Yes. An ordinary house current circuit (120V, 15-20amp) charges your car at 4-5 miles of range per hour of charge. So if you come home from work and plug in at 7 pm and charge until 7 am the following day, a 120v, 12 amp circuit can charge your car with 48-60 miles of range per day. Most plug-in hybrid batteries only store 20-50 miles of range, so a 120v outlet can fully recharge them overnight. If you need more range on occasion, the gasoline engine will get you there and back. A 240v charger allows faster turn-around times for more all-electric driving, so it's often worth the relatively minor expense to install a 240v charger even for PHEVs.
If you buy a battery electric vehicle, you'll almost certainly want to install a Level 2 charger. A 240V circuit allows you to charge your car at 20-57 miles of range per hour of charge depending on the amperage of the circuit and the capability of the charge cord and the charger on-board the car. Since all of your fuel, and therefore range, comes from the electrical outlet, faster and more frequent charging is usually desirable. For example if you come home and plug in, by the time you're finished preparing and eating dinner, you've replenished 20-100 miles of range, probably enough to have a full charge unless you have an unusually long commute. So you have enough range for an evening out, and if you plug in when you return, you'll be fully charged again in the morning.
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Level 1 Charging
Level 2 Charging
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) get all of their energy from an electrical circuit. This allows them to operate at a very low cost - electricity generally costs the equivalent of less than $1 per gallon of gasoline.
Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) use electricity for the first 10-97 miles of travel and then automatically switch over to the gasoline engine. PHEVs offer essentially unlimited range, with the environmental and cost benefits of a BEV for most local in-town driving, like a daily commute.
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Find a Car
Finding a charge station for an EV is really easy. Go out to your garage, pick up the coupler and plug it in. But for those occasions when you need to charge as you’re out and about, there’s an app for that.
The market is split between public charging networks and third party apps. Charging networks like ChargePoint and Blink have their own apps which report whether a charger is in use, while third party apps such as PlugShare and CarStations list stations and user reviews.
How do the apps stack up against each other?
ChargePoint lists thousands of public charging stations, giving drivers the options of an updated “list view” to see how far a destination is, payment options, and 24x7 telephone support. ChargePoint also offers its “trip mapping,” allowing for a user to plan a trip route and flag charging stations along the way. The “charging status” screen lets you remotely keep track of your charging session.
The Blink charging network, owned by Car Charging Group, only displays chargers on the Blink network, but has some of the most detailed info available. Blink Mobile’s map interface shows how many chargers are available at the top of each pin marking a charging station. Blink Mobile displays include type of chargers, detailed charging costs, how many chargers total and open chargers are available, charging status, and the hours of operations for the charging station.
PlugShare uses crowd-sourced information. It represents the community of EV owners, and includes private residences and businesses that are available to fellow EV drivers who need a quick fill to get back home or to an another charge point. PlugShare's map includes chargers from all of the major charging networks. PlugShare’s station info profiles are the best of the mobile apps, displaying a photo of the location of the charge station, a map of the charging station, types of plugs, access, cost, and reviews for each charging station.
Charging Network Maps
Download the Apps