Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity, and sales are projected to continue rising, with an estimate of around 10 million purchases by 2025. The innovative technology that goes into the design of these cars makes them an attractive prospect, so it’s no wonder people are showing interest. However, before using an EV, it’s crucial to know how to charge the car.
Blink home chargers and public charging stations are among the most convenient methods of keeping your EV charged. Blink even offers a user-friendly Blink Charging Mobile App that gives you access to the Blink Network. We consider the different types of charging systems and how Blink incorporates these systems and it is something you should know!
Types of Charging Systems
There are a wide variety of options you can use when charging your EV. Blink offers powerful charging solutions for your home or workplace, but what are all of the options available? Let’s first consider the differences in charging in electrical currents.
AC Charging, or Alternating Current, generally refers to the electrical current you use when charging at your home or AC public charging stations. This method uses a wall box you can install in your homes like the Blink HQ 200 or a public charging station like the Blink IQ 200. The onboard inverter in your EV then changes the electricity coming from the charger from AC to DC, which can be stored in your battery. Level 1 or Level 2 chargers use AC electricity to charge your vehicle slower than DC fast chargers, but for a reduced cost for power and generate a reduced load on the electrical grid.
Level 1 chargers use a 15A circuit and a standard 120V wall socket to charge to add an estimated 2-5 miles of range to your vehicle per hour. Level 2 chargers use up to a 100A circuit and a single phase 240V of power to offer charging speeds of up to 19.2 kW, adding an estimated 40-65 miles of range to your vehicle per hour. Level 1 cords are sometimes included with your vehicle, but upgrading to a Level 2 charger should be the priority.
Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) is just as the name says, FAST! This technology is becoming more and more widely available to the public. This method bypasses the onboard inverter in your vehicle, leading to higher currents and faster charging times. These stations offer speeds ranging from 30kW to ultra-fast stations offering up to 360 kW. On average, you can charge your electric vehicle from 20% to 80% charge within 40 minutes. Blink offers multiple DC Fast Chargers to fit any location’s needs.
Several charging stations are found in public parking lots near shopping centers, government buildings, or street-side retail centers. These stations often have a CHAdeMO (Charge de Move) or CCS (Combined Charging System) plug used to charge most vehicles. The different plugs aren’t interchangeable, so using the Blink Charging Mobile App is always a good idea to check whether the charging station has a plug compatible with your EV.
While these charging systems are still in development and not mainstream, they are being explored further. The basis of the Wireless Charge system is a charging pad plugged into an AC wall box that uses electromagnetic waves to charge your car. However, the current is still low, with capabilities recorded of up to 11 kW.
Regenerative Braking isn’t an official way to charge your EV entirely, but it’s worth better understanding. Many EVs now utilize regenerative braking, which is when the EV converts energy from braking into electricity to charge the battery as you’re driving. Different levels of regenerative braking determine how much power is converted and how high the electric current that travels to your battery. This can add a few miles of range to your vehicle on your regular commute depending on the distance and driving habits, but free power and more range is always welcome!
Blink Charging offers EV drivers and location owners a variety of charging solutions. A vast list of products on offer ensures there are solutions for both home and public charging, and multiple options specific to the application and business case. The products are designed to work with all EVs, whether you drive a Hyundai Ioniq 5, a Chevy Bolt EUV, or a Tesla (requires a Tesla adapter).
Blink has created the Blink Network, a market-leading technology that adds incredible value to a location host’s EV charging stations. The Blink Network adds the capability for a host to manage their charger remotely, set customizable pricing options, and view detailed reports for all their chargers in one place.
Blink aims to make EV charging more accessible globally, developing charging infrastructure and advanced equipment that can be readily added to any location. Below, we look at different ways to charge your electric vehicle.
As stated before, home charging takes longer, as it transfers electricity at a slower rate. Level 1 charging is commonly known as “Trickle Charging”. It is a slow-charge method that will not fill your car but will add a few miles while you are visiting a friend or without access to a faster charger. While it usually doesn’t require any additional equipment, as the cable with a standard 120V plug comes with your EV, it can cause problems with your electricity bill and outlets, so it’s not always recommended.
Using a dedicated residential EV charger is the best at-home charging method, as it can minimize costs and is many times faster than Level 1 charging. Products like the Blink HQ 200 ensure you can fully charge your car in an estimated six hours, whereas a Level 1 charger could take you 30 or more hours.
While charging your EV at home is incredibly convenient and cost-effective, Level 2 and DCFC stations are available in public locations you already visit. Charge your car on a public Level 2 charging station while grocery shopping or while exploring the mall.
If charging at home isn’t an option, save time and money by using Level 2 charging stations in locations you already frequent, leaving the faster (and more expensive) DCFC for times when you need to get back on the road quickly.
It is essential to use DC Fast Charging stations when making long road trips. Who wants to sit and wait 6 hours to charge on a restaurant bench? That is why legislation is incentivizing more locations near highways and high-trafficked roadways to add DCFCs and make long-range EV road trips more convenient.
Don’t leave home without the Blink Charging Mobile App! Quickly search for chargers in your area, whether a charging station is compatible with your EV, how long it’ll take to charge your car, and whether it’s currently available for use.
Drive Your EV Without Worries
Electric vehicles represent the future of the automotive industry, providing ground-breaking technology and more cost-effective solutions across the board. EV adoption rates are skyrocketing, so it’s vital to understand how you can charge your EV. Like a gas car running on gas, having access to a charging station is required, but imagine rarely having to go to a place only to fuel your vehicle.
These charging stations can be located in your home or in public, with Blink supplying both types. Blink offers home chargers that make it easy and convenient to charge overnight, or when your car would normally be parked at home. Blink also offers DC fast charging stations across the country, reducing any anxiety or hesitancy you may have to go electric