a us consumer`s guide to electric vehicle charging

a us consumer`s guide to electric vehicle charging
A U.S. CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING
OCTOBER 2016
Electric Vehicle Charging 101
Nationwide, consumers are discovering that
plug-in electric vehicles are fun to drive, safe
and comfortable, convenient to refuel, and
economical to operate. In the United States
today, global automakers offer consumers
more than 20 electric car models and many
have announced plans to offer more options
in coming years. As of August 2016, U.S.
electric vehicle sales were up 29% over the
previous year.
Drivers can plug in to charge their cars
almost anywhere, but most choose to charge
at home—for convenience and savings. At
the U.S. national average price of 12.5 cents
per kilowatt-hour (kWh), “fueling” a car with
electricity is roughly equivalent to buying
gasoline at $1 per gallon.
Electric cars have lower greenhouse gas
emissions than the average new gasoline car
today, even when charged in areas where
much of the electricity is generated by power
plants that use coal or natural gas. Electric
cars also reduce petroleum use and smog,
benefiting public health.
ABOUT THIS GUIDE
Electric vehicles are a new technology that requires
consumers to change the way they refuel. This guide
addresses the most commonly asked questions about
electric vehicle charging. It is a companion to A Consumer’s
Guide to Plug-in Electric Vehicles, January 2016, EPRI TR
3002005948, which answers common questions about
electric vehicles and lists models available or coming soon
from major carmakers.
Plug-in electric vehicles' batteries are recharged by plugging
into the electricity grid, as easily as charging your phone
or laptop. There are two main types, plug-in hybrids and
battery electric vehicles.
Plug-in hybrids are powered by an electric motor (or two)
and battery paired with a gasoline engine that takes over
once the battery is depleted. Some can travel 50 miles or
more on electricity before they need to be charged. Their
engines extend total range to between 300 and 600
miles.
Battery electric vehicles are powered by an electric motor
and battery alone; they never use gasoline. Their total
range is limited by their battery size. Most current models
have a range of 80 – 100 miles. Some can be driven
more than 200 miles between charges. Future models
promise a range of 200 – 300 miles.
2
IN THIS GUIDE
Where to Charge............................................ 4
You can charge at home, at work, or at public
charging locations.
Charging Levels and Times...............................6
Level 1, Level 2, DC Fast Charging – what it means
and why it matters.
It takes 30 seconds or less to
plug in your car. Forget the
hurried stop at the dirty gas
station. Your electric car is
charging while you carry on
with life – being productive,
playing, or sleeping.
Hardware: Stations and Connectors.................8
Choosing the hardware to fit your needs, and
demystifying tech-talk.
Software: Networks and Apps.......................10
New tools help you find a charging station, track
your car’s charging status, and more.
Installation Considerations............................. 11
Avoid installation pitfalls, learn from others.
Additional Resources.....................................12
WHAT DOES IT COST?
COST TO PURCHASE AND INSTALL CHARGING STATION
COST TO CHARGE
Table 1 – The cost to charge depends on
your electric rate, battery size, and how
far you drive. Cost range shown is for two
average electric cars (one driving 3 miles per
kWh and the other driving 4 miles per kWh)
assuming an average electricity price of
$0.125 per kWh.
Level 1 uses a regular 120V wall outlet, so
installation is free.
For Level 2 charging station, $400 – $2,000
for purchase and installation; equipment and
installation costs vary.
Miles Driven
Cost Range
30
$0.94 – $1.25
100
$3.13 – $4.17
200
$6.25 – $8.33
Between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016, the number of public
charging stations in the U.S. increased by 8,308, or 49%.
During the same period, the number of DC Fast Charging
stations increased by 1,407, or 66%. Source: PlugShare
3
Where to Charge
The most common places to charge your electric vehicle are at home, at work, or at public charging stations.
CHARGING AT HOME
You can charge your car anywhere you have access to a 120V outlet or a charging
station—but you will probably find it most convenient to charge at home. You can
plug into a household outlet using the cord that comes with the car, or for faster
charging install a 240V charging station.
Home charging is as easy as plugging in your cell phone at bedtime. You wake up
with a full charge and the freedom to go. Many utilities offer lower electricity rates
overnight or electric vehicle rates that encourage charging overnight, when electricity
is plentiful.
A dedicated parking space, garage or carport enables you to charge at any time. If you live in an apartment or condo,
talk to your building manager and neighbors. See page 11 for installation considerations and the back cover for additional
resources on charging in multi-family buildings.
CHARGING AT WORK
The workplace is the second most likely place to charge since most people spend
several hours at work. Charging at work enables drivers to extend their car’s range
during the work day, increasing the number of electric miles they can drive each day.
Some companies offer charging to attract and retain employees and demonstrate
commitment to environmental goals, among other benefits. Most develop their own
rules about charging station use. See the back cover for links to additional resources
on workplace charging.
