DETROIT, MI - Jan 18th, 2023 | With more and more people turning to Electric Vehicles (EVs) to conserve fuel consumption, save money and reduce their carbon footprint on the planet, the EV charging industry is witnessing rapid growth.
With the sales of EVs projected to rise with high volumes, there is an estimate that by 2025 there will be up to 10 million EV purchases worldwide. In conjunction with this growth, the global EV charging station charging market is expected to reach approximately $119 Billion by 2030. This will be a CAGR growth rate of 27% during a period of 8 years.
The two rising factors are directly proportional to each other. As more EV owners start electric mobility, the demand for EV charging infrastructure also increases.
Governments worldwide are also supporting the growth of the EV charging industry through initiatives like providing funds for charging station installations, tax incentives for EV buyers, and regulations facilitating the installation of charging stations in new buildings.
Several questions about how EV charging works include costs, charging methods, maintenance, and more. Looking deeply into it, Vehya created the ultimate guide to help consumers choose the most suitable option for each case.
Different Types and Levels of EV Chargers
There are several different types of EV chargers available in the market. Each has its own set of benefits to offer. We want to help educate on the different types of EV chargers, their utility, and their distinctive features.
AC stands for alternating current, while DC is the abbreviation for direct current. The electric current generally used in homes or public charging stations is AC, and such chargers are called AC chargers.
In this method, there is a wall box installed in your home or public charging station. The inverter onboard the EV modifies the electric current from AC to DC and allows it to be stored in a battery.
AC chargers are slower than DC chargers but reduce power usage costs and do not overburden the electricity grid. DC or Direct Current reduces the charging time. It is stored in a Lithium-ion battery and gives out DC power. There is no way to charge EVs without eliminating the need for transforming the AC power in the electrical grid to DC power.
There are different Electric Vehicle chargers with different configurations and features. Industry experts have classified them into levels to understand them more conveniently. Three EV charger levels offer variations in charging powers and speeds. Here is a brief explanation of each level.
The basic type of EV charger is the Level 1 charger. These chargers are typically used for residential purposes and are designed with a standard 120-volt household outlet. They are also known as "trickle chargers" because they charge the EV at a slow rate.
A full charge can take up to 12 hours or more, depending on the size of the battery. The Level 1 charger is convenient because it can be used in any location with a standard outlet, but it is not very practical for everyday use because of the slow charging time.
The next level is a Level 2 charger. These chargers are designed to be used in public places, such as parking garages and shopping centers, and are typically installed by municipalities or private companies. They require a notable 240-volt outlet and can charge an EV much faster than a Level 1 charger.
A full charge can take as little as four hours. Level 2 chargers are more expensive to install than Level 1 chargers, but they are more beneficial for everyday use because of the faster charging time.
Level 3 Charger is more commonly regarded as the DC Fast Charger. It encompasses all chargers that are faster than level 2.
The fastest type of EV charger is the DC Fast Charger. These chargers can charge an EV in as little as 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the battery. They are typically found at highway rest stops and other high-traffic areas and are designed for quick charges when you are on the go.
DC Fast Chargers require a high-voltage outlet and can be expensive to install. However, they are ideal for long-distance travel and are becoming increasingly common nowadays.
Alternative Technologies to Charge EVs
Furthermore, some companies also offer wireless charging and regenerative braking.
Wireless charging is a more recent and innovative technology in the Electric Vehicle charging industry. It allows EV owners to charge their vehicles without needing a physical connection.
This goal is achieved through a combination of magnetic induction and resonant charging,
It is still in the early stages of development and has yet to be widely available. However, it is a promising technology that could make EV charging even more common in the future.
Another very innovative charging technology in the industry is regenerative braking. Although not an official charging mechanism, the technology is employed in EVs.
Shortly, it captures the vehicle's kinetic energy when it is braking or slowing down and converts it into electrical energy that can be stored in the EV battery.
This allows to vehicle to recover some energy back and helps boost its efficiency. The various levels of regenerative braking help determine the magnitude of power converted and the amount of energy stored in the battery.
