EV User Guide: How do Electric Car Charging Stations Work?

Created on
September 11, 2022

How to use EV charging stations? How to charge an EV? Find out how electric vehicle charging stations work here.

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • Key Points
  • • Electric vehicle charging stations transfer power to your vehicle when you connect it to the station using a cord and a plug.
  • • To use an EV charging station, you need to find a suitable station, park your vehicle in the spot, connect the plug to your vehicle’s charging port, and start charging the car using an app on your phone, a QR code on the station, or by following other instructions on the station and completing payment.
  • • There are three types of EV chargers: level 1, which are slow chargers mostly found in the United States, level 2, which are commonly found in Europe, and level 3 (DC fast chargers), which are mostly Tesla Superchargers.
  • • There are also four types of EV plugs, so when you go searching for a charging station, it’s crucial to find one that matches your vehicle or bring a connector that enables you to charge your car at that station. 

You’ve probably heard more and more about electric vehicles in recent years, as they’ve become one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly purchases. Many people have developed an interest in them as a result of rising fuel prices and various government incentives for those who no longer want to use conventional cars. Of course, it can be challenging for beginners to comprehend how the system works: in the past, you only needed to find the nearest gas station, and it only took three minutes to fill your tank. But what about now?

Charging an EV can seem like a daunting task: when it comes to choosing a charging station, knowing when to recharge your car, and understanding how this seemingly simple process can power a two-ton vehicle. All of these questions will be addressed in the following sections, so stick with us and read on.

What is an EV Charger?

A charging station is a setup that provides electricity for charging electric vehicles, including trucks and motorcycles. The process is straightforward: the charger draws electrical current from the grid and delivers it to the car’s battery.

Types of EV Charging Stations

There are several types of EV charging stations. Some require no special tools to function and can simply be plugged into a wall outlet, while others need to be put in by a professional installer. Here are the three most common types of EV charging stations:

Level 1

These EV chargers are most commonly found in the United States since they work with 120 V outlets. These charging stations are commonly found in homes, and they are the easiest to use. Plus, they don’t need any additional hardware, so all you have to do is plug in your car to start charging it. These chargers can add up to 5 miles per hour of charging, which is ideal for people who drive to work within a single city. If you simply leave your car to charge overnight, it will be ready for your commute to work in the morning! These chargers are also the least expensive option.

Level 2

These chargers can add up to 20 miles per hour to your battery charge, but you will need some additional tools to use them. First and foremost, these chargers must be managed with outlets of higher capacities, such as 208 V (commercial) or 240 V (residential), which is why Level 2 EV chargers are usually used in Europe. The chargers can be connected to a solar panel and should always be installed by an electrician.

Level 3 (DC Fast Chargers)

DC fast chargers will increase your vehicle’s range by up to 80 miles in just 20 minutes. These stations require high 480 V inputs as well as some advanced technology in both the vehicle and the equipment. As a result, these are less common and usually are only used in industrial or commercial settings. You can purchase a specialised adapter to use at Level 3 chargers if your car is not compatible with them.

How Do EV Batteries Work?

Your car operates by using its fuel cells to drive a motor, which then spins the wheels after it has been charged. And once charged, the range of your EV is determined by its features. While having a larger battery increases power, it also adds weight, which strains the engine. The engine, therefore, requires more power. While having a smaller battery makes the vehicle lighter, the shorter range and slow recharge make it unsuitable for long trips.

How to Operate Public EV Charging Stations

Here’s the step-by-step process of using a public EV charging station:

Download an App

The first thing we advise you to do is download an app that will make using charging stations easier for you or enable you to operate a charging station in the first place. One of those applications is Bonnet, which will save you both time and money. There are numerous charging networks out there, but each one requires you to register and create a separate payment account. But Bonnet is connected to over 17 of Europe’s top EV charging systems, making it simple to pay at chargers belonging to all of them with a single app and bank account. Simply download the app, use it to find the closest charging station, and then pay for your charging in one click!

Start Charging Your EV

Once you locate a charging station, you need to park your car and take the following steps:

  1. Find and activate a charging port. 
  2. Dispatch the charger from the holster. 
  3. Plug it into your car to start charging it.  

Pay for the Charging

You can pay for the use of charging stations in a variety of ways. Some of them accept payment with credit cards, while others might need a special access device, and some are even free. You shouldn’t be too confused, though, because each charging station usually has instructions posted on it. The majority of charging stations base their prices on the number of kilowatt-hours used, though some also take into account the total amount of time you spend charging your car. In general, installing your own charging station at home will be much more affordable for you, as you will not need to spend your money every time you charge your car.

