Charging Station Options

Plugging in

EV drivers have various options available to plug in and charge their batteries. EV charging stations are affordable and convenient. For the majority of users, all of their charging needs can be fulfilled at home. Residential charging stations can be purchased from local retailers and installed by qualified electricians in garages or outdoors.

Public charging stations are available across New York State to recharge EVs while drivers are at work, shopping, or at other destinations. Commercial charging stations are generally more robust and expedite vehicle charging when time is limited.

Understand your charging options

Charging stations are classified by their approximate charge rates and the form of power delivered (alternating current or direct current). Charging times for each specific vehicle vary depending on power electronics, state of charge, battery capacity, and level of charging station used. This page describes charging station options. As of 2015, the cost estimates are for hardware only, not including installation.

AC Level 1 Charging is limited to 120 volts of alternating current (VAC) and uses a typical household three-prong plug. All current EVs are sold with AC Level 1 capabilities and only need a dedicated 20 amp outlet to charge. AC Level 1 stations charge slowly, and are generally used in home or workplace charging applications where EVs will be parked for long periods of time. AC Level 1 charging adds 2 to 5 miles of electric range per hour of charging time. Usually, a portable AC Level 1 charger is included in the initial vehicle purchase price. Cost: Up to $1,000.

AC Level 2 Charging provides electrical energy at either 240 VAC (typical for residential applications) or 208 VAC (typical in commercial and industrial applications). This level of charging is viable for both residential and public charging locations. Unlike AC Level 1 charging, AC Level 2 charging requires additional hardware that can be mounted on the wall, to a pole, or as a stand-alone pedestal. It must be hard-wired to the electrical source. The increased charging rate and affordability of AC Level 2 charging stations make them the most popular choice for all EV charging applications. It provides up to 7.2 kilowatts (kW) for residential and up to 19.2 kW for commercial, which typically results in 10 to 20 miles of range added per hour of charging time. Cost: $450-5,000.

Wireless Charging offers a more convenient charging option. The charge is transferred between two pads, one attached to the parking floor and one attached to the underside of the vehicle. The driver only needs to park their vehicle over the pad and the vehicle will begin charging. The charging rate is comparable to that of a residential AC Level 2 charger. This option is currently only available for a few EV models. Cost: $3,000.

DC Fast Charging utilizes direct-current (DC) energy transfer and a 480 VAC input to provide extremely rapid recharges at heavily used public charging locations. This type of station is generally cost prohibitive for home applications. However, depending on the EV, DC fast charge stations can provide an 80% recharge in as little as 20 minutes. This option is only available on certain EVs. Cost: $7,000-$40,000.

Tesla’s Supercharger Network offers DC fast charge for free, but is only available for Tesla owners. The network currently covers many major travel corridors across North America. Each Supercharger offers 120 kW charging (about 140 miles of range in 20 minutes).

Vehicle plug standardization

Image of a SAE J1772 Connector

Level 1 and Level 2 charging station plugs have been standardized to allow owners of all EV models to utilize the same charging infrastructure. The industry standard for AC Level 1 and AC Level 2 charging is the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1772 connector, which provides significant safety and shock-proof design elements.

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Up until 2013, the Japanese CHAdeMO connector was the only DC fast charge standard connector, available on both the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-Miev. In early 2013, the SAE J1772 connector standard was expanded to include DC fast charge with the SAE J1772 Combo connector, which is available on the Chevrolet Spark, Volkswagen e-Golf, and BMW i3. Tesla uses a different proprietary connector, but includes a SAE J1772 compliant adapter cable with each vehicle sold and offers adapters for CHAdeMO and SAE J1772 Combo connections for an additional price.