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EV Charger

EV Charger for Electric VehiclesWhat is an EV charger? 

An electric vehicle charger is responsible for recharging the battery banks in an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid vehicle.  EV chargers are installed in your house, office, shopping stores and public places to enable one to charge their electric cars or plug-in hybrids.  One needs more than 1 EV charger per vehicle as the driving distance between charges is limited and one would need to charge their electric vehicle before getting back home.  


 Check out our gallery of EV Charger photographs from the Detroit Auto Show in January 2011.




How are  EV Chargers or car charging stations classified?


Level 1 - Plugs in to 110 V

Level 2- Plugs in to 208-240 V (220 V nominal)

Level 3- Plugs in to 440 V


The higher the level, the quicker the vehicle charges.  The Level 1 and Level 2 chargers are typical for home use.  Level 2 charging stations will be found at retail stores, restaurants and mall.  Level 3 are close to being commercial.  They are being targeted for quick charge at gas stations. 



How does an EV charger work?  

The electric vehicle charger can either be a direct connection cord from the cars input for the battery to the standard 110 volt wall outlet or can be a complete standalone unit which can monitor battery voltage, current flow and overall temperature of the battery in order to expand battery life while minimizing charge time. These chargers send the input voltage from the power grid into the electric vehicle at the highest possible current, before overheating of the battery, which maximizes their efficiency.  


How long will it take to charge an Electric Vehicle / Electric car? 

A typical 120 volt outlet with a current of 15 amps would require approximately 10 hours to charge a standard 15,000 watt battery which would be a direct connection from the electric vehicle into the wall outlet. If utilizing a direct connection into the power grid, a 240 volt electrical appliance outlet with a current of 30 amps, the charging potential is much higher and depending on the allotted current the battery can take in, can cut the charging time in half. 


What is typical cost of an EV charger? 

A standard electric vehicle charger drawing 1800 watts from a standard 120 volt AC outlet starts at $600 and for a higher output of around 5000 watts from a 240 volt AC outlet, a chargers price dramatically increases to around $5,000 


What are typical types of EV chargers?  

Electric vehicle chargers can either be a direct connection, in which conduction is used to transfer the energy, or an induction approach can be taken to minimize safety risks. Both types of charging are currently being used, since neither has a direct advantage over the other. An example of a conduction charger would be just using an extension power cord to plug from the wall outlet into the electric vehicle. Through induction chargers, a charging station is used to transfer high voltage and current directly from the grid into an inductive paddle with an electro-magnet that acts as half a transformer. The other half is situated inside the electric vehicle and once full contact is made between the two magnets, the current is allowed to flow across and into the battery, charging at a higher rate due to the charging stations direct power grid connection. 


How will smart grid interact with EV charger? 

By directly linking the electric vehicle chargers into the power grid, not only will they be able to utilize a much higher input voltage, but they can also gain efficiency through using excess power idling in the grid. The charger will automatically turn on to power the electric vehicle if it senses an increase of voltage in the grid, such as during nighttime when most households are using few if any appliances.