EVSE: The Race to Produce the Best

When the original brave pioneers purchased their electric cars, there were no charging stations, smart phone location apps or much of anything else. The only way to charge was the inevitable extension cord and house plug. Buyers needed to make sure they could find a charge on the way to work or grocery store. Longer trips and vacations were out of the question. Electric cars could accept any type of charge, not anymore.

Now that electric vehicles are entering mainstream car sales, new technology is exploding. Now there are charging stations everywhere and support products increase daily. New standards are being developed as more and more sophistication comes to electric vehicles.

EVSE stands for electric vehicle supply equipment. A standard for equipment charging in the industry. It keeps your charger and car safe when connected to an outlet. The standard is called EV charging stations, electric recharging points or charging points.

  • It establishes a two-way communication between the charger and vehicle. At the time of connection, the maximum current the charger can provide and the maximum current the vehicle can accept.
  • A lock-out is part of the protocol. Current will not run through an empty cable until the charger has made a secure connection to the vehicle.
  • The protocol detects hardware faults when connecting. This prevents damage to the charger, vehicle and battery.

The rise in demand for residential charging stations continues to rise, along with the technology. More than 80% of electric vehicle charging is done at home. There are several distinct advantages to charging your EV at home in the garage. 1) Low, stable electric rates. 2) The costs to run an EV over a years’ time, can be less than running an air conditioner.

There are two levels of an EV charging stations. If you are considering buying an electric vehicle, it is best to know what the added costs will be to run the car efficiently. When the car is in your garage and the charging station is hanging on the wall, the amount of money saved will be enormous.

  • Level 1 charging stations refer to the type of charge going through the unit. Level 1 requires a dedicated circuit running a 120 V charge. This is a standard household outlet.
  • Level 2 charging stations uses a 240V or 208V electrical outlet. This type of charging station can charge an EV overnight. Level 2 is also the most common installation for home and lite commercial.
  • Level 3 charging equipment is a newer technology that can charge an EV in 30 minutes. A Level 3 charging station is CHAdeMO compatible, which means a new type of fast charging and is referred to as DC Fast Charging. Level 3 requires 480V direct current plug.

There is an all-out electric vehicle race with every automobile manufacturer on the planet getting involved. As more and more vehicles are produced the price will continue to drop. Everyone is scrambling to offer the next great product. New standards and technologies are constantly being developed. The race is on.