So you’re thinking about purchasing an electric car — good choice! Electric cars are not only great for the environment, but they’re also great for your budget since you’ll be purchasing little to no fuel at the gas pumps over the life of your car.

But if you’ve never owned an electric car, you may be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to charge it. Do electric cars simply plug into household outlets? Will you need specialized equipment to charge your new vehicle? Read on to learn all about how to charge an electric car.

WHAT ARE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGERS?

Electric vehicle or EV chargers are specialized charging ports designed to plug in an electric car. Most electric cars use a standard plug called J1772, which can be connected to ports from 140 to 240 volts. One notable exception to this standard is Tesla vehicles, but although Tesla models use a different type of plug, the vehicles come with J1772 adapters for standard ports.

However, electric cars also come with a standard three-prong charging cord that can be connected to any grounded 120-volt wall outlet. This is the slowest type of electric vehicle charging. In order to prevent overload, the standard cord will automatically test the outlet once it’s plugged in to ensure that the current is strong enough. In many cases, you’ll need a dedicated circuit to charge your electric car quickly and safely.

WHERE DOES THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGER GO?

EV chargers may be either residential or commercial. Most commercial EV charging stations are public facilities like gas stations, and some cities or services provide electric car charging stations in parking lots or at curbsides.

Residential electric vehicle chargers are usually installed in a garage or with a standing unit next to the driveway and are typically either 220 or 240 volts. If you’re planning to install an EV station in your home, it’s important to work with an experienced electrical contractor such as Mr. Sunshine’s Home Services to ensure that your charging station is correctly and conveniently installed, in a way that won’t overload your household electricity.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR?

The three-prong 140v, or Level 1, charger is the slowest way to charge an electric vehicle. Using a standard outlet, electric cars can take anywhere from approximately 10 to 65 hours to charge at Level 1, depending on the battery size and charging speed of the port. Of course, dedicated circuit ports will charge faster than standard shared-wiring ports.

Level 2, or 240-volt charging, is the more typical and faster way to charge electric cars. With a dedicated 240v home charging port, electric vehicles will typically charge in 3 to 12 hours, although some of the largest batteries take longer. Most electric vehicle owners charge their cars overnight at home to ensure a full charge.

FAST, PROFESSIONAL ELECTRIC CAR CHARGER INSTALLATION

A residential EV charger is the best way to ensure that your new electric vehicle will always be charged when you need it. Contact Mr. Sunshine’s Home Services for more information about professional charger installation, or to schedule your home appointment today.