Fast charging stations are becoming increasingly popular as electric vehicles become more widespread. They allow drivers to charge their cars in less than an hour, which makes long trips much easier.
What Are Fast Chargers?
Fast chargers for electric vehicles, also known as Level 3 chargers, use higher voltages and amperages to charge the vehicle’s battery more quickly than Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. This allows an electric vehicle to charge to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. These types of chargers are typically found at public charging stations and some businesses or parking garages.
How Can I find One?
There are a few ways to find fast charging stations for electric vehicles:
- Charging network apps: Many EV charging networks have their own apps that allow you to find nearby charging stations, see their availability, and start or pay for a charge. Some examples include ChargePoint, EVgo, and Electrify America.
- Online maps: Websites such as PlugShare and OpenChargeMap allow you to search for charging stations by location and filter by charging level, connector type, and other features.
- Navigation systems: Some EV models come with built-in navigation systems that can show the location of nearby charging stations.
- Contacting the car manufacturer: Many EV manufacturers also offer a list of charging stations on their website or a way to locate the nearest charging stations through their customer service.
It’s worth noting that the availability of fast charging stations is still limited, but it is rapidly increasing. Also, some of the charging stations are in private locations, such as hotels or shopping centers, and can only be used by their customers or members.
What’s The Difference Between A Fast Charger And An EVSE?
An EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment) is the equipment that is used to charge an electric vehicle, while a fast charger is a specific type of EVSE that is capable of providing a higher charging rate than other types of EVSEs.
EVSEs can be categorized into three levels based on the charging rate:
- Level 1 EVSEs: These use a standard 120-volt household outlet and provide a slow charging rate. It can take up to 12 hours to charge an EV battery.
- Level 2 EVSEs: These use a 240-volt outlet and provide a faster charging rate. It can take up to 4 hours to charge an EV battery.
- Level 3 EVSEs or Fast Chargers: These use a 480-volt outlet and provide the fastest charging rate. It can take less than an hour to charge an EV battery to 80%.
So, in summary, an EVSE is the general term for equipment that charges an electric vehicle, while a fast charger is a specific type of EVSE that provides a higher charging rate.
Is There Any Cons To Use fast chargers?
There are a few cons to using fast chargers:
- Limited availability: Fast chargers are not as widely available as Level 1 and Level 2 chargers, so it may be more difficult to find one when you need it.
- Cost: Fast charging can be more expensive than Level 1 or Level 2 charging, and some fast charging networks require a subscription or membership fee.
- Battery degradation: Fast charging can potentially cause more wear and tear on the battery, which may lead to reduced battery life and capacity over time.
- Charging time: Even though fast charging is faster than Level 1 and Level 2, it’s not as fast as filling up a gas tank. Also, some EV models may not be able to accept the maximum charging rate that a fast charger can provide.
- Power supply: In some places, the power grid may not be capable of supplying the high power required for fast charging.