charging batteries twice as fast, in no more than 4 hours. Works also from networks with alternating current.
- Mode 4 is the only station that uses direct current. It has the highest power and, accordingly, the highest cost. Charging speed – 80% battery in half an hour.
Stations are also classified according to the principle of application and can be:
- used both stationary and portable
Image of chargers and accessories taken from autodoc.co.uk
How to Choose a Charger for an Electric Car
When choosing a charger for home use, you should pay attention to the following characteristics:
- How fast the car uses the battery charge, which means how quickly the driver needs to recharge them. This characteristic depends on the frequency of use of the vehicle and the distance travelled.
- Where is the driver going to use the charger, for example in his garage or drive?
- How important are the safety characteristics of charger use. If there are small children, elderly people, or animals in the family, cables, and connectors should be kept in a safe place. In this case, it is better to choose wall chargers.
- If a driver wants to save money on recharging, the car needs to be charged at night. And for this, it is better to choose smart stations with programmable charging time.
When buying a charger, it is also important to find suitable: