Level 1 charging station
Charging Stations & How to Find One
Charging Stations or Plug-In Stations are popping up all over the USA. Heck, we have our own Level 1 station right here at Southwest Green Building Center! The fee to charge is only $.50 for the first hour and $.25 each additional hour. However, since September 23rd is National Plug-In Day, we have waived the fee for the entire month of September!
Plug-in stations are standardized to four levels.
Level 1 - slow charging, w/charger in car, typically 8 hrs from a regular 120 volt receptacle (20 amp dedicated GFIC) Level 2 - faster charging 240 volt 30 amp charger in car or stationary with standard J1772 connector. Levels 3 & 4 - plug configurations are available for specific vehicles and applications some of which allow fast charging in 15 minutesIf you need a charging station or a consultation regarding charging stations and how they can be a revenue center for your business – our local connection is Gillis Lang. Gillis provided our charging station sign and set us up on the internet and mobile app sites. That’s right, there’s even an APP for that!
When you are traveling in your electric vehicle it’s quite easy to find public charging stations on your route. You can download apps to your mobile phone or search the internet. The site (carstations.com & chargepoint.com) will tell you the type of charging station, the cost and the availability. While stations are somewhat limited in New Mexico today, you can bet they will be installed in more and more public places in the near future. Currently, the city of Albuquerque has two Level 2 charging stations in downtown!
Another concept is the battery switching station. In this scenario you simply pull into a station and an attendant removes your depleted battery and pops in a newly charged battery. The process takes about the same time as it does to fill up your SUV – but is much cheaper!
Of course the most favored method is the solar powered station – a truly fossil fuel free way to go. How about solar panel shaded carports that charge your car while you work? See one in action today at Positive Energy in Santa Fe.
Speed & Distance
Questions of “how fast” and “how far” seem to be the most popular questions beyond cost. In short, cost and performance are correlated – and both are heavily determined by the battery.
For example, you can do the basic conversion with lead acid batteries, plug-in to your garage outlet for 8 hours per night and be able to get around town the following day. The miles you can travel would be anywhere from 20 to 40 – at top speeds of about 60 mph. A conversion is normally optimized for the particular needs of the driver. You could even start with a lead-acid battery pack then convert to a high performing lithium battery pack down the road.
The high performance Tesla with a bank of lithium batteries can charge in 15 minutes at a Level 4 Station (see Charging Stations below), reach a speed of 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and travel 245 miles per charge at reasonable speeds.Lead acid batteries have a lifetime of 3 to 4 years and take you about 20,000 miles. Lithium batteries last 6 to 8 years and can take you around 150,000 miles. The lead based batteries weigh twice the lithium and have half the range. The cost to replace the lithium battery is about 4X higher, but the overall added value and performance of the lithium battery is the future of the electric vehicle. Southwest Green Building Center recently installed a Level 1 charging station. Fees are $.50 for the first hour and $.25 each additional. Fees are waived throughout the month of September in celebration of National Plug-in Day, which is September 23rd.