With the imminent rollout/adoption of PEVs there is a clear and present need for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), most commonly referred to as charging stations. Charging stations are the point of power for electric vehicles, ranging in style and charging levels and subject to standards and codes. It is important to note that while EVSE are normally referred to as charging stations, they are not battery chargers. The main purpose of a charging station is to establish communication with the vehicle and to transfer power to the PEV while providing proper grounding, shock protection, overload protection and general safety.
There are several levels of charging, offering a range in charge time and infrastructure simplicity:
||Voltage & Current
||Charging Time (Average)*
|AC Level 1
||120 VAC, 16 amps
||8-10 hours for a full charge
||Standard three-prong household outlet
|AC Level 2
||208 to 240 VAC, up to 80 amps
||2-3 hours for a full charge
||Will use only the SAE J1772 specified plug
|AC Level 3**
||More than 240 VAC, under development
||<30 minutes for a full charge
|DC Fast Charge
||Approximately 480 VDC, 100 amps
||30 minutes for an 80% charge
||Under Development; Proposal to use Japanese CHAdeMO standard
*Estimated charge times are based on a vehicle utilizing 40 miles of electric-only driving between charges.
**AC Level 3 charging is still under development, all information listed is based on current estimations.
Because Level 1 charging does not require the installation of specific charging equipment, it is widely regarded as the simplest and most easily accessible charging method for drivers. However, due to its lengthy charge time, most charging stations are expected to be Level 2.
Level 2 charging will be seen in both commercial and residential locations, with most residential Level 2 charging stations operating at a lower level of power. The initial cost for commercial equipment is estimated to be between $1,500 to $5,000 depending on manufacturer, model and features. Installation cost will vary based on several factors such as available power, pavement cutting and distance. Residential Level 2 charging stations will cost between $300 to $3,500 depending on manufacturer, model and features as well as intended location (garage, carport, driveway or dedicated parking spot). Location will impact pricing as outdoor units will need to be more rugged and weatherized.
Typical Installation Costs for Level 2 Charging Stations:
- PUBLIC STATION
$4,000 to $10,000
- RESIDENTIAL STATION
Can range from under $100 for new construction to $2,000 for older homes that may require extensive electrical upgrades and wiring.
Because of their high-speed charging capabilities, both DC Fast Chargers and AC Level 3 charging stations will primarily be commercial-grade charging, with potential applications at highway rest stops, fueling stations, fleet bases and car dealers.