The first thing drivers notice the first time they sit behind the wheel of an electric vehicle is typically the silence. Without the familiar turning over and background thrum of a combustion engine, they wonder if the car is even on. But it is. And this silent powering up is part of an exciting transformation in the way we drive.
Of the four types of electric vehicles on the road today, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) require charging.
Although cars can be charged using a regular household outlet, the process is slow (eight to 20 hours). Installing a level-2 charger at home or using a public charging station allows you to charge up in three to eight hours. High-voltage “fast chargers” get the job done in less than an hour.
Public charging fast facts
- Several charging networks—including Flo, ChargePoint, and Greenlots—operate throughout North America.
- Individual stations are generally located next to businesses and public facilities (e.g. community centres, parks) or along major roads.
- Chargers are activated with an app or scan card.
- Charging is either free or inexpensive ($1 to $2 per hour), although some stations are located in pay parking lots.
- At busier stations, time limits may be in effect.
This is a web exclusive for the article “A Driving Force” from the June 2020 issue of alive magazine.