Switching from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle (EV) is a big step for most drivers. If you're the new driver of an electric vehicle, you may have some questions about charging. Fortunately, using an electric vehicle charger isn't that different from filling up at the gas station. Here's a beginner's guide to EV charging.
How Do You Find EV Charging Stations?
EV charging stations aren't yet as ubiquitous as gas stations. To use an EV as your primary vehicle, you must be sure that you have a reliable source for charging when you need it most. The number of EV charging stations across the country is growing, and they are easier to locate than ever.
Many drivers rely on their smartphones or web apps to discover charging stations that are conveniently located. There are several free apps that are specialized for this purpose, and EV stations are even starting to appear in standard mapping and navigation software.
What Type of Charging Plug Do You Need?
Since electric vehicles are a relatively new technology, charging connectors have not yet agreed on a single standard. EV drivers must become acquainted with the type of charging connector in their vehicle and locate a charging station that supports this connection.
In the US, most manufacturers use the SAE J1772 5-pin charger for standard AC charging. DC fast charging is accomplished with the CCS connector, a plug that is similar to the J1772 standard with two extra pins. If your EV doesn't accept these connectors, check if your vehicle manufacturer offers an adapter cable.
What Happens if You Don't Make It to a Charging Station?
Running out of charge in an electric vehicle may sound particularly challenging since charging stations aren't always available nearby. The truth is, most drivers never have to worry about this. A 2020 survey by AAA found that 95 percent of respondents had never run out of charge while driving.
In the rare event that you run out of charge while on the road, you have several options for assistance. Most major towing services will locate a charging station to deliver your vehicle to. Alternatively, some companies will charge your vehicle on the spot with a portable charger.
Electric vehicles demand a few adaptations from drivers, most notably in the context of electric vehicle charging. With these tips, you'll be prepared to recharge and get your EV back on the road in no time.
Contact a local EV service to learn more about electric vehicle chargers.