Electric cars have battery packs that recharge by plugging into the electricity grid. Charging is simple, convenient and affordable.
You can recharge using a simple wall socket or an electric vehicle charging station. The time it takes to fully charge is based on the level, or speed, of charging and how full the battery is.
Level 1 (One Hour of Charge ~ 8 km of Range)
All electric vehicles come standard with a cord-set that plugs into a regular wall socket. This is the slowest speed of charging, but ensures that no matter where you are, you can always recharge.
Level 2 (One Hour of Charge ~ 30 km of Range)
The most common level of charging. Level 2 stations have similar electrical requirements to a stove or clothes dryer. Most EV drivers install a Level 2 station at home and many businesses install them for employees and/or customers. A Level 2 station will fully charge your EV over night. All EVs sold in North America, (with the exception of Tesla), use the same charging standard (called J1772). Most Level 2 stations use this standard. That means that any car can use most stations across Canada and the United States. Tesla has a unique Level 2 standard that only Tesla cars can use. However, Tesla drivers can purchase a J1772 adapter.
Level 3 Charging (One Hour of Charge ~ 250 km of Range)
Level 3, called DC-Quick, will recharge your battery from empty to 80% in 30-45 minutes. Level 3 stations can be found along major highways throughout Canada. There are three standards of Level 3 charging: CHAdeMO which is used by the Asian auto manufacturers CCS which is used by the North American and European auto manufacturers Supercharger which is used by Tesla Most Level 3 stations in North America, (with the exception of Tesla Superchargers), have both CHAdeMO and CCS. Simply pull up to the station and pick the standard that your car needs. Level 3 is only designed to be used for long trips. The majority of your charging will be Level 1 or Level 2.
There are over 4,500 public charging stations in Canada and counting. They can be found in a variety of places, including: malls, restaurants, office towers, etc. Public charging stations are either free to use or pay per use. FREE TO USE stations do not require payment. However, some are only available to customers, can only be used for a set amount of time and/or are located in parkades and parking lots with associated parking fees. PAY PER USE stations vary in cost from location to location and there is no industry standard, but typically Level 2 stations cost $2.50 flat rate or $1.00/hour and Level 3 stations cost $15.00/hour. To find a public charging station along your route, visit PlugShare or ChargeHub.