Types Of Charging

What Are Electric Vehicles

Powered by electric motors and batteries, electric vehicles are available in a variety of models with different ranges and capabilities. To recharge, they are plugged in to a source of electric power through Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).

In Vermont, the average distance a vehicle travels in a day is around 33 miles—making EVs capable of serving the mobility needs of most Vermonters. With the safety features built-in to all new vehicles and charging equipment, EVs can be operated and recharged in all types of indoor and outdoor conditions, such as rain, snow, cold, and other harsh environments.

Types of EVs

Plug in electric vehicles (EVs) come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are two basic EV designs:

All Electric Vehicles (AEVs)

Powered solely by electric energy stored in the battery

The Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla Model S, Ford Focus Electric, and BMW i3 are examples of all-electric vehicles in Vermont.

Is it for me?

Good option for two-car households, those with shorter commutes, and EV lovers with a pioneering spirit. Range on the coldest Vermont days will be much less than the official manufacturer ratings. For example, an AEV with 80 miles of official range might be closer to 40 miles frigid conditions, so this should be factored into vehicle purchase considerations.


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

Powered by a combination of battery power and gasoline engine

The Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, and Toyota Prius Plug-in are examples of PHEVs. Generally they do not travel as far as all-electric vehicles on battery power, but when the battery runs low, the gasoline engine turns on to extend their range.

Is it for me?

Good option for longer commutes and road trips, and people who need more range flexibility.

Types of Charging

Level One Charging
(120 Volts)

Level 1 charging uses the same 120-volt current found in standard household outlets and can be performed using the power cord and equipment that most EVs come with. Making this type of charging available on your business property is as simple as installing dedicated 120 volt outlets in your company parking lot.

Advantages

Low installation costs

Low impact on electric utility peak demand charges (often applied to commercial accounts)

Disadvantages

Slow charging, typically 3-5 miles of range per hour


Level Two Charging
(240 Volts)

Level 2 charging uses 240 volt power to enable faster regeneration of an EV’s battery system. Providing this type of charging requires installation of an EVSE unit and electrical wiring capable of handling higher voltage power. Plug-in America’s Accessory Tracker offers an updated list of Level 2 EVSE currently on the market.

Advantages

Faster charge time. EVs will get between 10 – 20 miles of range per hour of charge.

More energy efficient than Level 1 for charges of less than one hour

Variety of EV manufacturers provides differentiated products for distinct markets and requirements

Disadvantages

More expensive than Level 1

Potentially higher impact on peak demand charges for business locations


DC Fast Charging
(480 Volts)

DC fast charging provides compatible vehicles with an 80% charge in 20-30 minutes by converting high voltage AC power to DC power for direct storage in EV batteries. Automakers currently have three specifications for DC fast charging plugs, the CHAdeMO, SAE Combined Charging System, and Tesla Supercharger standards. Nissan and Mitsubishi vehicles use CHAdeMO while many current and upcoming vehicles from US and European manufacturers have SAE CCS ports. Tesla's Supercharger equipment is only compatible with Tesla Model S or later vehicles, although they are developing an adapter which will allow Tesla owners to use CHAdeMO equipment. Several EVSE manufacturers are developing equipment with both the CHAdeMO and SAE CCS port connectors to increase compatibility.

Advantages

Charge time is reduced drastically--it's nearly as fast as refueling a gasoline vehicle

Variety of EV manufacturers provides differentiated products for distinct markets and requirements

Disadvantages

Significantly more expensive than Level 1 or Level 2 equipment and high voltage 3 phase power connections to utilities further increases installation costs

Potentially increased peak demand charges for commercial locations

Competing standards are confusing to potential EV buyers and charging station operators

Potential issues with cold weather operation