While on a swing through Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia to visit with clients, I had the pleasure of sitting in the electric rental car I ended up with, plugged into a charging unit at a local Wawa.  Notice the emphasis on pleasure.  Really, the time spent waiting around for the car to charge was anything but a pleasure, though it may represent at least the short-to-mid term future for millions of Americans being enticed to buy an electric vehicle.

This is not meant as a demerit to Wawa, a well-loved privately held chain of about 900 convenience stores based in Pennsylvania, founded in 1803, and known for fresh-made hoagies (known as subs here in Chicago, but I digress!) and a great coffee selection.  The chain reminds me a bit of Midwest-based Speedway convenience stores, which were recently spun off and sold to the Japanese-based parent of 7-Eleven… but, that’s another story.

This post is about the time it takes to charge an electric vehicle, even on so-called fast chargers.

Follow me here, there are three types of electric vehicle chargers– the time estimates below depend on factors, including the size of the battery powering the car, and represent the time for a complete charge:

–  Level One, runs on household 120 volts and can take anywhere from eight to forty hours- All I can say is wow!

–  Level Two, runs on 240 volts and takes from five to twelve hours- Fine, if you are parked and plugged in overnight at home

–  Level Three, runs on (you guessed it) 480 volts and charges to about 80% in thirty minutes- In comparison, it takes about five minutes to pump gas

For the record, it took about forty-five minutes for the electric Tesla I was in to charge to the 80% level on a Level Three charger, the type that all Tesla Superchargers are.  I used the time to gather the ideas for this post, and I also got a snack at Wawa.

There are definite advantages to electric vehicles… the EPA estimates that it is about half the cost to drive an electric car compared to a gas powered car.  Maintenance costs are generally lower too.

What do you think?  We are in the early innings for electric cars here, but is this time well spent?  Perhaps America’s new pastime… or a big waste of time?  Enjoy this piece- it breaks down the costs associated with charging an electric car at home and on the road- and give me your thoughts!

~ Brian Kasal- The Leadership Matrix

Click here- How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

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