Keep in mind that charging stations will usually have a display that shows how much energy was transferred to your car and how much money the current charging session will cost you. There will also be a special hotline number that you can call if you have any questions about the charging procedure or issues.

Use a Charger Adaptor

The majority of electric vehicles have the common J1772 plug, but Teslas are not included in this group. So you’ll need an adaptor if you own a Tesla or wish to utilise a Tesla charging station. This is just like it works with smartphones; if you want to use a USB-C cable on a device that features a USB-A port, you won’t be able to use it until you purchase an adapter. But don’t worry, you can simply buy adaptors for EVs online or in specialised stores for a reasonable price; just be sure of the type you need.

Connector Types for Your Electric Car

As we’ve already discussed, in order to successfully charge your car, you need to understand what type of connector your car has to ensure that the charging station you choose can accommodate your vehicle’s outlet. There are only 4 of them: 2 AC (alternating current) charging units for up to 43 kW and 2 DC (direct current) charging units for quick charges up to 350 kW.

AC Plugs

Type 1

This is the most common type, also known as J1772 or J-plug. It is a single-phase plug that can charge your automobile with 7.4 kW of power per hour and is primarily utilised in America and Asia. The absence of a built-in automatic locking system is the only drawback of a J-plug.

Type 2

Before it became clear that using connectors with all three phases is much simpler, European cars also utilised type 1 plugs. After that, the type 2 connector was developed, enabling substantially faster charging of automobiles and delivering up to 43kW of power per hour. Because of this, type 2 (mennekes) plugs superseded J-plugs as the new European standard after their introduction in 2003. 

Today, manufacturers of electric cars simply produce identical cars and add a different type of connector depending on the market where the car will be sold. Additionally, type-2 plugs support automatic locking systems, which is another benefit.

DC Plugs

CHAdeMO

In 2010, Japanese manufacturers created CHAdeMO, which was envisioned as a new global standard. While it hasn’t gained much popularity, some cars have still made the conversion. CHAdeMO has an extremely high charging capacity of up to 100 kW per hour and features bidirectional charging. Only China and Japan still have a higher preference for this type of plug, though.

CCS 

The combined charging system, or CCS for short, is a type 2 plug solution for quick DC charging. It has two additional pins at the bottom that speed up charging, two pins for communication, and an earth conductor in the upper half that serves as a reference for the protective system. This method enables charging at up to 350 kW per hour, making CCS the most popular DC connector used in America and Europe. However, it is not compatible with CHAdeMO, thus, you must use an adapter to utilise both together.

In light of the aforementioned facts, you will likely be using mostly type 2 AC chargers. They are a widely used European standard, hence they are present in virtually all charging stations. Naturally, you should keep an eye out for suitable chargers because certain charging stations could feature a fixed cable, meaning you won’t need to use your own cable. And don’t forget to verify that the cable at a public charging station fits the socket on your car!

Final Thoughts

Investing in an EV is undoubtedly a smart choice that can also bring you lots of benefits. After tallying up all the fees and charges, there is a significant probability that it will turn out to be even less expensive than owning a regular car. Although it can be confusing to comprehend the entire process of charging your new electric car, we guarantee you that it is not as challenging as it may seem. Everything will run smoothly once you read our article and charge your car the first couple of times.

We are aware of the difficulty of using many networks to charge your EV: you have to register with each charging service, link your bank account, and make payments using third-party apps and services. This makes the usually quick and uncomplicated procedure of charging an EV time and energy-consuming. So we have the perfect answer for you: Bonnet, an app that connects more than 17 of Europe’s top EV charging stations and allows users to manage all of their charging sessions through a single account. Bonnet fits everything in one user-friendly application, eliminating the need to constantly download new apps, create accounts for each charging network, and look for a charging location in dozens of different apps. Bonnet makes EV charging easy!

FAQ

Can any electric car use any charging station?

All electric vehicles can be charged at level 1 and level 2 stations. In order to utilise the station, you must also have a plug or socket that is compatible with it.

How long do electric car batteries last?

There is no set maximum amount of time an EV battery can last. Most manufacturers guarantee that an electric car battery will last between 10 and 20 years before needing to be replaced.

Do electric cars lose charge when parked?

Yes, electric automobiles do use some battery power when they are parked, but only very little. EV experts advise charging your EV to at least 50% before putting it in long-term parking.

