Know About Charging Standards: With so many electric vehicles flooding the market and consumers flocking to buy them, it’s important to make sure you know everything about your EV—down to how it’s charged. If you have one of these new vehicles, take the time to learn about the three charging standards (SAE J1772, CHAdeMO, and CCS) before you get behind the wheel and hope for the best.
Voltage-(Know About Charging Standards):
The voltage of a charging station will either be AC or DC. The benefit of a Level 2 (240-volt) or DC charger is that it allows for faster charging; however, not all cars can accept these high-voltage sources and must instead be plugged into a Level 1 (120-volt) charging station. If you are unsure about which type of outlet to use, check your car’s user manual or ask a service adviser at your local dealership. Don’t take chances with improperly wired outlets—always have them inspected by professionals.
The amperage of an EV charger is what determines how fast it will recharge your car. If you have a 30-amp charger, it’s going to refill your batteries faster than a 20-amp one. You can look up your car’s specs and see what kinds of amps it supports—most EVs include these on their product page or in their manual, and if not, you can contact your car’s manufacturer for more information. However, keep in mind that many public charging stations are equipped with standard outlet—if you plug into one of these outlets with an incompatible amperage (like if you have a 12-amp charger when there’s only a 15-amp outlet available), your charging station may not work properly.
The watt is a unit of measurement for electrical power. For EV charging purposes, it’s most commonly used to indicate how much energy a charger can provide. Level 1 chargers have limited amperage and can typically only provide 3 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 2 chargers can provide between 25 and 50 miles per hour, depending on your car’s onboard charger. Generally speaking, if you want to charge faster, you’ll need to pay more for a level 2 charger—but also know that higher speeds will require more electricity (and therefore cost you more money).
Clothes Dryer = Analogy (Know About Charging Standards)
In order to understand EV charging standards, it helps to know a little bit about how clothes dryers work. Unlike an all-electric dryer which only needs 120 volts and will power on at any socket, a traditional gas-powered dryer needs 220 volts. This is because modern electrical systems are designed so that voltage decreases (drops) as you move further away from your source of electricity. Standard electricians have known for years that 220V at 6A (6 amps) is what’s needed for most of your major appliances like laundry machines and irons to run smoothly. That’s why it might seem strange that EV chargers come in several different voltages including: 16, 24, 32, and even 48V.
J1772 vs Tesla/CHAdeMO:
What is it and how does it affect EV owners? The electric vehicle charging standards comparison isn’t as straightforward as miles per gallon or number of gears. Thankfully, there are only two major EV charging standards: J1772 (used by GM, Nissan, Tesla, and others) and CHAdeMO (used by Mitsubishi, Nissan Leaf Ev Plus, Kia Soul EV and others). Despite some relatively minor differences between these two units of measure—and an estimated 54% of vehicles on U.S. roads expected to be EVs in 2025—it seems neither will become obsolete any time soon.