Electric Vehicles promise a future of clean-energy driving. They’re a great investment if you want to cut down your personal carbon emissions but still need a car to get around.
EVs are also becoming increasingly affordable. It’s not just Tesla bringing EVs to market anymore. Today, some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world are making competitive and affordable EVs, bringing them within reach of even more drivers.
That said, people still have a lot of questions before they commit to driving an EV. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about owning an EV.
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Will Charging Your EV Be a Problem?
One of the biggest obstacles to greater uptake, though, is challenges around charging. Unlike gas-powered vehicles, you can’t just fill up your EV at the gas station and drive away in a couple of minutes. Potential buyers often ask: how long does it take to charge an electric car?
That depends on the charger level of your power source.
Level 1 charging is the standard 120-volt household outlet. It’s known as a “trickle charge” for EVs because it adds power to an EV very slowly. Level 1 charging can work for hybrids, but for a fully-electric vehicle, it can take more than a day to fully charge a battery.
Level 2 charging is by far the preferable level for EV drivers. Level 2 means the outlet is 240 volts, and it provides a much faster charge for EVs. Level 2 charging can work well for overnight charging at home.
A common claim from EV manufacturers is that you can get an 80% charge in 30 minutes. This comes from Level 3 DC fast charging, which can be found at public charging stations.
How Common Are Public Charging Stations?
Most EV drivers will want to make sure they can charge their EV at home, but EV charging stations are becoming increasingly common in North America.
In Canada, B.C. and Quebec have made the most rapid progress in adding charging infrastructure. As of 2022, the country as a whole has 16,000 chargers at over 6,000 charging stations, but that number continues to grow.
This expansion of charging infrastructure is not limited to residential areas alone; commercial electric charging stations are also widely distributed in urban centers, business districts, and along major transportation routes, ensuring convenient access for EV owners across a diverse range of settings.
They are equipped with various charging levels, making longer journeys more feasible.
The increasing availability of commercial electric charging stations represents a significant step towards eliminating range anxiety and making electric vehicles a practical and viable choice for daily commuting and long-distance travel.
How Far Will a Full Charge Take You?
This depends entirely on the capacity of the EV’s battery. Battery capacity has ballooned in recent years thanks to concerns just like these, as manufacturers strive to give drivers more freedom to go wherever they need in their EV.
That said, some models have prioritized efficiency over capacity, which increases charging speed but requires more frequent charging. Battery capacity is typically expressed in kWh (kilowatt-hours).
Now, how far will this get you? Range anxiety is one of the most important factors preventing more buyers from getting into EVs. On average, a full charge can take your vehicle anywhere from 200 to 400 kilometers.
The average distance a gas-powered vehicle can go on one tank is about 400 to 500 kilometers, so they can generally go further, but most commuters drive 60 kilometers or less in a day.
In other words, gas-powered vehicles still beat out EVs for distance, but that won’t be a problem for most everyday commutes.