September 11, 2022

How to use EV charging stations? How to charge an EV? Find out how electric vehicle charging stations work here.

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • Key Points
  • • Electric vehicle charging stations transfer power to your vehicle when you connect it to the station using a cord and a plug.
  • • To use an EV charging station, you need to find a suitable station, park your vehicle in the spot, connect the plug to your vehicle’s charging port, and start charging the car using an app on your phone, a QR code on the station, or by following other instructions on the station and completing payment.
  • • There are three types of EV chargers: level 1, which are slow chargers mostly found in the United States, level 2, which are commonly found in Europe, and level 3 (DC fast chargers), which are mostly Tesla Superchargers.
  • • There are also four types of EV plugs, so when you go searching for a charging station, it’s crucial to find one that matches your vehicle or bring a connector that enables you to charge your car at that station. 

You’ve probably heard more and more about electric vehicles in recent years, as they’ve become one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly purchases. Many people have developed an interest in them as a result of rising fuel prices and various government incentives for those who no longer want to use conventional cars. Of course, it can be challenging for beginners to comprehend how the system works: in the past, you only needed to find the nearest gas station, and it only took three minutes to fill your tank. But what about now?

Charging an EV can seem like a daunting task: when it comes to choosing a charging station, knowing when to recharge your car, and understanding how this seemingly simple process can power a two-ton vehicle. All of these questions will be addressed in the following sections, so stick with us and read on.

What is an EV Charger?

A charging station is a setup that provides electricity for charging electric vehicles, including trucks and motorcycles. The process is straightforward: the charger draws electrical current from the grid and delivers it to the car’s battery.

Types of EV Charging Stations

There are several types of EV charging stations. Some require no special tools to function and can simply be plugged into a wall outlet, while others need to be put in by a professional installer. Here are the three most common types of EV charging stations:

Level 1

These EV chargers are most commonly found in the United States since they work with 120 V outlets. These charging stations are commonly found in homes, and they are the easiest to use. Plus, they don’t need any additional hardware, so all you have to do is plug in your car to start charging it. These chargers can add up to 5 miles per hour of charging, which is ideal for people who drive to work within a single city. If you simply leave your car to charge overnight, it will be ready for your commute to work in the morning! These chargers are also the least expensive option.

Level 2

These chargers can add up to 20 miles per hour to your battery charge, but you will need some additional tools to use them. First and foremost, these chargers must be managed with outlets of higher capacities, such as 208 V (commercial) or 240 V (residential), which is why Level 2 EV chargers are usually used in Europe. The chargers can be connected to a solar panel and should always be installed by an electrician.

Level 3 (DC Fast Chargers)

DC fast chargers will increase your vehicle’s range by up to 80 miles in just 20 minutes. These stations require high 480 V inputs as well as some advanced technology in both the vehicle and the equipment. As a result, these are less common and usually are only used in industrial or commercial settings. You can purchase a specialised adapter to use at Level 3 chargers if your car is not compatible with them.

How Do EV Batteries Work?

Your car operates by using its fuel cells to drive a motor, which then spins the wheels after it has been charged. And once charged, the range of your EV is determined by its features. While having a larger battery increases power, it also adds weight, which strains the engine. The engine, therefore, requires more power. While having a smaller battery makes the vehicle lighter, the shorter range and slow recharge make it unsuitable for long trips.

How to Operate Public EV Charging Stations

Here’s the step-by-step process of using a public EV charging station:

Download an App

The first thing we advise you to do is download an app that will make using charging stations easier for you or enable you to operate a charging station in the first place. One of those applications is Bonnet, which will save you both time and money. There are numerous charging networks out there, but each one requires you to register and create a separate payment account. But Bonnet is connected to over 17 of Europe’s top EV charging systems, making it simple to pay at chargers belonging to all of them with a single app and bank account. Simply download the app, use it to find the closest charging station, and then pay for your charging in one click!

Start Charging Your EV

Once you locate a charging station, you need to park your car and take the following steps:

  1. Find and activate a charging port. 
  2. Dispatch the charger from the holster. 
  3. Plug it into your car to start charging it.  

Pay for the Charging

You can pay for the use of charging stations in a variety of ways. Some of them accept payment with credit cards, while others might need a special access device, and some are even free. You shouldn’t be too confused, though, because each charging station usually has instructions posted on it. The majority of charging stations base their prices on the number of kilowatt-hours used, though some also take into account the total amount of time you spend charging your car. In general, installing your own charging station at home will be much more affordable for you, as you will not need to spend your money every time you charge your car.

