EV Charging Guide

Embrace the innovation of electric vehicle technology with our comprehensive EV Charging Guide. As part of your sustainable living choices, understanding the intricacies of EV charging can enhance your experience and contribute to a healthier planet. This guide is meticulously crafted to help you comprehend the differences between EV charging and traditional fueling, explore various charging connectors, learn about charging speeds, and discover ways to maximize your EV's performance. Let's embark on this educational journey to ensure your EV charging knowledge is as advanced as your commitment to sustainability.

What Affects Charging Speed?

Your EV's charging speed is subject to a myriad of variables. The degree of battery depletion significantly influences the charging pace, with faster rates observed when the battery is more depleted. However, extremes in temperature, whether hot or cold, can impede the rapidity of the charging process. It is crucial to recognize that each vehicle manufacturer employs distinct battery designs, emphasizing the importance of maximizing battery longevity and safety. Consequently, the vehicle dynamically regulates the power drawn from the charger to ensure optimal performance and durability.

How Does the Vehicle Decide Your Charging Rate?

At the core of this decision-making process is the vehicle's Battery Management System (BMS), often referred to as the "brain" of the EV. The BMS meticulously considers various factors, such as battery temperature, age, and current charge level. Based on this information, the vehicle communicates with the charger, specifying the voltage and current it can accept. The resultant charge rate is a product of this dialogue. As charging progresses, the vehicle strategically adjusts the charging rate to alleviate stress on the battery. Notably, as the battery approaches 80% capacity, the charge rate may experience a significant slowdown, a precautionary measure to safeguard the battery's well-being.

Why Does My Charging Speed Slow Down as I Charge?

To comprehend the deceleration in charging speed, one must grasp the structure of an EV battery. Contrary to a singular block, a battery pack comprises numerous smaller battery cells, sometimes numbering in the thousands. As the EV charges, these individual cells undergo the charging process, akin to navigating a crowded movie theater. Initially, when the cells are less occupied, charging is swift. However, as the cells fill up, the process becomes more intricate and time-consuming. Above 80% capacity, electrons encounter greater difficulty finding a "seat" in the battery's metaphorical movie theater. It's important to note that this slowdown is intentional, with manufacturers tailoring the deceleration rate to enhance battery health and longevity.

Why Am I Not Getting the Maximum Charge Rate on My Car’s Nameplate?

The discrepancy between advertised and actual charging rates stems from the nuanced conversation between the charger and the vehicle. The vehicle dictates the acceptable voltage and current rates to the charger, which then provides what the vehicle can accommodate. While a car may boast a maximum charging rate, achieving this consistently is contingent on various factors. The vehicle prioritizes battery management, avoiding overcharging to prolong its useful life. 

4 Ways Charging Your EV is Different from Filling Up Your Car

Electric vehicles have revolutionized the way we think about fueling our transportation. Unlike conventional cars, EVs offer unique charging methods that align with modern technology and environmental consciousness. Here are four key differences between charging your EV and filling up a gasoline-powered car:

  1. Convenience: Charge at home overnight or at work, just like you would with your smartphone.
  2. Time: With fast-charging stations, you can top up your EV in a fraction of the time it once took.
  3. Cost: Save approximately 35% on fuel costs compared to traditional gasoline vehicles.
  4. Connectors: Know your vehicle's specific connector to ensure compatibility with charging stations.
  5. The Process: Charging your electric vehicle is a seamless process akin to charging your mobile phone. EV owners have the flexibility to charge their vehicles at various locations and times, whether at home during the night, at the workplace, or using public charging infrastructure. Plugging in your EV can become a part of your daily routine, conveniently integrated into your lifestyle.
  6. Time: Although charging an EV traditionally takes longer than fueling a gas-powered car, technological advancements are closing the gap. The versatility and evolution of the EV market mean that more public fast-charging stations are available, allowing you to charge your vehicle while you engage in everyday activities, such as shopping or grabbing a quick coffee, typically within 15 to 45 minutes.
  7. Price: Charging your EV is not only more environmentally friendly but also more cost-effective. The cost of charging an EV is less susceptible to the fluctuations that affect gasoline prices, such as crude oil market dynamics and tax variations. Instead, electricity prices mainly depend on grid demand. As the EV and charging industries innovate, the cost and speed of charging continue to improve. To visualize the cost benefits, utilize the [cost comparison calculator] provided by the US Department of Energy.
  8. 4 Types of Connectors: Just as international travelers adapt to different power outlets, EV drivers need to be aware of the various connectors required by different vehicles. Compatibility is crucial for efficient charging, and most charging networks, like EVgo, support a wide range of connectors. Knowing your vehicle's connector type is essential for a smooth charging experience. 

