10 FAQs: Electric Vehicles and EV Charging Stations
Electric vehicle (EV) charging has become more important to drivers and to all the places they frequent. It is estimated that by the year 2025 – 25% of vehicles sold will be electric. Horizon Solutions is an Authorized ChargePoint® Reseller and a Certified ChargePoint Installer in New England and New York. We are asked many of the same EV charging station questions. Below is our list of the top ten most frequently asked questions about EVs and EV charging stations.
#1. Why are consumers purchasing more electric vehicles?
EV production has grown 10 times in the last four years and studies suggest that EVs will comprise 5% to 15% of all car sales by 2020. In fact, Volvo just announced that they plan to go all EV by 2019. Three of the main reasons consumers are purchasing EVs are for the cost savings, reduced vehicle maintenance, and personal desires to invest in environmentally conscious technologies. Day to day operating expenses of an electric vehicle are less than comparable gas-powered vehicles, typically half as much.
#2. What does an EV driver do when the car runs out of battery?
Running out of battery in an EV is similar to running out of gas. Every EV has a specific range associated with it. Similar to a gas gauge, an EV has a charge indicator. When the charge is low, plug into an EV charging station and the vehicle will charge.
#3. Are there enough chargers?
When folks drive around town, they see dozens of gas pumps but do not see many EV charging stations. As we start to see more EVs in towns and on state highways and expressways, the demand for EV charging stations will grow. Most EV owners have a “home” rated charge station for overnight charging, but more workplaces and commercial sites are adding EV charging stations as a convenience.
#4. What is the range of an EV? How far does it go?
Each EV is different. Most cars advertised as “long-range” are somewhere close to a 200-mile range. Some EVs have extender kits available that increase to a 300-mile range. The exact range will vary depending on what type of driving you do, braking, acceleration, and additional systems associated with your vehicle like running the air conditioning.
#5. Is there any gasoline involved?
There is no gasoline involved with a pure electric vehicle. In this post, we’re talking about 100% EV – electric vehicles, absolutely no gasoline.
- A standard hybrid car uses both electric and gasoline but does not plug in. That’s different than pure EV. A hybrid car derives some of its power from a conventional gasoline engine.
- There are also EV vehicles that sometimes use gas, called PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid EV.
#6. How long does it take to charge?
Charge time will depend on your vehicle and the charge station you’re using. Let’s consider a CT4000, which is a 3 to 5-hour unit. Some units can take longer, while others offer a quicker charge time. ChargePoint stations can deliver as quickly as a 15-minute charge! In order:
- Level 1 = Home; 8 to 15 hours
- Level 2 = Commercial (ChargePoint CT4000 is Level 2); three to eight hours
- Level 3 = DC Fast, quickest; less than 1 hour
- Level 3 is also known as Fast Commercial, DCFC, and Fast Charger
- Level 3 stations may require additional installation considerations and evaluation
#7. Are all EV models compatible with a ChargePoint station?
Yes, the most common connector for a charger is the SAE J1772. It is the connector used to charge the most popular EVs, such as the Kia Soul EV, Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus EV, and many more. It is also the charger used by most Level 2 public charging stations. A ChargePoint CT4000 charging station uses an SAE J1772 connector.
What if I have a Tesla?
Yes, a ChargePoint charging station is still compatible but you’ll need an adapter. Tesla vehicles use their own Tesla connector as standard.
There are a handful of other vehicles that use other adapters, like CCS.
#8. Are there rebates or incentives?
Yes, there are, and offers vary based on region. This page can help get you started. Just click your state on the interactive map to find out more about your local rebates and incentives.
- Workplace: Some regions offer a workplace charger rebate program for employers to build an electric charging infrastructure at their facility. Example: The Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) provides 50% or up to $25,000 for hardware costs to employers installing Level 2 charging stations.
- Commercial: Property credits available that provided a tax credit for the purchase and installation of charging stations by businesses and corporations. Example: up to $5,000 for New York state via the Alternative Fuels and Electric Vehicle Recharging Property Credit.
- Municipal: Some states offer rebates for municipalities to purchase or lease electric vehicles for municipal fleet use, and for the installation of public charging infrastructure. These rebates apply to vehicles and/or stations at your discretion. Example: up to $32,000 for fast charging pedestal units for a municipality in New York state.
Our close relationship and partnership with the utilities that create these programs will allow Horizon Solutions to be first to market with these incentives once they are defined and available for your area.
#9. That thing got a Hemi?
(Asked jokingly.) No. But it is amazing what automobile manufacturers are doing these days. EVs are no longer a niche small vehicle offering. There are EV trucks, vans, and SUVs. Companies like FedEx are using EVs as fleet truck service and delivery vehicles. Who knows what EVs will look like in two to five years.
#10. Do you have to reserve a spot to charge your EV?
Typically, yes. In addition to the physical charging station, ChargePoint offers software and apps for both station owners and for users.
- For users, ChargePoint offers an app to find stations based on your location, your vehicle, and your type of connector. Their app lets you schedule reservations to charge your vehicle. You can also get a ChargePoint network card, start charging, get notified, see driver tips and more.
- For station owners/operators, the app lets you dictate how much, how long, who pays, and payment types. Learn more about owner applications and usage here.