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Why an EV Charger Is So Much Better than Wall Outlet Charging?


As little as ten years ago, if you were to ask the average consumer whether or not they were willing to purchase an electric car or plug-in hybrid, the overwhelming majority would have said no. Today, the number of electric vehicles on the road has continued to grow rapidly thanks to a number of tax incentives and rebates, improved technology (particularly when it comes to range), and a wider variety of styles and features available for a lower cost. A lot of people would love to be able to dump the pump and switch to standardized electrical charging, but charging isn’t always as easy as plugging your car into the wall.

The Burden of Wall Charging: Inversion

Of course, you can plug your car into the wall. This is by design: EV makers don’t want to leave their buyers stranded because they can’t find a charging station, and a station isn’t always convenient. However, wall charging is far from the best way to charge your vehicle. The reason for this is because the electricity that comes from your wall is alternating current, whereas the power in your vehicle’s batteries is direct current. In order to flip the power over to direct current, your vehicle must run it through a device called an inverter.

Inverters come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, however, each inverter is bound by one main measurement: current capacity. The bigger the inverter, the more current it can convert at once, and thus the faster it can charge your vehicle’s batteries. However, large inverters are extraordinarily expensive and incredibly heavy, making them highly impractical to build into an electric vehicle (particularly when so much of an EV’s cost and weight is already taken up by the immense battery pack that powers it). Of course, EVs do have an onboard inverter, but they are typically small and only capable of outputting a limited amount of power. As a result, plugging your car directly into the wall can take a long time to charge. As in 18 hours or more from empty.

EV Charging Stations & External Inversion

While your car may not have infinite space and weight carrying capacity for a high-power inverter, your home should have a much greater amount of available space. Weight and size are a much, much smaller consideration when you remove the inverter from the vehicle, and thus it’s possible to create charging conditions that are far more favorable to EV batteries. This is what EV charging stations do feed pre-inverted DC current at higher power rates directly into your car to charge batteries. By inverting the power outside of a vehicle, you can create a higher-current electrical charge that fills your batteries far faster. Ever wonder how some manufacturers can offer “superchargers” that bring your car from empty up to full in around an hour? This is how.

EV charging stations also offer you another opportunity: to limit the risk to your home by limiting the amount of current used to charge your vehicle. Most EV charging stations rely on a 240-volt AC electrical connection in order to supply your car with power. By doubling the voltage going to the charger, you cut the amount of required current in half, and this significantly improves the safety of in-home charging. Increased current means more energy loss in the form of heat, and too much heat can cause problems for your electrical system. Thus, EV charging stations are far less likely to cause a power surge, far less likely to trip or damage circuit breakers, and so much more.

Professional EV Charging Installation

Installing an EV charger is a pretty big job that requires the skill of a professional, but this investment could be well worth it. Many name-brand EV charging stations are designed with complex software that works directly with your car to maintain and monitor the battery in your electric car. Batteries do not last forever, and lithium-based batteries that are used for electric vehicles are no exception. However, with proper charging and careful monitoring, you can not only keep an eye on the amount of charge your vehicle has, but extend the lifespan of your battery as well. And when you charge at home, you don’t have to worry about finding a charging station when you’re out and about, or worry about paying the extra costs associated with using a public power station (something that can add up over time).

Interested in installing an electric vehicle charging station in Albany? Call Mel Carr Electric at (518) 500-3042 and find out more about how we can help you make the most of your electric vehicle.
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