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Understanding charging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles

Understanding charging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have gained popularity in the last decade. The good news is that opting for EVs will reduce our carbon footprint and initiate an end to the era of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Let’s understand the importance of electric vehicles in the path towards a sustainable future. 

Benefits Of Electric Vehicles

Opting for electric vehicles is a smarter choice toward a more sustainable future. Unlike gas-powered vehicles, electric engines produce top torque from a halt, gasoline engines require more buildup to reach maximum power. With reduced carbon emissions and superior performance, EV is the future of transportation. Owing to the affordable servicing rates of EVs, it is a cost-effective solution as compared to ICEs. An electric vehicle also comes with the convenience of charging it every time you park your car even though it can take some time. It’s relatively less maintenance as compared to traditional ICE vehicles. It catches up quickly when one understands the infrastructure. Let’s talk in detail about EV charging and how it works. 

What is EV charging?

With electric vehicles gaining popularity, EV charging as a concept has taken the world by storm. It’s a young technology that refers to multiple charging mechanisms coming together. The terminology is a culmination of different charging levels, cable modes, plug types (subjective to location), different flows of charge (AC or DC), a wide range of battery capacity, estimated actual range, the power output of a charging station, and different charging speeds.

Types Of EV Charging

We need to look at EV charging on multiple levels. The three levels of charging are categorized simply into Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 charging. The higher the level of charging, the higher would be your power output and faster charging. 

How long does it take to charge?

ev charging stations

The charging time for an EV highly depends on the type of battery and the power output of a charging station in sync with the charging capacity of the electric car. This is where the different levels of charging will help - 


  • Level 1 Charging - Charging your EV directly from a household socket with an AC plug with 2.3kW power. This is the slowest way of charging an EV that ensures 6-8 km of range per hour.

  • Level 2 Charging - Charging with a standard AC charging station that you can find at residential, public parking, businesses, and commercial locations. This level of charging gives out a range of  3.4 kW - 22 kW power. One hour of Level 2 charging will give 120 km/hour to an EV’s battery range. Combined with smart connectivity solutions and faster charging, Level 2 charging is the preferred choice. Many EV drivers opt for installing Level 2 charging stations at their homes. 

  • Level 3 Charging - Popularly known as DC (direct current), Level 3 charging is the method to charge an EV’s battery directly, by passing the AC/DC onboard converter. This method of charging delivers more power and is faster. This makes it a go-to option for short-stop locations like gas stations and fleet depots. Charging times can differ for specific vehicles and power outputs. Usually, Level 3 chargers can charge a vehicle in minutes in comparison to the hours required for Level 2 or days required for Level 1 charging stations.
  • Cost Of EV Charging

    The cost of charging an EV will depend highly on the region, type of vehicle, and EV charging output. The general cost estimate in the United States comes around to - 

    • Home charging: $3 - $14 
    • Public charging: $8 - $28
    • Fast charging: $14 - $47

    For larger vehicles, the cost of charging will be on the higher side. It’s mostly a matter of battery size. Let’s take the Fiat 500e for example, it has a battery capacity of 24 kWh. It costs $14 at fast charging stations to charge the Fiat. While on the other hand, a Tesla Model S, with a battery power of 75 kWh, costs $39.50 at fast charging stations. 

    Charging Capacity Of The Vehicle

    Now, this can be a bit tricky for new adopters of EVs. The power output accepted by an EV will differ from one vehicle to another. The charging capacity is calculated in kW and is shown in both AC and DC. If two vehicles with the same battery charge next to each other, they may still charge at different times depending on the power output they can accept. If one can accept 80 kW of DC power and the other 180 kW, then the latter will charge faster than the former.

    Installation of EV Charging at Home

    Installing electric vehicle at home

    As mentioned above, many EV drivers have opted to install Level 2 charging stations in their homes. This by far is the cheapest charging option available. There is no middleman to control energy prices. To charge an EV at home, one needs to install a home charging point and use an EVSE supply cable to connect. A home charger is a weatherproof device that goes up on a wall with a connected charging cable or a socket for plugging in a portable charging cable. Installing the charge point can take up to three hours. An EV will have either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector that needs to be kept in consideration while selecting the correct charge point. A fully installed home charging station can cost up to $1000, but post that initial installation, you only pay for the electricity you use to charge the vehicle. 

    What Is The Difference Between Type 1 & Type 2 EV Charging Plugs?

    A charging plug is a connector that you insert into the charging socket of an electric vehicle. Just like how the plugs of appliances differ depending on the country you're in, EV charging plugs and sockets also vary depending on the vehicle brand, charging level, and country they are manufactured. Most countries follow these standards:

    Type 1 charging plugs

    Alternately referred to as SAE J1772—are most commonly used with vehicle models found in Japan and North America. They are single-phase and can deliver a power output of up to 7.4 kW.

    Type 2 charging plugs

    Also referred to as “Mennekes” in reference to the German company that originally designed them—are the official plug standard for the European Union. These three-phase plugs have a higher power transfer capacity than Type 1 plugs, delivering up to 22 kW for private charging, and up to 43 kW for public charging.

    GB/T charging plugs

    China developed its own charging system referred to by its Guobiao national standards as GB/T. There are two variations of GB/T plugs one for AC charging and one for DC fast charging. The GB/T AC charging plug is single-phase, delivering up to 7.4 kW. While it looks the same as the Type 2 plug, don’t be fooled—its pins and receptors are reversed.

    What Type Of Charger Is Tesla?

    Tesla owns and runs the largest global, rapid charging network in the world, with more than 30,000 Superchargers. This network was formerly reserved only for Tesla owners. Still, Elon Musk recently declared that it would be made available to drivers of other makes and models of automobiles starting in 2021. The Supercharger has a unique proprietary plug that looks like a standard AC Type 2 socket but is only compatible with Tesla vehicles. Although Tesla's Supercharger network dominates the European charging market, they have begun designing their cars with CCS2 in North America. Tesla also revealed their long-awaited CCS to Tesla proprietary plug adapter, enabling Tesla drivers outside of Europe to charge at non-Tesla DC charging stations.


    To provide seamless charging operations including payment processing, software updates, scheduling, predictive maintenance, and use statistics, one requires a variety of protocols and connectivity options as well as back-end cloud infrastructure.

    Here, ConnectedYou enters the picture. You wonder how. For your installations, we provide global IoT and M2M connectivity solutions. You will need to connect the devices using IoT connectivity to connect the various parts of your EV charger or manage and locate your EV charging station data.

      We would be very keen to hear about your challenges, help you and share your pain with our ecosystem of suppliers and partners and deliver the right service to insure and offer a future-proof IoT roll-out. Reach out to us at sales@connectedyou.io.

      Frequently Asked Questions- 

      Q1. What is EV charging?

      Answer. A culmination of different charging levels, cable modes, plug types (subjective to location), different flows of charge (AC or DC), a wide range of battery capacity, estimated actual range, the power output of a charging station, and different charging speeds. 

      Q2. How much does an EV charging station cost?

      Answer. According to Future Energy's data, the average EV charging station installation cost for a level two station is around $6,000 per port. But several factors affect commercial EV charging station costs: infrastructure, equipment, soft costs, subsidies, and software.

      Q3. How many EV charging stations are in the US?

      Answer. As of September 31, 2021, there were 2,147,070 electric vehicles (BEV and PHEV) in the United States and 109,307 charger ports. (Source - EVadoption.com)

      Written by - Neha Verma & Parag Mittal

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