As increasing numbers of electric vehicle (EV) choices come onto the market, you may be wondering which one is right for you.
As with other types of internal combustion and hybrid vehicles, things like style, passenger and cargo capacity, performance, and reliability are at the top of the list. But with EVs, range and charging time become more critical in making a choice. And of course, price.
A Range of Ranges
Lots of things affect an EV’s range: size, weight, fuel (battery) capacity, driving style (leadfoot vs Sunday driver) among them. 2022 model specs range from barely 100 miles (Mini Cooper, Mazda MX-30) to over 400 miles (Lucid Air Dream, Mercedes EQS 450+). Most fall into the 250-350-mile range. As battery technology improves, those ranges are bound to improve with more models approaching internal combustion ranges but many still have a way to go.
Long range comes with a high price tag. The Lucid models cost $163,000; the Mercedes runs $95,800. And that’s after the $7,500 rebate. The Mini and Mazda, on the other hand, run around $24,000 and $27,000, respectively, comparable to many internal combustion cars. But those IC cars get 3-4 times the range.
However, if you just drive locally and charge at home overnight, the shorter-range vehicles can be a good option for breaking into the EV world.
There are three general types of EV chargers: 120-volt AC Level 1, 240-volt AC Level 2, and 480-Volt DC Level 3 Fast Chargers. Level 3 chargers are impractical for all but heavy-duty commercial users such as fast-charge “filing stations” and large fleet operators. Level 1 chargers plug into standard household outlets but are very slow to charge EV batteries. Most homeowners and businesses will be best served by Level 2 chargers. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be used to fully charge a vehicle overnight when electricity rates are lowest.
But regardless of the type charger you use, the time it takes to charge your EV affects if and when it will be ready to use. And that time can vary widely among brands and types of EVs. Other factors such as battery temperature, existing charge level, and charger type also affect charging time, sometimes substantially. On average, though, you can expect these range-per-hour of charging times.
Level 1: 3-6 miles per hour of charge
Level 2: 20-30 miles per hour of charge
Level 3: 300+ miles per hour of charge
As you can see, Level 1 charging is painfully slow and Level 3, while very fast, can be quite expensive. And don’t forget, there will be other people waiting on you, so an hour “at the pump” is generally impractical.
The clear winner is Level 2 at-home charging overnight. It will fully charge a vehicle in 8-12 hours, at the lowest cost, and while you’re home doing something else. Like sleeping.
Allstar Electrical Services has installed dozens of EV charging stations in homes, parking garages, and at businesses with multiple EV fleets. We’ve helped Coloradans increase efficiency while adding comfort and convenience to their homes and businesses for over 20 years.
For an estimate on installing a home EV charger or to learn more about the many ways upgraded electric services and emerging technologies can improve your home or business, schedule an appointment our website or give us a call at 303.399.7420.
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The Pulsar Plus by Wallbox is Amazon’s Choice and listed in the 10 Best Level 2 EV chargers for 2022 by Buyer’s Guide.