Keep in mind that charging stations will usually have a display that shows how much energy was transferred to your car and how much money the current charging session will cost you. There will also be a special hotline number that you can call if you have any questions about the charging procedure or issues.

Use a Charger Adaptor

The majority of electric vehicles have the common J1772 plug, but Teslas are not included in this group. So you’ll need an adaptor if you own a Tesla or wish to utilise a Tesla charging station. This is just like it works with smartphones; if you want to use a USB-C cable on a device that features a USB-A port, you won’t be able to use it until you purchase an adapter. But don’t worry, you can simply buy adaptors for EVs online or in specialised stores for a reasonable price; just be sure of the type you need.

Connector Types for Your Electric Car

As we’ve already discussed, in order to successfully charge your car, you need to understand what type of connector your car has to ensure that the charging station you choose can accommodate your vehicle’s outlet. There are only 4 of them: 2 AC (alternating current) charging units for up to 43 kW and 2 DC (direct current) charging units for quick charges up to 350 kW.

AC Plugs

Type 1

This is the most common type, also known as J1772 or J-plug. It is a single-phase plug that can charge your automobile with 7.4 kW of power per hour and is primarily utilised in America and Asia. The absence of a built-in automatic locking system is the only drawback of a J-plug.

Type 2

Before it became clear that using connectors with all three phases is much simpler, European cars also utilised type 1 plugs. After that, the type 2 connector was developed, enabling substantially faster charging of automobiles and delivering up to 43kW of power per hour. Because of this, type 2 (mennekes) plugs superseded J-plugs as the new European standard after their introduction in 2003. 

Today, manufacturers of electric cars simply produce identical cars and add a different type of connector depending on the market where the car will be sold. Additionally, type-2 plugs support automatic locking systems, which is another benefit.

DC Plugs

CHAdeMO

In 2010, Japanese manufacturers created CHAdeMO, which was envisioned as a new global standard. While it hasn’t gained much popularity, some cars have still made the conversion. CHAdeMO has an extremely high charging capacity of up to 100 kW per hour and features bidirectional charging. Only China and Japan still have a higher preference for this type of plug, though.

CCS 

The combined charging system, or CCS for short, is a type 2 plug solution for quick DC charging. It has two additional pins at the bottom that speed up charging, two pins for communication, and an earth conductor in the upper half that serves as a reference for the protective system. This method enables charging at up to 350 kW per hour, making CCS the most popular DC connector used in America and Europe. However, it is not compatible with CHAdeMO, thus, you must use an adapter to utilise both together.

In light of the aforementioned facts, you will likely be using mostly type 2 AC chargers. They are a widely used European standard, hence they are present in virtually all charging stations. Naturally, you should keep an eye out for suitable chargers because certain charging stations could feature a fixed cable, meaning you won’t need to use your own cable. And don’t forget to verify that the cable at a public charging station fits the socket on your car!

Final Thoughts

Investing in an EV is undoubtedly a smart choice that can also bring you lots of benefits. After tallying up all the fees and charges, there is a significant probability that it will turn out to be even less expensive than owning a regular car. Although it can be confusing to comprehend the entire process of charging your new electric car, we guarantee you that it is not as challenging as it may seem. Everything will run smoothly once you read our article and charge your car the first couple of times.

We are aware of the difficulty of using many networks to charge your EV: you have to register with each charging service, link your bank account, and make payments using third-party apps and services. This makes the usually quick and uncomplicated procedure of charging an EV time and energy-consuming. So we have the perfect answer for you: Bonnet, an app that connects more than 17 of Europe’s top EV charging stations and allows users to manage all of their charging sessions through a single account. Bonnet fits everything in one user-friendly application, eliminating the need to constantly download new apps, create accounts for each charging network, and look for a charging location in dozens of different apps. Bonnet makes EV charging easy!

FAQ

Can any electric car use any charging station?

All electric vehicles can be charged at level 1 and level 2 stations. In order to utilise the station, you must also have a plug or socket that is compatible with it.

How long do electric car batteries last?

There is no set maximum amount of time an EV battery can last. Most manufacturers guarantee that an electric car battery will last between 10 and 20 years before needing to be replaced.

Do electric cars lose charge when parked?

Yes, electric automobiles do use some battery power when they are parked, but only very little. EV experts advise charging your EV to at least 50% before putting it in long-term parking.

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