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What EV Charger Should I Get for My Home, and Business?

Charging an electric car is a simple process: you simply plug your car into a charger that is connected to the electric grid. However, not all EVs or EV charging stations (also known as electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE) are created equal.


What EV Charger Should I Get for My Home, and Business?

EV stands for electric vehicle and applies to all vehicles that run on electrical energy. EVs are more cost-effective than vehicles that use a traditional combustion engine that uses gas or diesel, they require less maintenance, and are fuelled by an environmentally friendly, electrically charged battery.

They are greener than traditional cars, produce no exhaust and feed off the electric grid.

Currently, there are four types of EVs available, from hybrid vehicles to full electric solutions:

1. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) – this model runs exclusively on electric energy and does not produce any exhaust. In recent years, more car companies like Toyota, Nissan, Ford, GMC, Honda and more have started to roll out these vehicles as they’re becoming more popular on the market.

The vehicle charges with specialized charging stations that can be in your home, in your community, at a gas station, or business. They offer the most savings on fuel as they are totally electric and cost less to recharge than to get a new tank of gas.

2. Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) – these vehicles are similar to BEV types in that you use energy to charge them, except that they come with an onboard generator that uses gas to power the car’s battery and increases range. PHEVs offer the second-best savings, only after BEVs, with the user still needing to pay for gas.

3. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) – these vehicles are the traditional hybrid vehicles you’ve heard about in recent years. They use onboard batteries to power the car up to a certain speed, with a combustion engine kicking in past a certain level of acceleration.

They do provide a level of cost savings and lower the car’s gas usage at lower speeds, but still, require to be gassed up when the tank gets low.

4. Fuel-cell Electric Vehicle (FEV) – these vehicles are powered by an onboard fuel cell that produces energy from compressed hydrogen and oxygen. FEVs are generally new to the market and are still finding their footing in the green vehicle market.

More work is still being done on these models, but they are a form of vehicle that many in the auto and green industry on keeping their eye on.

Charging at home

EVs in Canada

Believe it or not, Canada currently ranks as one of the top nations that account for 95% of EV sales despite their fairly recent adaption by the Canadian market. In fact, the Canadian market has seen EV sales increase by 66% every year for the past five years, as shown by this graphic from fleetcarma.com.

Thanks in no small part to rising fuel prices, the shift towards greener solutions and the innovation in electric car technology, the growth has only continued in Canada. In September of 2018 alone, the Canadian market saw a 158% increase in plug-in EVs sold compared to the same time in the previous year.

Unfortunately, we’re still behind other countries of the world such as Norway, France, the U.K., United States, and China in terms of electric car sales overall. This is for a variety of reasons, with the top being the lack of EV infrastructure available and the limited range (or distance able to travel) that some EVs have.

Both of these issues can be solved with the same solution – investment in EV charging stations by businesses and communities. So, where to begin? The first step is learning about what EV charging stations are available.

Charging at a condo

What are EV Charging Stations?

EV charging stations (or EV Chargers) are the equivalent to gas stations for traditional gas and diesel-fueled cars, but instead of petroleum, they charge your vehicle from the power grid. This takes the driver completely off the use of gas and instead charges you for the kW power you’ve used to charge your vehicle, just like a traditional gas pump.

These chargers come in three tiers with different power outputs, charge times and price ranges. The power output is directly correlated to the charge time, and price ranges tend to vary from location to location depending on the tier you use.

Types of EV Chargers

If you’re interested in purchasing an electric vehicle, you’ll want to know how you keep it charged for everyday use. Currently, there are three types of charging stations available, from chargers for your home to communal and commercial chargers.

Tier 1 – this charger plugs into your EV to a wall socket that you would find anywhere in your home or garage. This is the slowest charger type that there is, with an average wait time of 8 to 15 hours to fully charge your vehicle.

Tier 2 – this type of charger is one you’ll often find at communal charging stations or installed at homes that want faster charging times. They can be found across Canada in many major cities and can work with nearly any EV In North America. On average, it will take 3 to 8 hours to fully recharge your car’s battery.

Tier 3 – if you’re used to your regular gas-and-go vehicle, this charger will be a welcome change to your traditional gas pump. This is the highest-level charger available and can charge an EV fully within 20 minutes to an hour. The only drawback is that different car makes require different connectors, so it is important to know which one is appropriate for your vehicle.

Charging at a commercial location

What Charger Should I Have for My Home, and Business?

For homeowners of EVs, we recommend that they consider installing a level 2 charger into their home or garage. These chargers are ideal as their charging times fit well into regular schedules, able to fully charge your vehicle overnight, and they provide the cheapest form of energy as it pulls right from the grid.

Depending on where you live, there are also rebates and incentives you can claim on your taxes, which can be offered by the province or non-profit organizations with an energy conservation mandate.

For business owners, the level 2 charger is also the best choice as it provides a good rate of charging (3 to 8 hours) which allows potential customers to visit your location and spend time while they wait.

It also shows a commitment to a green, more breathable future while attracting a new clientele that you may not have originally been able to reach. On top of this, tax benefits can be available depending on the area that you are in.


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