Electric Car Travel Is Easier in These Cities
One of the first questions a new EV owner asks is—where do I plug it in? The first and second choices are home and work. Those aren’t always easy or without a price tag, but they should allow a gas-free commute. That’s on a fixed route, but what about going elsewhere?
Top 10 fast-charging cities
Even though electric car range is being extended with each new model, any longer trip means finding a place to plug in. Tools like the app Plug Share can help guide you to a local plug, but there’s another metric that can let you know whether you’ve got a fair shot at finding a charging station. If you’re travelling a long distance, you want a fast-charger, one that typically runs at 480 volts (assuming, of course, your EV’s capable to accepting such a charge). With one of those you can typically add 150 miles of range with an hour of charging.
The owner of the largest network of public electric vehicle fast-charging stations, EVgo, took a look at its data and compiled a list of the Top 10 cities for fast-charging based on current usage. The company operates 950 fast chargers in more than 600 locations nationwide, covering the areas where 90 percent of new electric cars are sold.
The Big Chargers
It’s not surprising that California, where the most EVs have been sold, dominates the list.
- San Diego, CA
- Fremont, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Cupertino, CA
- Berkeley, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Arlington, VA
- Atlanta, GA
- Daly City, CA
Those station combine for an average of about 25,000 charge sessions per month, totaling 12,052 hours. Nationwide, EVgo chargers add an average of slightly more than three million miles of electric driving to cars per month.
States are working with EVgo and other charging station providers to build networks to facilitate longer distance travel, particularly along major highways and at key destinations.
Charging Your Electric Car Depends on a Reliable Network
The biggest change switching from the traditional gasoline or diesel car to an EV is refueling. The lifelong routine of refilling your tank—maybe once a week, maybe more, maybe less—is replaced by plugging in—typically daily. With a home- or work-charging set up, it can be pretty easy to settle into the new routine.
The big difference is setting out on a non-routine drive in an electric car. EV drivers quickly learn to gauge the length of a drive versus the state-of-charge of the car. Then the savvy driver consults an app for potential charging points at the destination or along the way. As the public charging network works to catch up with the growing number of EVs in service, it’s a challenge to keep up with the state of the infrastructure.
FLO can add chargers at work or multi-family dwellings
One company in Canada is setting out to ease new electric car owners’ transitions to the EV lifestyle. FLO has set up a network of thousands of pubic charging stations throughout Canada. It currently has a network of more than 5,000 members who have signed up to use those stations. In addition to 240-volt Level 2 chargers, FLO is also installing 400-volt fast chargers that are compatible with a growing number of EVs. The company provides 24/7 on road support for public chargers
But FLO recognizes that public charging is only part of the equation. It works with companies to install workplace charging, potentially taking end-to-end care of the charging services, offering scalable solutions and smart charging services that can help an employer monitor and/or limit the volume of electricity provided.
FLO also provides home-charging units—offering the G5 and X5 models. Both are Level 2 chargers. The G5 puts out 208-240 volts at 30 amps to provide 6.2–7.2 kW of charging power. The X5 is similar, but allows a variable output current of 6–30 amps. The X5 also is a connected unit, allowing the user to manage the station via an app. A second X5 unit can easily be added on the same breaker. Both of the units are designed to be installed by a qualified electrician, are certified and conform to all relevant specifications. They are warrantied for three years.
FLO can also work with multi-family residential buildings to set up charging. Given the growth of electric car sales in Canada (11,000 in 2016, up 56 percent from the previous year), FLO has plenty of work ahead of it.
Sponsored Post: If you want to learn more about FLO and the charging station or if you want to know where to find a charging service, please visit the site FLO.ca.