Types of Chargers

There are three levels, or speeds, of EV charging.   Different EV charging stations are capable of charging your EV at higher voltages and, therefore, at faster times as shown by the table below.  Note that Level 3, DC Fast Charging (DCFC), does not apply to plug-in hybrids.

 

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3 (DC Fast Charging)


 

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Voltage

120

240

208/480 three-phase input

Charging speed

~4 miles/hr

~11-54 miles/hr*

45-200miles/30 min*

Charging port

J1772 or NACS

J1772 or NACS

J1772 combo (also known as CCS DCFC or SAE Combo), CHAdeMO or NACS

Wall Outlet
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Can I install one in my home?

You don’t need to. Just use a normal 120 volt outlet and the charging cord that comes with your EV.

Yes (requires a 240 volt line with 40 or 50 Amp circuit breaker). Can be wired to an outlet or hardwired to a level 2 charger by a licensed electrician.  You need to buy a level 2 charger; there are several brands which cost several hundred dollars.

No.  

Are there Public Chargers?

No

Yes, our website provides a link to the PlugShare map of L2 and L3 charger locations.

Yes, our website provides a link to the PlugShare map of L2 and L3 charger locations.

Installation Guides

 

Installing EV Charging at Single-Family Homes
 
Massachusetts Residential EV Charging for Renters & Landlords

N/A  

Note:  Data courtesy of https://www.greenenergyconsumers.org/

CCS-Combined Charging System
NACS- North American Charging Standard

*Level 2 charging speed largely depends on the vehicle model. Most all-electric cars will charge at 22+ miles/hr, while a plug-in hybrid will only add 12-15 miles/hr.

*Cars using NACS can use converters to access stations with J1772/J1772 Combo. Cars that use J1772/J1772 Combo whose manufacturers have an agreement with Tesla can use a converter to access the Tesla Charging Network from 2024 onwards.  

Use a Tesla Supercharger – even on your non-Tesla!

Tesla is opening their network of superchargers (DC fast chargers) and Destination chargers (Level 2) to all EVs with a CCS charging port (or NACS port).  They are doing this by adding a CCS-compatible charging cable they call a “Magic Dock”.  Tesla will distribute these across the U.S.  To access these, you just need to create a Tesla account on their website and then search for “Charge your Non-Tesla”.

Charging Equipment:

The charging port accepts electricity from an outside source and stores it in the vehicle's battery. There are different types of charging ports on electric vehicles. Here are four of the more common options:

J1772 Charge port

J1772 combo or CCS

CHAdeMO

North American Charging Standard (NACS)

J1772_connector.svg

Mliu92, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

J1772_(CCS1).svgMliu92, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

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RickyCourtney, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Built into all non-North American Charging Standard (NACS) electric vehicles, suitable for Level I or Level II charging.     These EVs come with a cord that plugs into the J1772 port in the vehicle on one end and a 120-volt outlet on the other end.

Built into all-electric EVs for DC Fast Charging. The J1772 combo is also known as the Combined Charging System CCS DCFC or SAE Combo. Cars with the J1772 combo port can plug in Level I, Level II, and fast charging cables into this one port. 

Built into some EVs, like the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, for DC Fast Charging. That means these EVs have two separate ports: J1772 for Level I & II and CHAdeMO for DC Fast Charging. CHAdeMO users may have difficulty finding fast chargers as CHAdeMO is being phased out in the US. There are currently no adapters that would allow a vehicle with CHAdeMO port to charge using a different plug, such as J1772 Combo or NACS.

This port was previously called the Tesla connector and only used by Tesla cars, but North American Charging Standard is the official name. In 2022, Tesla opened their Tesla charging connector and port to the world in a bid to encourage a North American charging standard.  As of fall 2023, Tesla has announced partnerships with Ford, GM (Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac), Aptera, Rivian, Polestar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar, and Honda where these manufacturers will install NACS on their vehicles and their vehicles will be allowed to use Tesla's Super Charger Network. This means that current customers of the aforementioned manufacturers will be able to use NACS adapters in spring 2024 to access Tesla's Super Charger Network and, in 2025, all new cars produced by these manufacturers will come standard with a NACS port installed for charging.  

Note:  Table data courtesy of https://www.greenenergyconsumers.org/


As you navigate the electric avenues of our EV Charging section, remember that each charge brings us closer to a sustainable, emission-free community. We're here to support your switch to electric, making the process as smooth and beneficial as possible. For more information or to get in touch with our team, please contact us. Let's accelerate towards a cleaner future together - one charge at a time.