PUBLIC CHARGING
With public charging stations at strategic locations, you can supplement your range
while you’re on the go. Charging stations in parking garages, parking lots, or on
the street are typically first-come, first-served. Some are free, others require payment.
Some are networked, others are not. Parking and payment arrangements depend on
the site and reflect the property managers’ or owners’ decisions.
Many people mistakenly think public charging is the only (or best) option for charging
electric vehicles. With a “going to the gas station” mindset, they may not consider
the benefits of charging at home or work. Society’s experience with gasoline cars influenced early discussions about
how much public charging is needed. A study of average U.S. driving behavior, however, finds that a relatively modest
deployment of public charging can meet the needs of most electric vehicle drivers.
4
PUBLIC
(SECONDARY)
WORK
(SECONDARY)
HOME
(PRIMARY)
n e t w o r k e d v s . n o n - n e t w o r k e d c h a r g i n g s tat i o n s
A handful of private charging networks operate in different regions of the country. A networked charging station
is connected to one of these established networks, and may require payment and/or membership for use. A nonnetworked station typically has open access. See pages 8 and 10 for details on charging stations and networks.
public charging etiquet te
charger and r ange anxiet y
• Don’t park at a charging station if you’re not
charging.
Most drivers overcome initial fears of being stranded
as they become familiar and comfortable with their
car’s range. Charger anxiety results when drivers
worry that a charging station shown on their charging
app may not exist, or may be blocked by a gasoline
car, in use by another electric vehicle, or broken. In
a pinch, emergency roadside assistance offered by
some carmakers or through insurance companies
can provide a tow home or to the nearest charging
station.
• Charge only when necessary.
• Charge up, then open the space for the next
driver.
• Don’t unplug another car unless it’s finished
charging or has a note on the dashboard
indicating when it’s OK to unplug.
5
Charging Levels and Times
The time it takes to charge depends on multiple factors, including the charging level, electrical circuit capacity, the vehicle’s
onboard charger capacity or charging limit, and battery size. Table 2 summarizes the variables.
Table 2 – Charging levels and times
CHARGING
LEVEL
CIRCUIT CAPACITY;
DESCRIPTION
AC Level 1
Dedicated 110120V, 15- or 20-amp
circuit; three-prong
outlet; cordset comes
with car; or charging
station.
AC Level 2
(Low)
AC Level 2
(High)
DC Fast
ONBOARD CHARGER
CAPACITY
MILES/HOUR
OF CHARGING*
Home
Work
Public
1.4kW
4–6
Since cars are often
parked at work or home
for 8+ hours a day, Level
1 may be sufficient.
Dedicated 240V, 30amp circuit; charging
station.
Home
Work
Public
3.3kW
8 – 12
Sufficient to charge many
electric vehicles with no
time limitations.
Dedicated 240V,
40-amp – 100-amp
circuit; charging
station.
Public
Work
Home
6.6kW –
19.2kW
16 – 24
for lower
power; >60
for higher
power
Lower power sufficient
to charge most electric
vehicles with no time
limitations; 40-amp circuit
most common for home
charging. Higher power
sufficient for battery
electric vehicles with time
limitations; infrequently
used for home charging.
Dedicated
480V – 600V,
up to 300-amp
circuit; charging
station.
Public
30 – 100kW**
150 –
200***
Charges most battery
electric vehicles to 80% in
20 minutes.
LOCATION
* Numbers are approximate. Charging time varies based on the car’s battery size.
** Most fast-charging stations currently are rated at 50 kW; Tesla Superchargers can be higher; 150 kW is planned and up to 350 kW is in research.
*** Tesla Superchargers are slightly faster.
6
COMMENTS
CHARGING IN THE REAL WORLD
l e v e l 1 c h a r g i n g at h o m e
level 1 and 2 charging
at w o r k
Jane Jones commutes 21 miles each way to work and
sometime runs errands on the way home. Her battery
electric vehicle with 80 – 100 miles range meets her daily
driving needs and allows her to use the carpool lane as a
single driver, a bonus perk in her state.
Sam Simonitz landed a new job 55 miles from home,
his roundtrip commute exceeding the comfortable range
of his electric car. Because his new employer offers
workplace charging, he can keep his beloved car, drive it
occasionally for work, and charge at home overnight and
at work. This essentially doubles his daily driving range to
about 160 miles.
Alberto Alhambra is a stay-at-home dad who ferries the kids
to school and after-school activities every day. Alberto’s
plug-in hybrid vehicle with 40 – 50 miles electric range
equips him to drive most days on electricity, alone. Twice a
week he drives his son to little league games out of town,
extending his range with gasoline.
level 2 public charging
d c fa s t c h a r g i n g o n t h e g o
Bonnie Barnes never knows for sure how far she will drive
on a given day. She commutes eight miles to work, often
runs home at lunch to walk the dog, drives to meetings, and
shuttles her daughter to soccer practice, 20 miles from home.
