Know Charging Options to Keep Your EV Rolling
NC offers several public charging options for electric vehiclesBy Kristi Brodd
Have you noticed more “electric vehicle parking” signs showing up in parking lots lately?
Each month, North Carolina is seeing increased growth in electric vehicle sales and more electric vehicle charging stations being installed. There are now more than 400 public stations installed across the state, with close to 900 ports that electric vehicle drivers can plug into.
Electric vehicle owners have multiple options when it comes to charging their vehicle.
Charging stations are often categorized into three levels: Level One, Level Two and DC Fast Charge.
All vehicles come with an adapter to plug the car in at home to a standard 120-volt outlet, known as Level One charging. This level provides the slowest charge, around three to five electric miles per hour. The majority of electric vehicle owners plug in at home to refuel.
Level Two charging is commonly found in public locations, including shopping centers, downtown areas, multifamily communities and workplaces. The stations can also be installed at home if a 240-volt outlet is available. Level Two charging is three- to five-times faster than Level One and is a great option for public locations where people may be parked for a few hours.
DC Fast Charge stations, usually located in high-traffic public areas, provide an opportunity for a very quick charge. These stations are capable of charging a depleted EV battery to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes. Recently, more of these stations have been installed at gas stations across the state.
To locate a charging station, there are multiple apps and websites that list station locations and provide details. The Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program runs the Alternative Fuels Data Center (afdc.energy.gov), which maintains a list of charging stations across the country. Another popular website is PlugShare (plugshare.com), which provides details on a station’s location and has a trip planner to help you plan for longer drives. Plug-in NC (pluginnc.com) also offers a charging station locator.
Currently, many of the stations located in North Carolina are free to plug in to. As electric vehicle growth continues, however, more locations may begin charging to charge. If a charging station does require payment to plug in, it is usually accessed through a membership card or a built-in credit card reader. Some locations will charge a flat fee to park and plug in.
Electric vehicle growth is expected to rise in North Carolina, and there are plans to install more than 200 additional charging stations across the state. That means you will soon be able to drive electric from the mountains to the sea with plenty of options to plug in along the way.