Sunday, November 5, 2017

Common Electric Vehicle Charging Options, Networks, and Brands. (North America)

"When it comes to refueling a car, drivers of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles have it easy. They roll up to any one of about 100,000-plus gas stations in the U.S., pump in liquid fuel in a matter of minutes, and pay either in cash or with a credit card. Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated with public charging for electric vehicles—although remember that almost all EV charging takes place at home, which usually requires about 30 seconds to plug in each night." - Quoted from "The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks" - linked at the bottom of this story.

"Sun country highway is the fastest level 2, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network in the world today."

When it comes to Electric Vehicles, not many people know about the many different 'Brands' of Charging Networks, and - since unlike with Fuels, Not all Networks simply have a posted 'Meter' that shows how much you are being billed while you charge, and you often can't bill directly to a Credit Card, without some intermediary card, or 'Membership Card' to use their Branded Network, I thought I should add my preliminary take on this matter.

Charging At Home - the First Stop. 

In North America, the Standard Connection on Electric Vehicles, is a Receptacle that uses a standard called the "J1772", and that is the connection used for plugging into the car, whether the feed is 120V or 220-240V. Tesla, has designed a Plug that can handle from 110V to 240V to their own DC Fast Charging System - the 'Supercharger', but their cars all come with an adapter to use the J1772 Standard Plug, that is found on all Public, and Commercial Level 2 Charging Stations - or "EVSE's" (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). J1772 Electrical. J1772, on a Mitsubishi iMiEV. Links all open in a New Tab.

At Home, Just about EVERY Garage today - would have a NEMA 5-15 Duplex Receptacle (See the Link for detail picture), but becoming more common, with plans for Electric Vehicles, are Receptacles commonly used for Dryers (NEMA 14-30), and for Stoves (NEMA 14-50). Commonly, the NEMA 14-50 is used for a Simple House wiring solution, to later add a J1772 Charging Station, or EVSE, and a Meter to, Like this:
Image Source: Wind-Works.Org.


After having your EV for a While, you will likely want to go further, and that is where PUBLIC CHARGING NETWORKS and Commercial EVSE's fit into the Picture. Today, there are a Number of American, and Canadian Commercial EVSE's that use these Networks :
  • PlugShare - is the Biggest - Non Branded, Non-Network Mapping Source, but not the only one!
  • ChargePoint - says they "operate the world’s largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network." - Their Map.
  • Green Lots - Who says "Greenlots Mobile offers the latest features for EV drivers." - Map Via App Only, it seems. Greenlots is not formally a network, but rather a provider of open standards-based technology solutions for various stations and other networks.
  • SunCountryHighway - Which says - "Sun country highway is the fastest level 2, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network in the world today." - Their Map.
  • CAA - Canadian Automobile Association. "CAA supports all moves to make vehicles more fuel efficient, including the development of EVs". Their Map.
  • Flo - That claims to have "Canada’s most reliable and complete EV charging ecosystem." - Their Map.
  • Aerovironment - Lead the development of the "The West Coast Electric Highway" WCEH - Route Map.
  • Blink Network - says "Blink Charging is the leading owner, operator, and provider of EV charging stations and services in the United States.". Their Map.
  • The Electric Circuit - "is the largest public charging network in Qu├ębec." Their Map(But they have Station in Western Canada, shown on their Map, too!)
  • EVGO - They Say - "We’ve put steel in the ground and established more public DC fast charging infrastructure than any other provider." Their Map.
  • SemaConnect  - "Our ChargePro charging station is often regarded as the smallest and sleekest station on the market." Their Map
  • Shorepower Connect Shorepower Technologies manufactures, sells and operates equipment for truck stop electricity services, as well as electric vehicle charging equipment. Most of the truck stop sites have standard charging outlets (e.g., NEMA 5-20, NEMA 14-30 and NEMA TT-30), accessible to EV drivers with the appropriated adapter cords. Their Map.
  • Tesla Destination Charging - "Pull Up, Plug In and Relax: Convenient charging at hotels, restaurants and shopping centers. Just pull up, plug in to a Tesla Wall Connector and enjoy your stay." While Many have heard of the 'Superchargers' for Tesla's, they often miss hearing about this aspect they are also expanding! Their Map.

Specifically Only DC Fast Charging Networks:

Tesla Superchargers - "The World’s Fastest Charging Station" "Stations have multiple Superchargers to get you back on the road quickly and are located near restaurants, shopping centers, and WiFi hotspots." 

"The World’s Fastest Charging Station"

In fall 2012, Tesla Motors, the makers of the Model S sedan, rolled out its first so-called “Superchargers,” in order to make road trips available for free to owners of its sporty luxury sedan. By July 2014, there were about 104 available Superchargers. Today (November 5th, 2017) there are "1,032 Supercharger Stations with 7,320 Superchargers." (As Stated by Tesla.) They are in the process of expansion to a Goal of 10,000 Charging Stalls, in the near Future, and as many as 15,000, at some point by next Year.

Other Networks.

Other Networks with Fast Charging are being considered, Planned, and will potentially begin to roll Out over the next 12-24 Months, as they begin to up their game. 

The General Management of non Tesla Brand Charging Stations varies in Quality, and Consistency, giving the Edge to Tesla Drivers, who can Use ALL the Tesla Stations - Destination and Superchargers, AS Well As Public J1772 Stations! Plus, - if you are a Tesla owner, you have an option to buy an CHAdeMO Adapter that can Connect to the CHAdeMO Brand, or Specification, of DC Fast Chargers. (See that Link for a "Tesla CHAdeMO User Guide!)

The Other Brand - or Specification, of DC Fast Chargers - is Called the Combi-Charging System, or CCS for short. This Graphic Lists the Potential Brands and their Applicable Charging Connector Type for DC Fast Charging, in North America. At Present, though, in North America, Most are 50 kW CHAdeMO or CCS Systems. This CCS page also shows that there are not 1, not 2, but Three (3!) Variants of the CCS design! 

The CHAdeMO Designed DC Fast Charging System, as designed initially in Japan, has a Lot of Range of Plug Functionality, including Fluid Transfer for Cooling! Their Website - - Lists their progress on Standards Development, and number of units currently installed. "CHAdeMO protocol has been around for over 7 years, it is a trusted and proven protocol, widely appreciated by EV drivers around the world."
As reported by them today (November 5th, 2017) There are 16,609 Global CHAdeMO Installation: 5,016 in Europe, 2,260 in USA; 2,018 in Asia, and 182 Other Country Installations.

More Details ... (But might need updating for today's date) can be found about these networks, of course on their sites as linked above, and in this story: "The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks" By Brad Berman · November 25, 2014

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