Destination/Opportunity Charging (Level 2)
1 Hour of Charge ~ 30 km of Driving Range
Destination/Opportunity charging is a term often used to describe Level 2 public charging stations. There are thousands of Level 2 stations across Canada that can be found at restaurants, malls, parkades and community centres.
Level 2 public charging stations are fantastic solutions if you plan on staying at your 'destination' for an extended period of time or are looking for a quick 'opportunity' top-up.
Many public Level 2 charging stations are free to use. For those that are pay-per-use, the average cost in Canada is around $1.00/Hour.
Fast/DC-Quick Charging (Level 3)
1 Hour of Charge ~ 250 km of range
If you are going on a road-trip or travelling really far, but don't have the time to stop and use a Level 2 station, then Level 3 charging, commonly known as DC-Quick, is for you.
Level 3 charging stations are gas station replacements for electric cars that will charge your battery from empty to 80% in 20-30 minutes. There are well over 1,000 Level 3 charging stations across Canada that are located along major roads and highways.
Most Level 3 charging stations are pay-per-use and most of them bill by the minute for an average cost of $15/Hour.
Finding Public Charging Stations
Canada has well over 5,000 public charging stations and growing, but they can be difficult to find. Charging stations take up very little space and are often not accompanied by the large brightly-lit signs that we are accustomed to seeing when looking for a gas station. Fortunately, there's an app for that.
PlugShare and ChargeHub are two independent user-verified public charging maps that track the location and operating status of every public charging station across North America in real-time. Both platforms have user feedback loops, in-built navigation features and search filters that can help you find public charging stations along your route.
Both maps can be accessed online and are free to download from Google Play and the App Store.