The technology enables EV owners to add a few charges for commuting short distances and getting free power without actual charging.
Home Charging vs. Public Charging
Home electric chargers, also known as Level 2 chargers, are typically installed in a garage or driveway and are designed for overnight charging. They are often slower than public chargers, with a charging rate of around 6 to 25 miles of range per hour of charging.
However, they are more convenient for owners as they can be used at any time and do not require any additional membership or payment. Home chargers also typically come with warranties and customer support, as they are purchased and installed by the individual.
On the other hand, public EV chargers are available in various locations, such as shopping centers, parking garages, and rest areas. They are often faster than home chargers, with charging rates of up to 150 miles of range per hour.
They are also more expensive than home chargers and often require a membership or payment for usage. Public chargers come with various networks, and checking which networks are compatible with your EV is essential.
Selection of Best Chargers For Fleet, Dealerships, and Commercial Usage
Several options for fleet, dealerships, commercial, and residential EV chargers offer different benefits, charging hours, and costs.
1. Level 2 Chargers
These are the most common type of fleet, dealership, and commercial chargers. They are relatively affordable and easy to install, and they can be used to charge multiple vehicles at once.
2. DC Fast Chargers
These chargers offer much faster charging times than Level 2 chargers, with a charging rate of up to 150 miles of range per hour. They are ideal for fleets and dealerships with many vehicles that need to be charged quickly. However, they are more expensive to purchase and install and may require more maintenance.
3. Wireless Charging
This type of charging is becoming more popular for fleets and dealerships as it eliminates the need for physical charging cables. The vehicle is parked on top of a charging pad, and the charging process starts automatically. This technology can be more convenient for fleets as it eliminates the need for cables and plugging.
The best option for any of purposes will depend on the fleet size, how often the vehicles need to be charged, and the budget available.
For residential purposes, the most suitable type of EV chargers includes
1. Portable EV Chargers
These chargers are lightweight, easy to move around, and can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet. They are ideal for electric mobility or for those who do not have a dedicated charging location and need to charge their vehicle while on the go. They offer a slower charging rate than Level 2 chargers, around 3-6 miles per hour.
2. Level 2 Chargers
They are relatively affordable and easy to install and come with various features such as intelligent charging capabilities and remote monitoring. It is ideal for the EV owner because it can charge while she or he sleeps at night.
3. Smart EV Chargers
These chargers come with various advanced features, such as scheduling charging, monitoring energy usage, and integrating with home automation systems. They can be more expensive than standard Level 2 chargers but offer greater convenience and flexibility.
Summing up, the chagrin time may vary depending on the type of charger (and its level) and also the charging supported by the EV. It is also worth mentioning that, as with other charging electronic devices, in EVs, the charge period is not linear, with some variation in time, mainly between 80% and 100%, when the charging rate decreases. This can also influence the time for the load to be completed.
The most important in all cases is to have certified and experienced electricians to advise you based on your needs. This is mainly the case for commercial parking such as grocery stores, shopping centers, and dealerships, which probably will combine more than one charger or type, such as level 2 and 3 chargers at their facilities.
Furthermore, the installation location will influence the financial amount of the government’s benefit or optimize budget, resources, and overall site power capacity. Vehya is ready to answer those questions once you complete the digital platform questionnaire and get the assessment scheduled.
In essence, we can say that the EV charging industry is expected to multiply in the coming years as EV sales increase and governments worldwide support the industry's growth through initiatives and regulations.
All across the globe, we see that major players in the automotive industry are investing in the EV charging infrastructure, either through building their own charging networks or by partnering with charging network companies. This is further going to fuel the growth of the EV charging industry.
Partnered with the top specialists in EV chargers for the US market, Vehya can offer chargers from certified companies such as Blink Charging, Autel Energy, Tritium, Enel X Way, Free2Move, HEVO, and Wallbox. Vehya is an official commercial installation partner and can advise on both residential and commercial properties, offering the best cost-benefits and transparency of the whole process.
In Vehya's platform, you answer a quick questionnaire, assess costs according to your needs, receive support from your account manager, and get your installation completed by one of our certified electrical professionals.
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