Saturday, February 19, 2011
Getting Real about EV Charge Times
There's a lot of talk about electric vehicle charging times but it might not be as rosy as you'd think. First of all, I did an Internet search for EV charging stations near my home and found about three - but they were all the old paddle type chargers from the Nissan Altra or GM EV1 days. Had I been counting on those chargers being there, I would have been stranded.
Thankfully cars like the Nissan Leaf come with a home charger - all you need to do is plug it into a household style three pronged outlet and charging begins. But this can take up to 20 hours for a full charge - plug the car in every night and you probably won't ever need a full charge. Buy the optional ($2000) 240v charger and a full charge takes about 7 hours.
The bottom line - no matter which EV you get, you'll need the optional quick charger. The upcoming Ford Focus promises a charge time of half that of the Nissan Leaf but let's face it, at this point the Leaf is the only real 100% electric vehicle that's suitable for the masses.
The standard 120v power cable can work in emergencies but it's just not practical for anyone who plans to put a lot of miles on thier electric car.