Despite most electric vehicles (EVs) being charged at home or at work, there is a need for public charging stations. These will be particularly important in the future when all EVs are equipped with autonomous driving features and can therefore be parked anywhere without any risk of leaving their owner stranded.
What Are EV Charging Stations?
An EV charging station also called an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), is a device that supplies an electric current to charge an EV’s battery. It does so by using the electric grid or renewable energy sources like solar panels.
The main difference between public EV charging stations and other electric vehicle charging plugs, such as those for plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) or residential charging stations, is that the former can provide power to many vehicles at once. Public chargers also use a different connection type than home chargers.
Finally, another difference is that public EV charging stations are typically located in areas with high demand such as supermarkets, shopping malls, and downtown areas.
More than a decade ago, electric cars were introduced and it is until recently they started gaining traction.
Types of Commercial EV Charging Points
Charging stations come in various shapes and forms. Some of the most common ones are listed below:
1) Direct Current (DC) Fast Chargers for Commercial Use
There are several types of DC fast chargers that can be used to charge a battery from 0% to 80% within 30 minutes, depending on how powerful it is. While the most common charging equipment for homes and workplaces is level 2 chargers with up to 7.4 kW of power, fast chargers can deliver power levels of 50 kW or more.
The first generation of DC fast chargers was introduced in 2008 and had an AC connector that came with the SAE J1772 model.
2) Slow Level 2 Commercial Chargers
The slowest type of commercial charging equipment is the level 2 charger, which provides up to 7.4 kW of power. It can charge an EV’s battery to 80% in about 4-5 hours. They are also the most common type of public charging stations for EVs today because they are affordable and easy to use.
3) Fast Level 2 Commercial Chargers
This type of charger uses a J1772 connector and provides up to 19.2 kW of power, which can charge an EV’s battery to 80% in under 3 hours.
4) Tesla Superchargers
These chargers are only compatible with the Model S and Model X electric cars produced by Tesla Motors. They can provide power levels of up to 120 kW.
5) European Type 2 Chargers (Mennekes connector)
This type of onboard equipment is often found in the US, but it is also used on electric buses and trucks across Europe. It can deliver power levels of 11-43 kW.
Benefits of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Public EV charging stations are not just beneficial for people who don’t have access to charging points at home, but also for the grid. DG Microgrid is an example of how smart technologies can convert electricity from several sources into a more stable and reliability of power supply.
Some EVs are designed to communicate with their owners providing them with information on station availability. They can also help drivers find out about available stations and book spaces in advance.
Public charging stations may also be used as a method of reducing traffic. By installing electric vehicle charging points for public use, city planners can encourage residents to charge their vehicles during the night and avoid taking them out during rush hours by providing EV owners free or discounted parking.
Best Public Charging Stations in the US
There are many public EV charging stations for public use in the US. The charging infrastructure is gradually expanding. The quickest ones can provide up to 20 miles of range per minute of charge. Let us take a look at some of the best options to consider:
The Juice Net network, which currently has over 16,000 chargers available, is an example of how network coordination can help users find the fastest and closest charger to them.
The Juice Net application is compatible with all EV makes and models, which makes it a versatile option. In addition to this, the Juice Net app provides users with information on station availability and prices.
The cost of charging depends on the provider but typically starts from around $0.30-$0.40 per kWh. It’s also possible to pay for a full year or a monthly subscription.
This is another EV charging station in America and is considered among the best. This charging station is located in many states like California, Texas, Chicago, New York, and Maryland.
The charging stations are also two types like the level-2 chargers for home use and level 3 chargers which can charge your car within minutes. This company has installed these fast chargers at several locations across America.
There are also universal access ports that can charge your car for an unlimited charging session.
Northeast Electric Vehicle Network
The Northeast EV network is another example of an effort to create public charging points for electric vehicles throughout the northeast US. The project was financed by six states and Connecticut’s energy agency. Currently, the network has over 3,000 chargers available.
Polaris Infrastructure Inc is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network. The company is also responsible for the deployment and maintenance of the EV infrastructure that is part of the network.
Network members can use a common mobile app to find open charging stations outside their home state. This helps reduce range anxiety by enabling EV owners to plan trips more effectively.
Charging Stations Network (CSN)
Charging Stations Network (CSN) is another example of a publicly available charging network. It has over 11,000 public chargers in the US and Canada and provides users with access to its charging stations using one account.
CSN also provides users with the ability to find the closest station, book a space in advance, and pay online.
Users can also install a mobile application for iPhone or Android devices that enables them to pay directly from their bank accounts. In addition to CSN, there are other networks such as Greenlots and EVgo which provide similar services.
Another business that allows EV drivers to find and use public charging points at their locations is ChargePoint America. This company runs the world’s largest EV charging network and currently has over 28,300 charging points across the US.
ChargePoint America is part of ChargePoint which operates in 37 states and provides users with access to more than 61,500 public chargers. Users can find available stations through a mobile app or on its website.
Most public EV charging stations allow users to charge their vehicles for free as part of a public-private partnership. The majority of EV charging stations are located in the US, with the number of publicly available chargers growing significantly over the past few years.
The best way to find a suitable charger is to use map data 2022 that lists all available options. Many networks also provide users with mobile apps that show the closest stations. Public charging stations are also located at car dealerships which can be found on an online search.