Level 1 Charging of EV Batteries
The most efficient and lowest cost Infrastructure for EV Battery Charging would use the greatest numbers of Level 1 chargers at widespread locations with fewer Level 2 and DC Fast chargers strategically positioned in high traffic corridors.
1. Level 1 charging stations cost much less than Level 2 or DC Fast Charging stations, so many more EV charging stations can be available sooner in more places if limited funds are spent primarily on installation of many Level 1 EV charging stations with just a few of the faster chargers.
2. Most vehicles drive 50 or fewer miles per day and spend most of their time parked. Slow Level 1 charging would be sufficient for most electric vehicles on most days if Level 1 EV charging was readily available at all places where EVs are parked for any substantial amount of time (e.g. home charging, workplace charging, & public parking charging). Much smaller numbers of Level 2 & DC Fast Charging stations should also be available for those few EV drivers who need to drive greater distances.
3. Slow Level 1 charging is the most economical way to charge the EV battery. Faster EV charging options provide more charging speed when needed, but at greater costs (i.e. more expensive charging stations and more electricity used to achieve the same level of charge in the battery). DC Fast Charging stations in particular consume massive amounts of electricity to provide the convenience of rapid charging. EV drivers and electric utilities should both encourage the greatest possible use of Level 1 charging. Why? As the numbers of electric vehicles in society increases the electric utilities will be able to serve more EV drivers with fewer expensive increases in electric grid capacity if the EV charging infrastructure is designed to enable and encourage EV drivers to use Level 1 charging as much as possible.
4. EV batteries may last longer if they are charged primarily using Level 1 chargers rather than faster chargers. EV car owners have a strong incentive to extend the life of their expensive EV batteries by use of Level 1 chargers whenever possible. Expensive EV battery replacements may be needed prematurely for drivers who make more frequent use of faster battery charging.
5. If EVs are almost always plugged into Level 1 charging stations wherever they are parked, then this will maximize the opportunities for electric utilities to help stabilize the electric grid with "smart EV charging" or "vehicle-to-grid" strategies. These techniques can help reduce blackouts and brownouts in the electric grid. This could enable the electric utilities to share some of that value by giving EV drivers free or discounted electricity prices for Level 1 EV charging.
6. It is expensive and inefficient for EV drivers to try to replicate the gastank filling experience by always seeking the most rapid possible battery charging even when slower charging would be good enough.
7. When discussing this strategy on social media please use the hashtag #Level1evCharging. This will help supporters keep up-to-date and help to attract new supporters.
- Supercharging More Electric Cars Risks Crashing the Grid - Andy Frank at Efficient Drivetrains Inc 12nov2014
- Electric-vehicle charging stations sprouting all over California - Andy Frank at Efficient Drivetrains Inc 10sept2014
- Low Cost Residential and Workplace EV Charging - Energy Central 10june2014 by Charles Botsford at AeroVironment, Inc.
- Electric Vehicle Charging at Work and at Home - ieee-usa todaysengineer.org feb2012 by Bob Bruninga
- Where speed hardly matters: Level 1 EV charging opportunities - Charged EVs 19aug2012 by Bob Bruninga
- Overlooking L1 Charging At-Work in the Rush for Public Charging Speed By Bob Bruninga, published in: Electric Vehicle Conference (IEVC), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2012.
- Level 1 EV Charging Everywhere There is a 120v outlet - Bob Bruninga
- Charging the EV battery is fundamentally different than refueling a gasoline vehicle - Bob Bruninga
- Pulling the Copper - evworld.com nov2009 by Don Chandler, past President, Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association "level 1 ... sufficient for PHEVs, NEVs and low mileage BEVs."
- Furthering EV adoption in Colorado through EVSE infrastructure initiatives - PowerPost product by Telefonix, Inc. "Level 1 ... will produce the most cost effective means for rapid EVSE infrastructure development in Colorado."