You’ve probably seen an electric vehicle charging station around your community. What’s the difference between one of those and the outlets in your home?
While you can charge your EV by plugging it into the wall or at a public charging station, the main difference between them is how many volts are coming from the outlet. Volts are kind of like the water pressure in your plumbing pipes. Just like a high pressure hose could fill a bucket more quickly than a light trickle of water, a higher voltage electric charger can recharge your battery more quickly than a lower voltage charger.
There are three general options, or levels, of chargers.
This is a charger that plugs into the wall and has a 120-volt cord. The good news is that this charger may not require an electrician, but it generally only provides about 40 miles to scoot around town after charging overnight.
With 208/240-volt service this level can charge your vehicle much more quickly, providing 30-80 miles of range for about every hour it’s plugged in. You’ll need to call a certified electrician to set this option up at home to wire for the new outlet or breaker and possibly upgrade your service panel. It’s similar to the outlet in your laundry room for your dryer.
This 480-volt service is the firehose of chargers. It can provide up to 40 miles of range in just 10 minutes of charging. Public charging stations are usually Level 3, giving your battery a quick boost while you’re out and about town.