How and Where Do I Charge My EV?
Charging an EV is as simple as charging any device. All EV’s come with a simple, portable 110-volt “Level 1” charger that can plug into any outlet. If you want to charge your car more quickly, you can get a faster Level 2 charger, which will need 240-volt service, but will charge your car much faster.
One of the big advantages of an EV is that you already have a fuel supply at your home: electricity. Most EV drivers do 80% or more of their charging at home, and love the convenience of leaving home each morning with a full “tank.”
Many EV drivers find that the Level 1, 120-volt charger that comes with their car is sufficient for their needs. So it does not matter if you rent or own, just plug in.
Charging in apartments and condos is a bit more tricky. If you have a dedicated parking space with available electricity, then you can charge as easily as a homeowner. If not, you will need your landlord to dedicate some spaces for EV charging. Thankfully, there are programs to help cover the cost, including this one from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Workplace charging is another great option to keep your car fully charged and to help soak up the solar energy that comes onto the California energy grid most days. Increasingly, large employers are offering chargers for employees and visitors alike. If your place of work does not offer charging yet, ask them to install some chargers. There are programs that help fund installation of chargers, including from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and PG&E.
If you need a charge “around town” there are already over 57,000 public level 2 chargers, and almost 5000 DC "Fast" chargers in California, with more coming online every day. The "Fast" chargers can top off your battery in as little as 20-30 minutes!
California has announced plans to increase the number of chargers to over 250,000 in the next few years, so charging will be easier and easier.
To find the nearest public charger anywhere in the US, go to plugshare, where you will find maps like this one:
Google Maps also offers EV Charger Information and Trip Planning
Apple Maps offers this option as well
This graphic shows clearly how fast the charging network is growing in the US:
Wherever you live, and wherever you need to go, there are chargers available to meet your needs.