Electric Vehicle Charging Guide

You would like know how to charge an electric car? Charging an EV is easy! You can charge your car at home, at a public charging station or at work. Here is what you need to know before driving to a public charging station:

  • The difference between the level 1, level 2 and level 3 charging station
  • The type of connectors compatible with your EV
  • The charging networks available in the United States and in Canada

With this electric car charging guide, you will learn everything you need to know about charging.

This guide discusses 3 key places where you can charge an electric vehicle:

Before we get into those concepts, it's good to know the various terms used for charging stations. They usually all refer to the same thing.

  • Charging station
  • Charging outlet
  • Charging plug
  • Charge port
  • Charger
  • EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment)

Home charging

Charging levels

There are two types of charging at home: level 1 charging and level 2 charging.

  • Level 1 charging happens when one charges the electric vehicle (EV) using the charger included with the car. These charger can be plugged with one end into any standard 120V outlet, with the other end plugging directly into the car.
  • Level 2 chargers are sold separately from the car (although often purchased at the same time). Those chargers need a bit more of a setup, as they are plugged into a 240V outlet, which often requires the work of an electrician.

For any electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, the use of a level 2 home charging station is recommended to benefit from all the pros of driving electric.

Connector types

The pros of home charging

A fully charged battery in a few hours

With a level 2 charger, it takes around four hours to fully charge a 30 kWh battery car (standard battery for full electric cars), which allows you to make the most out of driving your EV, especially when you have a limited time to charge.

Starting your day on a full charge

In most cases, fully charging your car at home will be enough to meet the needs of your daily commute, and then some.

Cheaper charging costs

Another advantage of home charging is the low cost of electricity compared to public charging.

Making the most of government programs

Some governments have incentives in place to make level 2 home charger purchase and installation more accessible.

In the USA, we recommend you to check your government’s website to discover the available subsidies.

In Canada, the following provinces have incentives:

  • Quebec: $350 off the retail price and $250 off the installation costs.
  • Ontario: 50% off of retail price (up to $500), as well as 50% off of installation costs (up to $500) for a cumulative maximum of $1000.