Electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) become a necessity when you purchase an electric vehicle. There are several charging station manufacturers, many of whom produce level 2 and DC fast charging (DCFC) products and services, as well as supplying charging infrastructure.
At a Glance:
1️⃣ Level 2 charging stations are the only viable home-use EV charging solutions that provide sufficient charge rates to make them viable.
2️⃣ Many states and the federal government offer rebates to install level 2 systems at home.
3️⃣ There are approximately 100,000 level 2 charging stations in America.
4️⃣ There are approximately 28,000 DCFC charging stations in America.
Knowing who manufactures EV charging stations may help you understand how to use them more effectively. So let’s get into it!
Home EV Charger Solutions
Two levels of home chargers can be used (Levels 1 and 2). Level 1 chargers are not powerful enough and are not a realistic electric vehicle charging solution. So let’s discuss level 2 chargers.
If you’re considering installing an electric vehicle charging station at home, it’s important to know who makes these stations. The options that are available for home charging stations are detailed below.
The Make Of Charger
Our three highest-rated level 2 EV chargers are listed below.
How The Charger Is Connected
Most level 2 chargers can be connected via a portable plug or fixed-line installation.
|No professional installation is required (with sufficient rating)||Benefit 1||Benefit 2|
|Plug-in Level 2 Chargers||More portable||No professional installation required (with sufficient rating)|
|Fixed-line or Hardwired Installations||Greater stability, fewer tripping events||Reduced chance of being disturbed|
Where The Charger Is Installed
Most level 2 chargers can be installed inside and outside because they are generally fully weatherproof.
If it is charged outside, ensure the following:
- The casing is fully weatherproof.
- It has a lockable cover to prevent unauthorized use.
- A professional electrician installs the charger.
The Incentives That Are Available
There are 153 incentives available from the Federal government and selected states. Check the incentives that are available in your state.
The US Department of Energy provides a searchable website where details of all available incentives can be found.
Commercial/Public EV Charging Stations
The other main option available to charge your EV is commercial/ public electric vehicle charging stations.
Public charging stations may provide a combination of level 2 and DCFC stations (Direct Current Fast Charging)
The following article, DCFC stations and how they work, describes them in greater detail.
There is still much work that is needed to make more EV charging stations more accessible.
The Public Charging Options Available To EV Owners In America
Just over 128,000 charging ports are located in 65,000 public charging stations across the country.
Although this represents 76% of the number of gas stations, many of these are only level 2 systems. The time to charge a car on a level 2 system can be several hours compared to the short time it takes to fill up a gas car.
The US Department of Energy provides the following map of charging stations across America.
Of the available charging ports, 100,000 (78%) are level 2, and only +-28,000 (22%) are DCFC facilities. As you can see, the majority are level 2 devices that are not capable of fast charging.
There is a bipartisan agreement in Congress to install over 500,000 charging points by 2030. Mckinsey believes that the actual requirement is 1.2 million charging points in the same period.
The Public Charging Options That Are On Offer
The good news is that there are 52,889 FREE chargers across the country. The majority are in California (15,182.)
The rest are commercial operations that are designed to run at a profit for their investors.
The three largest commercial DCFC charging operations and manufacturers in the USA are Tesla (owned by Tesla), Blink (owned by Amazon), and Electrify America (Owned by Volkswagen.)
Interestingly, one of the largest EV hardware and software manufacturers, Electrify America, was formed due to the Volkswagens’ “Dieselgate” scandal. Part of the settlement required the formation of Electrify America. Siemens has recently made an investment in the company.
Below is a summary of Tesla, Blink charging, Electrify America, and Level 2 home-based chargers against traditional gas stations.
|Tesla||Blink||Electrify America||Level 2 home charging||Gas Stations|
|Number of sites||1,400||1,606||791 (90 being added)||n/a||168,000|
|Cost per kW (guests)||TBA||TBA||$0.48||n/a||n/a|
|Cost per kW (Members)||$0.40 to $0.50||$0.49 to $0.69||$0.36||$0.117||n/a|
|Price per gallon (gas)||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||3.534|
|Cost per mile (members)||$0.113||$0.147||$0.09||$0.029||$0.126|
|Cost to travel 100 miles||$11.30||$14.75||$9.00||$2.93||$12.60|
The Following Assumptions Have Been Made
- The average cost of a gallon of petrol in America has been used and may vary from state to state.
- The average cost of gas ($3.534) is the value as of March 2023. It is a volatile number, and in June 2022, it was $5.107 per gallon.
- The EV consumption has been averaged at 4 miles per kWh (this will vary by EV)
- Where a minimum and maximum range of costs has been listed, the average has been used to calculate the cost per mile.
The charging networks that are available to EV operators are listed below.
|Number of charging stations||Cost per kW for members||Location of chargers|
|Tesla||1,400||$0.40 to $0.50||Map|
|Electrify America (including Siemens investment)||791 (90 being added)||$0.36||Map|
|Blink||1,606||$0.49 – $0.69||Map|
|EVgo||850||$0.22 – $0.34||Map|
*Most ChargePoint stations are level 2 devices.
The main issue with the installation of DCFC services is in the rural community where charging traffic is less frequent, and therefore it is harder for investors to make money.
The federal government has rolled out a wide range of incentives to increase the number of rural charging stations.
Learning about charging stations is an essential part of owning an EV. Here’s a recap of the key points we covered
1️⃣ Level 2 charging systems are the optimal solution for private homes.
2️⃣ Many state and federal rebates are available for private installations of level 2 chargers.
3️⃣ There are almost 130,000 publicly available charging stations in America.
4️⃣ There are over 8,500 free charging stations in the country.
One often overlooked topic is the security features of EV charging cables which may differ depending on the manufacturer of the charging station.