The stuff you need to know about EVs and EV charging.

Imagine a future where electric cars are simply known as… cars.

It’s a lot closer than you think. In fact, our Governor has set a goal of having 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020. And we’re not talking about the Prius or other hybrid-esque cars. We’re talking about pure, zero-emissions, all-electric vehicles. The kind of vehicles destined to make San Diego, Califorinia and the world, a better place to live. And breathe.

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Charging While At Home

Most of you will primarily be charging your electric vehicle at home. Here are a couple things you will need to know. For starters, there are two types of chargers, a standard 120-volt and a 240-volt (like your clothes dryer). The 240-volt charger will need to be professionally installed.  The key difference here is really about speed. 240-volts will charge your vehicle significantly faster.

The second thing to be very aware of is charging time. Simply put, charge at night and early in the morning and you will save money on your electric bill. Midnight to 5am is the sweet spot – that’s when homes are using virtually no electricity. In San Diego you can get a special EV time-of-use rate and either opt to charge your car on the same meter as your home or to actually install a separate meter that will track your specific EV usage.

What’s an EV? What isn’t?

An EV, or electric-vehicle, has zero emissions. It is powered by an electric motor. And that’s it. An EV is not a Toyota Prius. That’s a hybrid which combines the efforts of an electric motor and a gas powered engine – which has emissions. An EV is not an “electric vehicle with extended range,” like a Chevrolet Volt. These vehicles also have an engine to support their cause. They too have emissions. At EVer Forward, we’re concerned with vehicles that solely rely on electricity. These are… the vehicles of change.

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Charging While At Work.

Workplace charging is not only convenient, it has the potential to fill a significant gap in the electric vehicle infrastructure. And this is exactly where business need to start stepping it up. In San Diego alone, there is an average increase of 1,000 new EVs on the road every month. Being able to charge at work will actually make that number go up. Not to mention, at-work charging stations will help attract and retain employees, demonstrate support for a cleaner San Diego and increase fuel cost savings by upgrading to an electric fleet of vehicles.

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Charging While On The Go.

It’s great to take advantage of public charging stations. These are the chargers you see in the Whole Foods parking lot, for example. And of course, you can always just plug your car into a standard 120-volt electric outlet.

Here’s a simple breakdown of how much charge you can expect from charging on the go.

  • 120-volt outlets provide approximately 5 miles travel per hour of charging – ideal for charging at work or at home during nighttime.
  • 240-volt public charging stations provide approximately 10-20 miles per hour of charging. Right now there are 1,092 of these stations at 392 locations across the San Diego region.
  • 480-volt DC fast-charging stations 40-50 miles per 15 minutes of charging. Note: not all cars are compatible and these stations are few and far between (so far). There are currently 75 of these stations at 40 locations across the San Diego region.

Charger Locations: There are several online tools, such as PlugShare, to help you find faster 240-volt public charging stations. Also, many EVs these days have built-in apps to help you find charging on the go.