Our Sustainable Metropolis – Begin me up: Electrical Automobile Charging 101


The battery in your electrical car is just like the battery in your telephone. Once you step into your electrical car and switch it on, you’ll see a battery share icon on the dashboard. Very similar to your telephone, your car tells you not solely the p.c at which your EV battery is charged, but in addition a spread estimate, up to date in real-time, of what number of miles you will have till you’ll have to cost once more.

The electrical car charging station on the southbound Kennebunk Plaza on the Maine Turpike. Dan King photograph

Charging is like fueling, however with out the odor of gasoline. Your battery has now dipped beneath 5 p.c and you should cost your car. To discover a charging station, most new electrical automobiles inform you of the closest EV charging station proper on the dashboard utilizing GPS, however EV charging stations will also be discovered at www.plugshare.com.

The charging community in Maine is growing in dimension with each passing day, however it might take some orientation to know what to search for.

There are three well-established charging ranges, every with a special velocity. You’ll discover that you simply don’t at all times have to cost quick to make an EV be just right for you. Dwelling and work are the most typical locations individuals cost, and Stage 1 charging and Stage 2 charging are sometimes enough to get you charged up in a single day or throughout the workday.

Stage 1 charging makes use of an ordinary 120V AC outlet and expenses automobiles at a price of 4 to five mph.

Stage 2 charging makes use of 240V AC energy and expenses a car at a price of 12 to 80 mph. Stage 2 chargers are additionally widespread at companies and locations the place you would possibly spend an hour or extra.

For these longer journeys, or any time you want a faster cost, there may be Stage 3 charging, also referred to as DC quick charging, which makes use of 480V-plus energy and might usually cost a car to 80 p.c in roughly 20jj to half-hour. These chargers are typically situated alongside widespread journey corridors reminiscent of interstates, and are more and more discovered at quick-stop areas, reminiscent of gasoline stations or eateries.

There are common EV charger connectors, however not all automobiles use the identical ones. There are 5 connector sorts utilized in the USA.

The J1772 connector is probably the most broadly used and works with any EV available on the market for Stage 1 and Stage 2 charging. The NEMA14-50 connector is much less incessantly used, however is enough for Stage 1 and Stage 2 charging at residence. The CHAdeMO connector is used for Stage 3 charging on Nissan and Mitsubishi fashions. The CCS Combo connector is used for Stage 3 charging on each different make apart from Tesla.

Tesla has their connectors distinctive to their very own automobiles and stop some other car from charging, nonetheless, their community is extremely widespread.

Charging for charging

Often, EV charging is free and you’ll merely plug in and get a cost, however more and more EV chargers require cost to cost. Very similar to you’ll pay for gas by the gallon, you pay for electrical energy by the kilowatt hour (kWh). On common, it prices about half as a lot to drive an electrical car. There are a lot of completely different networks, from EVgo to ChargePoint, who usually help you pay for electrical energy proper on the station or on an app in your telephone.

Be aware of any guidelines or time restrictions. Equally to the concept you wouldn’t depart your car parked in a fueling spot at a gasoline station, it’s courteous to concentrate to your car’s charging stage and take away it from a spot when it’s completed charging. You should definitely learn any signage related to the charger earlier than utilizing it, as there could also be guidelines or time restrictions on an EV charger.

Our Sustainable Metropolis is a recurring column within the Sentry meant to supply residents with information and details about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. The Sustainability Workplace is situated on the primary ground of metropolis corridor. Observe the Sustainability Workplace on Instagram and Fb @soposustainability.

Cashel Stewart is sustainable transportation coordinator for South Portland. He will be reached at 207-767-3201, ext.7546 or [email protected]



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