Range Confidence: Charge Fast, Drive Far, with your Electric Car

By David Herron

Electric car charging technology

Understanding the best electric car charging habits includes a broad range of information.

There are many technical details involved with electric car charging. The car manufacturers have designed a fairly simple system, where we don't usually need to know these details. We can drive or refuel our car without knowing precisely how things work, just as for 100+ years we've collectively driven gasoline cars without knowing how they function.

That's not to say we should refuse to learn these details. Some of us will want to know the why's and wherefore's.

For example, when we're anxiously waiting for our car to finish charging, and griping about the time required, wishing it would go faster, isn't it useful to know why it takes so long? That knowledge can possibly ease our impatience.

In those times we want to use an extension cord, we absolutely must know safe methods to do so. While all the car makers recommend against using an extension cord while charging a car, it's safe if done very very carefully.

In this age of instant gratification, we want to pour electrons into the electric car like we do gasoline. Why does charging a battery take so long? Hint: reversible electrochemical reactions cannot be rushed

Wouldn't swapping a depleted battery pack for one that's fully recharged be fast? Yes, but the cost of providing that infrastructure bankrupted a company which had received over $1 billion of investment. Wouldn't battery swapping be preferable over waiting to recharge?

What will it take to recharge an electric car as quickly as gasoline refueling? When will electric cars charge faster than it takes to fill-up an equivalent gasoline car?

We can't always charge at approved charging stations, but must sometimes "make do" with an available power outlet. That means developing some skill with extension cords and adapters and charging rates. Safely use Extension Cords when charging an electric car or electric motorcycle

In such situations we must have at least a basic understanding of electric wiring capacity, and charging rates. ()[electrical-code-outlets.html]

What about charging in the rain? Will there be a loud kaboom if the charging cord gets wet? Is it safe to charge an electric car in the rain?


Range Confidence is Copyright © 2016-17 by David Herron

Electric car charging technology

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