Opting for an electric vehicle raises questions about charging. Many of us find it confusing to determine our travel distance using the car’s route planner or an app before requiring a charge. Today, we will share EV charging tips along with their safety guidelines and standards for EV charging levels.
EV Charging Tips
Before embarking on your next electrified road trip, go through these useful EV charging tips.
1. Plan the Route
Utilize the vehicle’s app or the car’s own route planner to determine the exact distance you can travel before requiring a charging break. Without a well-developed nationwide charging infrastructure like Tesla’s, it is not possible to simply get into your electric vehicle and go anywhere without considering its range.
Driving on highways, especially with electric vehicles, is not as efficient as it could be. If you exceed the speed limit while driving, your “full” battery range will be reduced to only about 70-80%.
Take a look at our blog – What is EV Range Anxiety? Is it Real? How to Overcome it?
2. Make an Account
Make sure you take note of the company that operates the charger at your intended stop and download their app. Afterward, create an account to get started. Creating an account, even if you don’t intend to use it, can prove to be extremely beneficial in situations where charger operation requires the use of an app, or unlocking the charger is only possible for account holders.
To get a clearer idea of charging networks, go through these 21 Best Apps for EV Charging Stations in the UK.
Better to take care of this before departing rather than dealing with it later in a parking lot under the sun with a low charge and no signal.
3. Keep Extra Charge Reserve
No one wants to be stuck in midway with low charging and no fast charger in sight. Thus, it’s wise to keep a reserve of 40–50 miles of charge. By following this EV battery charging tip, you’ll have the freedom to explore other charging options around town.
4. Be Patient
It’s highly probable that others will also be looking to charge their batteries, especially at a Level 3 charging station.
No one enjoys waiting; everyone wants to quickly continue their journey. Since we’re all dealing with the same situation, we must simply exercise patience until the number of electric vehicle chargers equals that of gas stations.
Also See: How to Get an EV Charging Card
5. Familiarize Yourself with Charging Stations
One of the major EV charging tips is to understand what type of charging station is it. They may have different types of plugs and charging rates at the same location. In Gainesville, for example, a charging station has an impressive array of chargers, including three 350kW chargers and one 150kW charger, whereas, at other stations, they might have one 350kW charger and four 150kW chargers.
6. Know Your EV
Is your vehicle able to handle the higher wattage, or would it end up being wasted? A 350kW charger can quickly charge most modern EVs to 80% in just around 30 minutes. However, for EVs with older technology, the maximum charging capacity is only 50kW, and it may take up to 90 minutes to reach the same level of capacity.
Of course, the plugs may be identical, but if you have an old EV model you may not find these plugs beneficial. However, there are many misconceptions about your electric car that you need to clear out.
7. Find Right Parking Spot
Be sure to take note of the screen’s position on the charger. You should park your electric vehicle facing the same direction as the charger and adjust accordingly. You may need to reverse to ensure your charging port reaches the station’s cord.
Avoid parking your vehicle directly behind a gas station and maneuvering from the back. This situation creates a cascade reaction where nobody uses the correct station.
8. Understand Charging Platforms
Charging platforms may have operational differences. Some chargers require plugging in before starting to charge your car, while others may demand payment confirmation for charging access.
In terms of payment, they might accept cards or require an app to start the charging, or they may allow you to charge your EV only with a contactless payment tap. Thus, it is recommended that before you connect the cord, take a moment to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the platform.
9. Avoid Charging to Full Capacity
Fast chargers typically deliver high-speed charging until your battery reaches approximately 80% capacity, then the wattage is significantly reduced in order to prevent any damage to your car. So, as per EV battery charging tips, don’t expect to hit the road immediately with a fully charged battery as it takes more time to charge the remaining 20% and is not recommended as well.
10. Vacate the Charger
If you’re not staying overnight, make sure to release the charger for the next person once your battery reaches 80%. This brings us to the crucial EV charging tip.
