As the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf electric vehicles approach, more and more people are thinking about electric vehicle recharging. They are hearing about the different voltage levels that will be used to recharge electric cars, how long it will take for the recharging to take place, where the recharging can be done, how the recharging of thousands of electric cars will effect the electric grid and on and on and on.
First, don't fret if you are considering the purchase of an electric car and have no idea how to recharge it. There will be sites for public charging springing up soon and you will be able to do it now using the electric plug that probably already exists in your garage.
There will be three levels of charging -- Level one is the typical 120-volt home wiring system you already have now. All you will need to do is simply plug the electric vehicle into a wall socket that can accommodate a three prong plug. Level two, which is a 240 volts system, needs to be professionally installed in your home. Moreover, local authorities will want to test the system for safety purposes. This system will commonly be placed on the wall of a garage or carport. Some auto companies that will be offering electric cars like General Motors have joined into partnerships with local utilities to create a program to distribute and install these systems. Level three is a high voltage system. These systems will be used in public areas like gas stations, rest stops, shopping malls and parking garages. These systems have a voltage level rating of 50 to 500 volts of DC current.
Level one recharging will take about 8 to 12 hours. So you should be able to recharge your electric vehicle 100 percent at home by simply plugging it in to the socket when you return home after work and leave at a reasonable time the next morning. Level two will take about 4 to 6 hours to recharge the car. Level three is the quickest way to charge your car. In this case, it will take 15 to 30 minutes to get an 80 percent charge.
Analysts say that the level one charging may be suitable for people who will use their electric vehicle to travel just a few miles because of the longer charge time. People who will drive their vehicle more often -- perhaps a range of say 100 miles -- could probably get by with the level two devices.