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Understanding Electric Vehicle Charging

Trading a gas pump for a plug is a wonderful thing. Yet, recharging an electric vehicle is different from refueling a gas vehicle. Rather than going to a gas station when the tank is empty, EV drivers charge where they park, adding range at home, at work, in town and even out of town.

Types of Charging
Charging an EV requires plugging into a charger connected to the electric grid, also called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). There are three major categories of chargers, based on the amount of power the charger can provide:

AC Level One
Provides charging through a 120- volt AC plug and does not require installation of additional charging equipment. Every EV comes with a level-one charger, which takes approximately 24 hours to fully charge.

AC Level Two
Provides charging through a 240-volt plug and requires the installation of additional charging equipment by a qualified electrician/installer. Level-two chargers take approximately four-to-six hours to fully charge an EV.

DC Fast-Charge
Provides charging through a 480-volt AC input and requires specialized, high-powered charging equipment and special equipment in the vehicle itself. This format is used in public charging stations, especially along heavy-traffic corridors and can charge 80% of the EV battery in 20-to-30 minutes.

Charging On The Go
People primarily charge their electric vehicles at home using a level-one or level-two charger, but there are also tens of thousands of charging stations throughout the U.S.

While public charging infrastructure and battery technology is continually improving, planning is still required for long trips. Drivers can check and to find charging stations that will fit their needs.

EV Charging Costs
On a national average, it costs less than half as much to travel the same distance in an EV than it does in a conventional vehicle. Additionally, drivers can choose how they want to power their electric vehicle at home by checking with their utility company. Dakota Electric members interested in powering their EV with renewable energy, or charging at a lower rate, should call Dakota Electric’s Energy Experts® at 651-463-6243 for options. These programs cut fuel cost and offer a convenience not available to drivers of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

To learn more about EVs and charging options from Dakota Electric, visit or contact our Energy Experts at 651-463-6243.