Electric cars represent the most significant shift in transportation since the days of shifting to cars from horse-drawn carriages. In theory, an electric car offers numerous benefits: environmental friendliness, freedom from costly gasoline expenses, and the convenience of charging from the comfort of your own home. However, charging an electric car is more complex than charging your smartphone. If you find yourself lacking the technical expertise required to navigate the world of electric vehicle ownership, you’re not alone. In this blog, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for the ownership of your new electric car. But before we dive into the details, let’s go over the basics of electric vehicles.
An electric car, as the name implies, runs on electricity, differing from traditional vehicles that use gasoline or diesel. At its core, an electric vehicle (EV) is powered by an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The electric motor gets its power from a controller which is fed by rechargeable batteries. These batteries can be charged at home or at public charging stations. By eliminating the need for fuel, EV ownership turns the conventional concept of “refueling” on its head. Instead of frequent trips to the gas station, EV owners enjoy the convenience of refueling their vehicles at home or work, often overnight. This fundamental difference, powered by electricity instead of fossil fuels, not only makes EVs environmentally friendly but also changes the ownership experience, starting with the need to set up an at-home charging station.
The range of an electric vehicle, or the distance it can travel on a single charge, varies greatly depending on the model. On average, most modern EVs can cover up to approximately 400 miles before needing a recharge.
However, charging an electric vehicle is not as quick as filling up a gas tank. The time it takes to recharge an EV depends on several factors, such as the type of charger used and the battery’s capacity. Using a standard Level 1 charger (120 volts), typical in most households, can take 8 to 24 hours to fully charge an EV. A faster option is a Level 2 charger (240 volts), which can fully recharge most EVs in 4 to 8 hours. For rapid charging on the go, DC Fast Chargers can charge an EV’s battery to about 80% in as little as 30 minutes. Remember, though, the last 20% of the battery takes longer to charge to protect the battery’s longevity.
Compared to their gasoline counterparts, electric vehicles require less regular maintenance. EVs lack complex components like the internal combustion engine or the transmission, parts that often warrant frequent check-ups in traditional cars. The most significant maintenance cost for EV owners comes from the replacement of the lithium-ion battery, which has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. However, improvements in technology are extending battery life, reducing this cost.
When you bring an electric vehicle home, setting up a dedicated EV charging station becomes a fundamental part of the ownership experience. Depending on your lifestyle and daily commute distance, you may opt for a standard Level 1 charger or upgrade to a faster Level 2 charger.
A Level 1 charger uses a 120-volt AC plug, the same type of plug used for typical household appliances. Therefore, you won’t need to install any additional equipment, making it the most cost-effective option. However, due to its slower charging speed, it’s best suited for those who have a shorter daily commute or ample time to let their EV charge overnight.
A Level 2 charger, on the other hand, requires a 240-volt outlet, similar to those used by large appliances like a clothes dryer or oven. Installation of a Level 2 charger may require the services of a licensed electrician and adherence to local building codes. This charger can provide significantly faster charging times than a Level 1 charger, making it a preferable option for many EV owners despite the higher upfront cost.
Remember, your EV charging station should ideally be located where your vehicle is parked for the longest periods, often the garage or driveway. Also, be sure to consider the length of your charging cable to ensure it can easily reach your vehicle’s charging port. With this setup, you can enjoy the convenience of ‘refueling’ your electric vehicle while at the comfort of your home, and be ready for the next day’s commute.
At Jefferson Electric, we understand that the world of electric vehicle ownership can be intimidating. That is why our team provides you with all the necessary tools to make your experience easier. Whether you’re a first-time EV owner or an experienced one, Jefferson Electric has the solution to make your EV ownership experience smoother and hassle-free. Visit our website today to explore our products and find out more about how we can help you get ready for the transition to electric vehicle ownership.