Are you thinking of buying an electric vehicle (EV)? We’ve pulled together the answers…
Driving an electric vehicle is one of the best things you can do for the environment. If you’re looking to purchase one, then EV charging in West Palm Beach may still be a mystery to you. We’re here to give you the lowdown on what you need to know about charging your brand-new, clean, and green set of wheels.
A Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging
Basic EV Vocabulary
When you purchased your first car with a combustion engine, you accustomed yourself to words that include cylinders, horsepower, and miles per gallon. Now that you’ve decided to switch to an electric vehicle, you’ll have to learn a new set of words associated with electric motors and the batteries that power them. Relating this new terminology to their traditional equivalents will help you determine the best electric car that suits your needs.
Battery capacity is one of the key points you should consider when comparing electric vehicles. Battery capacity is equivalent to the size of the gas tank on a gasoline-powered car. If you want a vehicle that can give you more range, you’ll want to purchase one with a bigger battery that allows you to have more electrical energy onboard the vehicle.
Moreover, EV batteries are usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A kilowatt, equivalent to 1,000 watts, refers to a unit that measures the rate at which the vehicle uses energy over time. Furthermore, 1 kilowatt is equal to around 1.34 horsepower.
While an electric commuter car such as a base 2021 Nissan Leaf comes with a small 40 kWh battery, a high-performance luxury electric car such as the Porsche Taycan has a 93.4 kWh battery. However, it’s important to note that although a Taycan’s battery is more than twice the size of a Leaf’s battery, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the Taycan delivers more than double in terms of range.
A Nissan Leaf features a 140-horsepower electric motor, and a Porsche Taycan has 750 horsepower. A Taycan uses electricity up to five times as quickly as a Leaf. For this reason, a base model Leaf delivers a 150-mile electric driving range while a Taycan only adds around 50 miles to that total based on EPA estimates.
As with a gasoline-powered car, how aggressively you drive an EV can significantly impact its range or the amount of its power potential you use. For this reason, a Taycan’s EPA-rated range will reduce even further if you make use of all of the car’s 750 horses.
Efficiency and Range
Several factors such as battery size, weight, motor power output, and aerodynamic characteristics significantly impact an EV battery’s overall efficiency. If you’re looking to determine how far you can go on a charge, all you have to do is measure it in MPkWh or miles per kilowatt-hour.
A vehicle with a higher MPkWh is more efficient than a vehicle with a lower MPkWh. For example, an electric car that has a 100-kWh battery that’s rated at 2.5 MKhWH delivers an electric driving range of around 400 miles.
However, you may also notice ratings for kWh/100 miles. To determine your range, you’ll have to divide the battery’s capacity by the kWh/miles rating before multiplying it by 100. An EV will go 214 miles on a full charge if it comes with a 75-kWh battery rated at 35 kWh/100 miles.
Charging and Electricity Jargon
Most people charge their electric vehicles at home, overnight, and with a charger in their driveway or garage. Since they leave home with a full tank each morning, they’re not too concerned about charging speed. However, it becomes an issue when they take longer trips that go beyond the nominal range of their car’s battery.
A vehicle’s ability to charge and the specs of the charger it’s hooking up to influence the differences in charging speed. Moreover, EV owners should keep an eye on the voltage rating of the vehicle’s electrical system, and its maximum kW rating.
Voltage rating shows you the electrical pressure or how fast electrons flow through a pipe. An EV system with a higher voltage allows faster electrons to be pushed into it. Likewise, the vehicle’s responsiveness increases as electrons are pushed faster to the motors.
Since the kW rating refers to the measure of energy over time, it gives you an idea of the size of the pipe that delivers electrons from the charger to the electric vehicle. An EV with a high kW rating charges faster because it has a bigger pipe. To illustrate, an EV with 200-kW rating charges twice as fast as an EV with a 100-kW rating.
A Closer Look at the Different Charging Levels
Gasoline vehicles get filled up at approximately the same speed, taking around the same few minutes to fuel. On the other hand, charging electric cars is a little more complicated because the different ways of charging a vehicle aren’t equal. If you want to level up your EV charging knowledge, you’ll want to know more about the three charging levels and what they mean.
Level 1 Chargers: Ideal for Plug-In Hybrids
Since these chargers usually plug into a household 120-volt outlet, they take a long time to charge the battery in a hybrid or electric vehicle. Charging a car for an hour using a level 1 charger typically adds only three to five miles. While this charger isn’t an option for full-electric vehicles, it works best for a plug-in hybrid vehicle with a gasoline engine backing up electric power for longer trips.
Level 2 Chargers: Best for Charging All-Electric Vehicles
If you’re looking to purchase an all-electric car, you should have regular access to a level 2 charger at home. This charger typically runs on a 220-volt outlet and delivers 12 to 80 miles of charge per hour. Furthermore, you can usually find level 2 chargers in public charging stations.
Level 3 Chargers: Perfect for Long Trips
Level 3 chargers use direct current (DC) instead of the alternating current (AC) that level 1 and level 2 chargers use. With a thicker cable and more substantial plug than the other chargers, the level 3 charger can deliver a charge at three up to 20 miles per minute. Since level 3 chargers come with a high price tag, you’ll only find them in locations along well-traveled highways rather than in homes.
Want to Know More About EV Charging in West Palm Beach?
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