Because there are public chargers at the soccer field, she
can use those two-plus hours to boost her electric vehicle’s
80-mile range, arriving home with electrons to spare.
Ruben Richardson works from home and occasionally visits
clients up to 150 miles away. He typically charges at home,
but also relies on the regional DC Fast Charging network
along the highways. On weekend visits to his in-laws, 90
miles away, he charges on the way home. Sometimes he
relies on the DC Fast Charging network to take his family on
road trips across the state, up to 400 miles.
7
Hardware: Stations and Connectors
A new electric vehicle buyer may find the different charging station and service options confusing.
CHARGING STATIONS
Electric vehicle drivers encounter different charging stations at home, at work, and in public. For home charging, the
station and functionality you choose depends on your needs. Most car companies have partnered with charging station
manufacturers and service providers, but you don’t have to purchase your carmaker’s chosen charging station and network
provider.
Table 3 – Charging options and hardware
HOME CHARGING
WORKPLACE CHARGING
PUBLIC CHARGING
Using the 120V cordset that comes with
your car may be sufficient to charge at
home overnight.
Cars parked at the office all day can use
Level 1 charging.
Some public charging is free or subsidized
by car companies. Other locations charge
a fee or work through a third-party network
provider.*
A Level 2 charging station speeds charging. A non-networked station is sufficient for
many home charging needs.
Level 2 charging speeds charging, allowing more users to share charging stations.
Some employers offer free charging.
Others charge a fee or work through a
third-party network provider.*
DC Fast Charging stations are springing up
along portions of key U.S. travel corridors
on the East and West Coast.
* Employers and property managers may want network functionality. Networked stations can provide some or all of the following: energy
monitoring, usage analysis, access control, a payment system, cellular/Wi-Fi communications, and back-office support. See Installation
Considerations, page 11, and Additional Resources, back cover.
Charging stations are also called
electric vehicle supply equipment,
or EVSE, in the industry.
8
Tesla has its own network of Level 2 and
fast-charging Supercharger stations; free
for Model S and Model X drivers.
CONNECTORS
The connector is the plug that delivers current from the electrical source to charge the car’s battery. It also facilitates
communication between the car and the charging station so the charging process is automatic once the car is plugged in.
All electric vehicles except Tesla use a standard connector for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. There are two standard
connectors for DC Fast Charging: one adopted by Asian automakers, and the other adopted by European and American
automakers. Tesla uses its own connector.
Before driving to a public charging station, it’s helpful to know the different connectors and whether your car accepts DC
Fast Charging, so you can be sure of compatibility.
Table 4 – Electric vehicle charging connectors
CONNECTOR DESCRIPTION
CHARGING LEVEL
POWER
120V cordset with SAE J1772 standard connector
comes with all electric vehicles except Tesla. The J1772
connector plugs into the car; the other end plugs into a
three-prong outlet.
Level 1
1.4kW
SAE J1772 standard connector used with charging
station.
Level 1
Level 2
3.3kW –
19.2kW
SAE Combo connector used with American and European cars that are fast-charging capable.
DC Fast Charge
30kW – 100kW
CHAdeMO connector used with Asian cars that are
fast-charging capable.
DC Fast Charge
30kW – 50kW
Level 2
10kW – 20kW
Supercharger
Up to 145kW
Tesla connector used only with Tesla Model S and
Model X.
k e e p a n e y e o u t f o r…
• Wireless Charging. Currently in demonstration phase. Technical standards, still in development, have slowed widespread
adoption.
• Vehicle-to-Grid. Future technology may enable energy transfer from electric vehicle batteries to the electricity grid.
• Vehicle-to-Home. Future technology may enable the electric vehicle to act as a backup generator for the home or other
electrical loads.
9
Software: Networks and Apps
One of the most convenient features of driving electric is the connectivity offered by different charging networks and apps.
CHARGING NETWORKS
Electric vehicle service providers are private companies that offer charging options to meet drivers’ varying needs. Although
most networks operate on a membership basis, the industry is working to improve access to all drivers regardless of
membership.
Table 5 – Charging network basics
TYPICAL NETWORK FEE OPTIONS
NETWORK ACCESS
TRAVEL BETWEEN NETWORKS
Monthly flat rate for all-you-can-charge.
Cloud-based mobile app with
activation code.
Not yet standardized, but interoperability is improving.
Monthly membership fee + fee per kWh or fee per
minutes/hours of charging.
RFID key tag or key fob.
Instead of joining multiple networks, a credit card
works for many, but not all.
Some offer free charging in one location and levy a
fee in another, usually
depending on the host location.
Credit card swipe.
