How Can We Help? Frequently Asked EV Charging Questions.
Here is a list of some common FAQs about electric vehicle charging. Feel free to give our team a call with any questions. We are friendly and would love to chat.
What is an EV? How is it different from the standard car?Electric vehicles (EVs) are cars that use an electric motor to power them, in comparison with an internal combustion engine (ICE) that powers a gas car. EVs use electricity as a fuel source instead of gasoline.
What are the benefits of going electric?EVs offer several key benefits over gas-powered cars. With much lower fuel and maintenance costs, EVs can be 3-5 times cheaper than gas-powered cars. They are convenient; after making the switch, you’ll never need to go to the gas station or get an oil change again. Home charging offers convenience, and the driving range of many new models is more than enough to accommodate the average driver’s commute. EVs are environmentally friendly. They have no tailpipe emissions, and electric driving is less carbon intensive than driving a gas-powered car. Last, EVs are fun to drive! Get behind the wheel of one and you’ll see what we mean. Read more about electric vehicle benefits.
How do I know if driving an EV is right for me?There are many advantages to going electric, but individual factors determine whether driving electric is the right choice for you. You’ll need to think about your daily commute, how and where you would charge your car, and what your household’s driving behavior looks like. Most drivers will find that there are ample EV models that meet all of their needs.
Are there incentives for getting an EV?The federal government offers a tax incentive for purchasing an electric car. If you purchase a new electric vehicle, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The benefit only applies to manufacturers who have sold 200,000 or fewer electric vehicles, so you’ll need to ensure the car you would like to purchase qualifies. Utilities around the country are also supporting the transition to EVs. If you get your electricity from Dominion Energy, you may be eligible for a $125 rebate for customers who purchase a qualified Level 2 charging station for your home. By agreeing to participate in Dominion Energy’s demand response (DR) program, which helps you charge at times that are best for the electric grid, you also receive a $40 annual benefit. Read more about Virginia EV incentives.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING
How does EV charging work?You know how a gas-powered vehicle works, but how does an EV work and charge? Fully electric vehicles lack a standard internal combustion (ICE) engine. Instead, they use a large battery pack to supply power to an electric motor, which drives the car’s wheels. When you supply AC power to your car at your home or on the go, the power flows to your car’s on-board charger. The onboard charger converts the AC power to DC power, which fills the large battery that powers the electric motor. When you supply DC power to your car at a fast charging station, the fast charger powers your car’s battery directly, bypassing the onboard charger completely and allowing for a faster charge.
Where do I charge my EV?When you drive a gas car, your only option is to stop at gas stations to refill. But with driving an EV, you have options for how you charge. You can charge at home, on the go, or maybe even at your workplace. More than 80% of EV charging happens at home. Charging at home provides major benefits in terms of convenience, cost, and choice. Even if most of your charging happens at home, chances are you’ll need to charge while on the go from time to time. You can refill at public charging stations that provide Level 2 or DC fast charging solutions. Your workplace may also have charging solutions available for its employees.
Will my car work with any charging station?Any car will work with any Level 1 or Level 2 charging station using the J-plug, a standard adapter. Teslas require an adapter for accommodating this connection, but all cars are sold with the needed adapter. For DC Fast Charging, things get a little bit more complicated. The Combined Charging System (CCS) connector is the most common and is becoming the clear standard. All major manufacturers except Mitsubishi and Tesla have agreed to use the CCS connector, and as a result, the CCS connector is available at most public fast-charging stations (many have both CCS and CHAdeMO options). Mitsubishi continues to use the CHAdeMO connector in its new cars and there are many used electric cars that leverage the CHAdeMO connector type, as the full transition to CCS is still underway and some manufacturers historically used CHAdeMO. Last, if you have a Tesla, your standard connector allows you to charge at Tesla Supercharger sites. Many Tesla drivers use adapters to work with the other DC Fast Charging connector types.
How long will it take to charge my car?There are three types of EV charging: Levels 1, 2, and 3. Each level offers a different range of charging speeds – the higher the level, the faster the charge. The actual time to charge varies on multiple factors, but here’s are some ballpark estimates to get you started: Level 1 Charging – Charge your car with a 120V circuit using a standard outlet, either at home or on the go. Your car comes ready to accommodate Level 1 charging at home. This type of charging adds 2-5 miles per hour and takes about 9-48 hours for a full charge Level 2 Charging – Charge your car with a 240V circuit, either at home or on the go. More than likely, you will require additional equipment and installation service to make your home ready for Level 2 charging. This type of charging adds 10-20 miles per hour and takes about 4-12 hours for a full charge. DC Fast Charging – When you are on the road, stop by a fast-charging station for a quick charge. With fast charging, you can add 60 miles per 20 minutes or charge your car fully in 30-60 minutes.
When should I charge?When considering when to charge, it is most important to ensure you have ample charge to get you where you need to go. However, many drivers find this requirement to be relatively easy to accommodate given the range of today’s EV models and the advancement of charging solutions. Beyond that, Dominion Energy Solutions recommends that you charge at times that are convenient for you and the electric grid. For most drivers, this means charging overnight or in the middle of the day.
EV CHARGER INSTALLATION
Level 1 or Level 2 – Which EV charger do I need at home?If you have a short commute or don’t put a lot of miles on your car, Level 1 charging may meet all your needs. You can always locate public Level 2 charging stations when you do need a faster charge. However, many drivers find that installing a faster charging station at home provides them with more convenience and peace of mind. Level 2 charging stations can charge your car fully overnight, as they provide more power for a quicker charge. Charging speed is the major advantage of Level 2 charging over Level 1. Unlike Level 1 charging, Level 2 charging typically requires a simple home installation. You’ll need to work with a qualified electrician to install a dedicated 240V circuit in your garage and then you may need to purchase an at-home charging station. Dominion Energy Solutions can walk you through every step in this process.
How is a Level 2 charger installed at home?Level 2 charging makes it easy to get a quick, convenient, and low-cost charge at home. The basic setup you’ll need is a dedicated 240V circuit to charge your vehicle. You may simply use the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) that comes with your car or you may opt for a home charging station. In either case, you’ll need to hire an electrician to install the dedicated circuit in your home – this is where Dominion Energy Solutions can help! Read more about how Level 2 EV charging works.
Are all home charging stations the same?There are many different Level 2 charging stations available on the market today. Models vary in terms of speed, cost, smart charging, installation type (plug-in vs. hardwired), and safety certifications. Your specific preferences will determine which charging station is right for your home. Speak with Dominion Energy Solutions’ EV team today to learn which is right for you
Find Out if EV Charging Is Right For You
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