EV Charging (Tesla) Stations

DMV Electric Service specializes in the installation of Electrical Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations for commercial and residential properties. As the adoption of hybrid and electrical vehicles increases, so does the need to have EV Charging Stations available to tenants.

The EV (electric vehicle) movement has finally gained some real momentum in the past couple of years. The EV market in the United States broke records in 2022, estimated at just under 918,500 light electric vehicle sales. This was over two and a half times more than in 2018—the year which marked the beginning of a strong demand for Tesla’s Model 3. The sedan is one of the best-selling electric vehicles on the U.S. market.

According to the registration data from Experian (via Automotive News), the total number of EV registrations during the first three months of 2023 is 63 percent more than a year ago and about 7 percent of the total market (up from 4.6 percent in Q1 2022).

That’s a trend that is bound to pay handsome environmental dividends down the road. But it also raises the question of just how and where all these new EVs are going to recharge.

Currently, the District of Columbia is home to more than 5,000 electric vehicles, but only about 250 public chargers, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles and DDOT. 

A new bill introduced in January 2023 calls for the increase of Electric Vehicle chargers in Washington DC by 2027. The transportation planning board is hoping that 90% of vehicles will be electric by 2040 to combat climate change.

The Different Types of EV Chargers and Their Uses

Most people are not yet familiar with the charging station, what it is or how it works. And that’s understandable. But it’s in everyone’s interest that we all get to know these important infrastructure items as well as we know the common gas pump. Because the day is not far off when they will be replacing the gas pump in many areas.

The first thing to know about EV charging stations is that there are 3 different levels of charging. The differences are driven by the available electrical resources at a given location, as well as by the type of vehicles the station is intended to serve. Let’s take a quick look at the 3 levels of EV charging stations.

Level 1 Chargers

Level 1 electric vehicle chargers are often called “household” chargers since they are typically installed in the home and use a standard 120 Volt AC outlet. The great advantages of the Level 1 station are that it doesn’t require any significant changes to the wiring in your home and, of course, it’s in your home. So you can plug in when you get back from work then go inside and relax. When you come out to go to work in the morning your car will be charged and ready to go.

If there is a downside to the level 1 charging station, it’s speed. As in, they’re slow. With Level 1 charging it will take a typical EV 10 – 20 hours to fully recharge from a depleted battery. The good news, however, is that most people only drive their cars 10 or 20 miles a day. As such they’re not recharging a depleted battery. Instead, they’re topping up their battery. Which can often be done in 4 or 5 hours.

We’ve installed scores of Level 1 electric chargers in homes all across the GTA and continue to do so on nearly a daily basis. In many ways, it is these homeowners who are leading the way to the EV future by transforming the technology from something mysterious and remote to an everyday part of modern domestic life.

Level 2 Chargers

Level 2 chargers are commonly referred to as “business chargers” since they are most often installed in places such as malls, restaurants, and office buildings. The Level 2 charger uses a 240 Volt AC outlet, which means it’s considerably faster than the standard 120 Volt. Whereas a Level 1 charger might take 10 – 20 hours to fully charge a depleted battery, a Level 2 charger can charge the same battery in 3 – 8 hours.

You’ll sometimes hear Level 2 charging referred to as “opportunity charging”. It gets that name because people typically take advantage of the opportunity to recharge their EV if they find a Level 2 charging station in a mall or restaurant parking lot.

Homeowners will sometimes have Level 2 chargers installed in their homes because they’re so much faster and again, they don’t require any fancy changes to wiring in the house. Also, tax credits may be available to help cover the cost of installing such a charger in your home.

Level 3 Chargers

Level 3 charging is typically referred to as “commercial charging”. It is by far the fastest, most powerful type of EV charging there is. Level 3 charging is DC charging. It bypasses the onboard AC charging mechanisms in electric vehicles and attaches directly to the battery. As a result, an EV can receive a full charge in 30 minutes or less.

Tesla is building their own network of Level 3 charging stations across North America. But otherwise, Level 3 charging stations are still pretty rare. You’ll typically find them in airports or bus terminals where they are used to recharge electric buses and trucks.

Into the Future

The future of electric vehicles in the DMV and indeed, across all of North America is bright and DMV Electric Service is proud to support a more environmentally friendly future.