It's best to join a network that effectively serves your
area.
APPS
Apps help electric vehicle drivers locate charging stations,
plan trips based on available charging stations, and
remotely manage charging or cabin conditioning. Most
automakers provide their own apps to display their chosen
charging networks on the car’s screen or on the driver’s
mobile smartphone. Several unaffiliated companies offer
apps that show all charging options, regardless of network.
New social apps connect electric vehicle drivers. Drivers
post equipment reports and photos of charging installations,
compare their driving efficiency and energy consumption,
and—most helpful in a pinch, perhaps—request permission
to unplug another car.
Electric vehicle service providers
go by the industry acronym EVSP.
10
Installation Considerations
The following considerations apply whether you’re installing a charging station or a simple 120V outlet. Property managers
and employers may wish to consult Additional Resources, back cover.
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
TALK TO YOUR UTILITY.
Research your utility’s rate plans and do the math.
Driving on electricity can be much cheaper than
gasoline—when you choose the right rate.
Ask your utility for information on charging network
services, licensed local contractors, and additional local
resources such as incentives.
LOOK FOR LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL INCENTIVES.
Some charging infrastructure incentives are
available. See Additional Resources, back cover.
Consult your tax advisor or accountant.
DECIDE ON YOUR CHARGING NEEDS.
Level 1 (standard 120V outlet)?
Level 2 (dedicated charging station)?
HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN AND ASSESS AVAILABLE POWER.
Level 1 = 120V, dedicated 15- or 20-amp circuit.
If you’re DIY, research local permitting requirements.
Level 2 = 240V, dedicated 30- to 100-amp circuit
(most are 40 amps; higher amperage accommodates
future higher power, faster chargers).
IF YOU WANT A LEVEL 2 HOME CHARGING STATION, CONSIDER THESE OPTIONS.
Physical size; some are quite large and heavy.
Cable length; 25 ft. cable recommended.
Wall-mount vs. pedestal.
Networked or non-networked.
CONSIDER COSTS.
$0 for existing dedicated 120V outlet in your
garage (nothing needs to be done).
$400 – $2,000 to purchase and install a Level 2
charging station; equipment and installation costs vary.
INSTALL STATION.
Charging stations can be hardwired or can use a
plug. Pros and cons include portability, cost,
adaptability, and appearance.
If possible, locate the station close to the electrical
panel,for simplicity and savings.
Mount it so the cable can reach the front or back of a
car. Charge ports are located in different places on
every car, and you may want to charge outside your
garage.
co n ta c t yo u r u t i l i t y
University of California, Davis researchers surveyed more than 4,000 electric vehicle drivers, finding that only 5% talked to
their utility before buying their electric car. Electric utilities committed to serving customers and growing numbers of electric
vehicle owners typically offer special electric vehicle programs or rates. Talk to your local utility to learn about electric
vehicle programs in your community.
11
11
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
YOUR LOCAL UTILITY
Contact your utility for information about electric vehicle
rates, and local and regional resources.
ELECTRIC DRIVE TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION
Electric vehicle incentives
www.goelectricdrive.org/you-buy/incentives
Electric vehicle charging 101, products,
station locator
www.goelectricdrive.org/owning-ev
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
(EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and
development relating to the generation, delivery
and use of electricity for the benefit of the public.
An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI
brings together its scientists and engineers as well
as experts from academia and industry to help
address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the
environment. EPRI also provides technology, policy
and economic analyses to drive long-range research
and development planning, and supports research
in emerging technologies. EPRI members represent
U.S. DOE ALTERNATIVE FUELS DATA CENTER
www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity.html
90% of the electric utility revenue in the United States
with international participation in 35 countries.
EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are located
CALIFORNIA PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE
COLLABORATIVE
Workplace charging resources
http://www.pevcollaborative.org/workplace-charging
Multi-family buildings resources
http://www.pevcollaborative.org/MuD
in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.;
and Lenox, Mass.
Together . . . Shaping the Future of Electricity
U.S. DOE AND U.S. DOT FUNDING AND FINANCING
GUIDE FOR CHARGING STATIONS
https://goo.gl/J8sVsq
U.S. DOE EV EVERYWHERE WORKPLACE CHARGING
CHALLENGE
www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/ev-everywhereworkplace-charging-challenge
PLUG IN AMERICA
www.pluginamerica.org
PLUG-IN CARS
Guides on electric vehicles, buying, charging, etiquette,
etc. www.plugincars.com/guides.html
©2016 Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Inc. All rights
reserved. Electric Power Research Institute, EPRI, and TOGETHER…
SHAPING THE FUTURE OF ELECTRICITY are registered service marks
of the Electric Power Research Institute.
Printed on recycled paper in the United States of America
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800.313.3774 • 650.855.2121 • askepri@ epri.com • www.epri.com
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