Joining the community of electric vehicle (EV) owners is a drastic change for many, especially after years — if not decades — of driving a gasoline or hybrid car. Making the switch to an electric car also means forgoing any knowledge about horsepower, gears, and petrol or diesel consumption.
Instead, that knowledge should be swapped out with kilowatts, range, charge-hours, and kilowatt-hours, all of which are important factors when it comes to determining how long it would take to charge your EV at a charging station.
Typically, charging an EV could take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 10 hours. The charging duration for electric cars isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario, rather it depends on various factors such as the battery type and size, charging time between mileage, kilowatts of the charging station, and more.
As a new EV owner, you must have tons of questions about your new car and how to ensure you get the most out of it. Read on to get answers to some of your burning questions!
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of charging an electric car, EV owners must first know the proper steps of charging their vehicles.
- Step 1: Park and power off
Similar to fueling up gasoline cars, EV owners must park, turn off their vehicles, and open the charging port before moving to the next step.
- Step 2: Ensure charging is active
Before hooking your EV up to the charging station, you must first make sure that it’s functioning well.
- Step 3: Connect your EV to the charging station
Once you’re sure it’s powered on and actively running, you can proceed to charge your vehicle by connecting it to the charging station. This is done by connecting the tethered charging station’s cable to your car or by plugging in a compatible cable — CCS or CHAdeMo, depending on your car type.
- Step 4: Start charging
Most charging stations often begin the process automatically. But, there are also charging stations that prompt you to begin the process via an app, an RFID card, or by simply pushing start on the charging station’s screen.
- Step 5: Unplug and go
Once your EV has reached 80%, you can unplug the cable, close the charging port, and head to your next destination. (The last 20% takes longer to charge and it doesn’t make financial sense to slow charge it in a public charger)
The amperage level of a charging station is what determines the speed of the electricity from the power source into your EV. Most charging stations display their power ratings on either an app or the working screen of the charging station.
Different charging stations have different charging capacities with various levels that operate at different voltage outputs; Level 1 at 120-volt, Level 2 at 240-volt, and Level 3 at 480-volt. Most EVs can handle up to 32-amp current, so all levels of charging should be sufficient for your EV.
3. What’s the Common Amp Level of Charging Stations in Malaysia?
Most public charging stations that offer free EV charging use low wattage, ranging from 3.7 kWh to 11 kWh, to reduce electricity usage. This means that the duration of charging an EV depends on how big its battery capacity is.
Yes, it does. Bigger batteries take more time as they have a larger capacity, which is often referred to as kilowatts (kW). Whereas, smaller batteries have a lower charging capacity.
Knowing your battery’s kW is an important factor in determining its charging duration. To get a rough estimation of how long it would take to charge your EV, just divide the kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery output by the kW charging capacity and add 10% to account for losses during the charging process.
For a better illustration, let’s take the Tesla Model 3 as an example. This particular EV runs on an 82 kWh battery and uses a 12 kW charger. The formula would look like this:
82 kWh / 12 kW + 10% = 6.8 hours + 0.68 hours = 7.48 hours
This means that it would take approximately 7 and a half or 8 hours to fully charge this EV model. Simply put, the time your EV takes to charge highly depends on the type and size of its battery.
Do take note that for AC charging, the charging speed is dependant on the on board charger in the car. Typically 3.6kWh for PHEV and averagely 11kWh for most EVs
5. What Type of Cable Should Be Used?
Fortunately in Malaysia, there are only three types of cables EV owners need to familiarize themselves with. The first cable is Type 1 which is commonly used for Japanese and Asian EVs like the Nissan leaf. Next, we have Type 2 which is designed for high-capacity EVs and is the most common alternating current (AC) plug type in Malaysia. Last but not least, CCS2 is another common connector for EVs in Malaysia and can be used for both AC charging and direct current (DC) charging.
The biggest difference between AC and DC charging is where the power gets converted. Electric cars are built with onboard chargers which act as converters. The onboard charger converts AC to DC, which is then sent to the car’s battery. DC chargers, on the other hand, possess converters inside the charger itself. This means that it supplies power directly to the car battery, without going through a converter. In essence, DC chargers charge EVs at a faster rate and more efficiently with less power loss in the process.
7. Where are EV Charging Stations Located?
For new EV owners, or even existing ones, it can be a hassle to search for EV charging stations. Luckily, advancements in technology have made it easier than ever. EV owners can head on over to plugshare.com, to search for charging stations and plug points nearby. This particular site relies on crowdsourced, location-based data to identify charging stations within close proximity to where you are.
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