Your actual mileage may significantly differ, as some newer vehicles are capable of rapidly charging beyond the 80% mark. On average, you can anticipate a waiting time of around 30–40 minutes for new EV models.
Also Read: What is a DIY Solar EV Charging Station?
11. Avoid Camping
Don’t stay in your electric vehicle with the AC running during charging, even if you want to. It drains the battery and further increases the waiting time.
If you don’t have a valid reason to stay in your car (such as a slumbering child or pet), it would be better to switch off the engine and head to a nearby store or restaurant to wait.
12. Monitor the App
Since you are leaving your car at a charging station, here comes an important EV charging tip. Make sure to monitor the app for your charger or vehicle, or if the charger provides the information, take note of the estimated time to reach 80% charge. Once the battery reaches approximately 80%, make sure to return promptly and prepare for disconnection.
You can also check out the 16 Best EV Charging Apps in Europe.
After learning about EV charging tips, here are some additional electric vehicle charging safety guidelines to be followed for a safe experience.
- Adhere to the charging instructions provided by the manufacturer. Contact your local dealer for more info.
- Ensure that you acquire a charging device that carries certification from a well-established testing laboratory on a national level.
- Connect Level I EV chargers directly to outlets capable of handling the charging device’s amperage.
- Avoid using multi-plug adapters or extension cords
- Install a charging unit with a residual current device. In the event of a fault, this device will automatically cut off the power supply and effectively reduce the risk of a fire.
- Keep charging device components away from children when not in use.
- If there are signs of excessive wear, it could be a warning sign of a potential shock hazard. Avoid using an EV charger that shows apparent signs of damage.
- To prevent water from entering, it is important to cover the outlet of the EV charging station. Verify manufacturer’s guidelines for safe EV charging in wet conditions.
Standards for EV Charging Levels
As you are well aware of the electric vehicle charging guidelines, now let’s review the charging levels.
In the current EV world, vehicle charging is divided into three levels, each offering different speeds and power capabilities. Understanding these levels is crucial, as they present both advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, depending on your driving conditions on a particular day, each option will have its own benefit.
It is considered a universal charging option. If your EV is compatible with it then you can easily charge using a wall socket. In North America, the standard electrical outlet is typically a 120V socket with a capacity of 15 amps. However, it is important to note that for continuous loads, it is advisable to de-rate your breaker to around 12 amps.
But a Level 1 charger is slow and won’t supply enough power to your EV resulting in only 3–5 miles per hour range. This is because an average 120V wall socket can supply a powerful 1.4 kW of electricity only.
If you own a Ford, especially the Mustang Mach-E, slide into our blog – Everything You Need to Know About Charging a Ford Mustang Mach-E
Level 2 charging is considerably faster, as it seems like the voltage is nearly doubled! These chargers are commonly found at public charging stations nowadays. Plugs with a voltage range of 220-240V typically provide approximately 40 amps of power. EV manufacturers suggest owners install a Level 2 charger in their homes or garages.
Level 3 – Rapid/Fast/Superchargers
While the name may differ, the process itself remains unchanged. To facilitate understanding, we can use the term DC fast chargers (DCFCs) as a reference. Level 3 chargers directly use power from the grid, without using alternating current (AC) methods. Although they demand a significant amount of power, specifically 480+ volts and 100+ amps, their resulting output is undeniably exceptional.
DC fast chargers can provide power ranging from 50 kW to 350 kW, and 400 kW in some chargers. Level 3 charger fully recharges EV in 20–30 minutes, based on power available. It is a good option to opt for brief visits or retail spots when you require quick charging facilities.
It is crucial to mention that although the majority of new EVs on the roads are equipped for DC fast charging, not all of them currently have this feature. If your EV lacks this feature, you can opt for a Level 2 charger.
With this, we conclude our guide to EV charging tips and standards for charging levels. It’s essential to adhere to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer for an improved driving experience. To access more informative blogs on EVs, stay connected.
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