When gasoline-powered vehicles were first introduced to the market, fuel filling stations were an essential part of the transition. Now, with the number of electric cars manufactured and sold every month, it is safe to say that the era of electric-powered vehicles is here.
Because this transition is at its infant stage, most electric vehicles (EVs) charge using a home charging station. But what happens when you are on the road, and your charge runs out or is about to? This is where EV charging stations come in handy.
An EV charging station provides machines that accept plug-in electric vehicles and provide electric power used to recharge them. The significant difference between electric charging stations and gas stations is the difference in service time and “fuel” options.
Depending on the type of electric vehicle that you are using, you may already have a converter in your car, which you can plug directly into any electrical outlet, or you may need a station with a high-capacity socket for charging.
What are the usual locations of EV charging points?
Stations with outlets explicitly made for charging electric vehicles tend to charge your electric vehicle faster. Each EV charging station has charge outlets with specific charging voltages. The most common voltage is the direct current rapid charging. It contains chargers with Alternating Current, Combined Charging System, and the Charge de Move. EV stations are typically found on the street like gas stations. They are also located near restaurants, shopping malls, parking places, and the owner’s residence.
Home EV Stations
Home electric vehicle charging outlets are the regular home charging sockets using connecting cables like the standard NEMA charger. It takes overnight to charge the car fully, and it has no faster charging. To enable faster charging, users have to install circuits specifically designed for charging electric vehicles. Most electric vehicles come with equipment for that.
Parked EV Stations
Parked EV stations are charging stations that can be found near restaurants or other commercial ventures. For instance, if you went into a restaurant to eat, and it has an EV station outside, you can plug in your vehicle while you eat.
These stations are installed by the electric vehicle manufacturers partnering with various ventures, making the charging free. Commercial ventures sometimes install these electric charging stations on their properties and charge a small fee for charging. Charging at these stations is faster than home charging, but sometimes not as quick as Public EV stations.
Public EV Stations
Public EV stations are found on the freeway and are for long-distance drives. They can offer more than 40kW and can charge almost 100km worth of range within 10 to 30 minutes. They favour faster charging for people in a hurry. If you are on the road, this is usually the EV charging station that most users look for when they are out of charge.
Locating EV stations near you
There are several ways to locate electric vehicle charging stations. There are apps designed specifically for this task, and EV charging points have recently been incorporated into Google Maps. Locating EV stations also depends on the country and city you are in.
For instance, finding an electric vehicle charging station is not too difficult if you are in Japan. Same with all other developed countries that have begun to embrace the transition into electric vehicles. Like Japan, China, and South Korea, most countries in Asia already have a well-established EV charging station system. Countries like Norway, France, the United Kingdom, etc., also have ample EV charging stations.
Google Maps now shows the charging points nearest to you. If you are in the United Kingdom or the United States, Google Maps will show you if the nearest EV charging station is currently in use. There are EV charging stations from SemaConnect, ChargeMaster, etc. With Google Maps, you can view the station’s charge range, if there is a fee, and what other drivers had to say about that particular unit.
There are other third-party apps designed to locate EV charging stations nearest to you in the absence of Google Maps. These apps include Plug Share and Open Charge Maps.
- Plug Share: The app works anywhere globally and shows you the EV charging station nearest to you. It also comes with a user-friendly interface.
- Open Charge Map: You can use this app with Plug Share when determining the nearest EV charging stations and their specifications. You can also determine the most used routes utilizing the app. The app comes with friendly designs, and it is fun to use.
The major issue with transitioning into the EV era is finding charging stations when you need them, but they are available if you know where to look.