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Electric Vehicle Charging
Any vehicle running on electricity at some point is going to need to be recharged. Electric vehicles in general are becoming less expensive, battery technology is improving and cities and countries across the globe are coming to realize that to avoid catastrophic climate change, the internal combustion engine must be replaced. No more burning of fossil fuels.
The idea of electric vehicles is simply enough, plug the car in to a light socket and charge your battery much the way we charge our cell phone, of course the batteries in electric vehicle are significantly larger than those in our phones. Fully charging your phone from empty can take a couple hours, so on the much larger scale of vehicle batteries its important to understand how a vehicle charges, about how long it takes and what type of mileage you might get off of it.
Electric Vehicle Charging Levels
Electric Vehicle charging stations, whether for home residential use or commercial use have been segmented in to three different charging levels that correspond to the more or less standard voltage levels that are delivered by our electric grid. The amount of power that is delivered is in Watts, which is of function of current (amps) x voltage (volts).
Level 1 charging is the slowest, this is the amount of power that comes out of your standard household plug which runs on 120 volts and is typically on a 15 or 20 amp breaker, it can deliver about 2,000 watts of power
Level 2 charging is the most common EV charging used, it runs off the same power as your typical dryer 240 volts and a 30 amp breaker, delivering about 7,200 watts of power
Level 3 charging is a more or less the highest voltage that is commonly available, although obviously not the highest voltage in our power grid, it runs at 400 volts off a 125 amp breaker and delivers approximately 50,000 watts of power.
Fast Charging Networks
There are a handful of companies that are quickly building out fast charging networks, the one we are most familiar with is the network that was built by Tesla Motors, which extends across the United States, Europe and even Asia. The Tesla network was built specifically to service Tesla vehicles and still only accepts Tesla vehicles.