VirtualSpirit’s Perspective: A Guide to Charging Electric Vehicles
Published at July 21, 2023

If you're considering buying a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) for the first time, one crucial aspect to understand is how you charge these electric cars. 

One survey from Statista showed that around 62% of the participants in Malaysia expressed their partial agreement with the notion that electric vehicles represent the future of the automotive industry.

The idea of charging an electric vehicle might seem new, especially if you are used to traditional gas-powered cars and frequent visits to the gas station. 

However, charging electric cars is not as complicated as it may appear, and once you get the hang of it, you'll find it just as convenient, if not more, than refuelling at a gas station.

How to Charge Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles Charging

Image by Freepik

One of the key aspects of owning an electric vehicle is understanding the various types of charging options available.

1. Charging at Home

Imagine having your personal gas pipeline directly connected to your home, allowing you to drive within a 150-200 mile radius without ever needing to stop at a gas station. 

Charging an electric car at home is convenient, provided you have off-street parking.

  • To charge at home, install a dedicated home charger for optimal results.
  • It is typically providing between 10 and 30 miles of range per hour.
  • It comes with built-in safety features and can offer additional smart features if Wi-Fi is enabled, such as energy monitoring and over-the-air software updates.
  • Most home chargers have an attached cable for easy plug-in to your vehicle.
  • Some chargers have a universal 'Type 2' socket, accommodating a separate cable that connects to your car similarly.
  • If you need a spare or didn't receive one from the manufacturer, you can purchase separate cables when ordering your home charger.
  • While it is possible to use a standard 3-pin plug for charging, it is not recommended for regular use due to longer charging times and lack of safety features.

2. Public Charging Station

An increasing number of businesses, companies, and government institutions are providing exclusive access to car charging stations. This allows you to conveniently charge your electric vehicle at your workplace, various government and private establishments, or while you shop.

  • You can charge your car at various public locations, such as supermarkets, or town-centre car parks.
  • Frequent top-ups are recommended, so you don't run low on battery or have to wait for a full recharge from empty.
  • Destination charging stations typically offer 7kW charging, providing 20-30 miles of range per hour for full-battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
  • Many businesses offer free charging as an incentive for customers to visit their premises.
  • Bring your own charging cable to these charging stations, and in some cases, you may need to download a smartphone app to start the charging process.
  • Some older charge points require an access "RFID" card, but this method is being phased out as it doesn't offer ad hoc access for drivers.

3. Fast Charging

Fast charging is a convenient solution for electric vehicles, but it comes with certain considerations. Here's a brief overview followed by key points:

  • One of the challenges with electric vehicles is their slower charging compared to gas-powered cars.
  • Fast-charging options like CHAdeMO, CCS, and Tesla Superchargers allow charging in an hour or less.
  • Japanese BEV models like the Nissan Leaf typically use CHAdeMO, while European and US models like the Chevy Volt use CCS.
  • Teslas can charge at Tesla Superchargers and CHAdeMO chargers with the appropriate adapters.
  • CCS can offer faster charging times, reaching up to 300kW, while a new CHAdeMO 2.0 system with competitive speeds might soon be available in the US.
  • Presently, there are more CHAdeMO fast chargers on the US road network than CCS.
  • Fast-charging networks for extended road trips involve driving 2-3 hours, taking breaks to recharge while stretching your legs and eating.

4. Charging Networks

Charging networks operate similarly to gas stations, with various businesses providing charging services. Instead of paying at a booth, you use different means of payment.

  • Many networks offer paid memberships to access charging points, with some also providing pay-as-you-go options at higher rates.
  • Some networks are purely pay-as-you-go, requiring a phone app for charging organisations.
  • The density of charging networks varies across states and cities in the US, necessitating membership in multiple networks for seamless interstate journeys.
  • Understanding the array of membership and payment schemes may initially be confusing, but once familiar with your territory, charging becomes more straightforward.

5. Charging Apps

Charging apps are a valuable tool for electric vehicle owners, streamlining the charging process and providing real-time information. Here's how charging apps enhance the charging experience:

  • Charging apps allow users to easily locate nearby charging stations, ensuring hassle-free access to charging points.
  • The apps offer real-time updates on charging station availability, helping users plan their charging sessions efficiently.
  • Some charging apps enable users to start or stop charging sessions remotely, adding convenience and control to the process.
  • Many apps facilitate seamless payment for charging services, eliminating the need for physical transactions.
  • Charging apps often provide a history of past charging sessions, allowing users to track their usage and expenses.
  • Some apps offer access to multiple charging networks, simplifying charging options for users on the go.

How VirtualSpirit Empowers Electric Mobility

VirtualSpirit is a leading web and mobile app agency in Malaysia. Our experts have developed the Jomcharge app, dedicated to promoting greater adoption of Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). 

Jomcharge's mission is to provide a fast and convenient charging network, supporting the current fleet of electric vehicles and preparing for the expected surge in EV models from various car companies in the coming years.

Do you wanna join sustainable transportation? Let VirtualSpirit's expertise and innovation drive you towards a more eco-friendly technology with app development. Discuss your project here!

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