National Drive Electric Week Reveals Drivers’ Top 5 Questions About Electric Vehicles
National Drive Electric Week shines a spotlight on the incredible growth of the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the benefits of owning an EV. This week-long celebration brings together EV enthusiasts, automakers, and organizations dedicated to promoting transportation solutions of the future. Last month, Volta participated in one of this year's events that took place at Tanger Outlets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, a popular shopping destination that prominently features Volta charging stations as an amenity for visitors. Volta enjoyed fielding a multitude of questions from curious consumers, EV intenders and longstanding EV drivers. In this blog, we'll explore the top five questions asked about EV charging, and why they matter to site hosts like Tanger Outlets.
Question 1: What Are the Different Types of EV Chargers?
Answer: There are primarily three types: Level 1 (1 kW), Level 2 (7-19kW), and Level 3, or DC fast chargers, (50-150kW). Level 1 chargers use a standard household outlet and are the slowest, providing about 2-5 miles of range per hour and best suitable for overnight charging. Level 2 chargers are more common, used for public charging at destinations with longer dwell times, providing 10-20 miles of range per hour. Level 3 chargers are high-speed DC fast chargers, commonly found along highways and at gas stations for rapid charging on the go. These can add 180 to 240 miles of range per hour.1 For Volta stations located at popular commercial destinations and in commercial city centers, Volta selects an appropriate charger to provide drivers a charging speed that will best match their behavior. For example, Level 2 chargers are great at movie theaters and for curbside parking on side streets, whereas DC fast chargers better suit the shopping experience at grocery stores or for short-term curbside parking in busy downtown districts.
Question 2: How Much Does It Cost to Charge an EV?
Answer: The cost of charging is based on local requirements and is calculated either on the number of kWh dispensed or on the number of minutes of charging. Your total cost includes the cost of charging, idle fees, sales tax, and excise tax as required by location. You can typically see costs in the provider’s app. For Volta chargers, you can see rates and idle fees for each Volta station in the Volta app.
Question 3: How Can I Find the Nearest Charging Station?
Answer: To find an EV charging station, you can use mobile apps such as EV charging apps (e.g., PlugShare), manufacturer apps (e.g., Tesla), or navigation apps (e.g., Google Maps, Apple Maps). You can also check EV charging network websites or apps, explore dedicated websites and databases, such as the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, inquire at your EV dealership, use in-vehicle navigation systems, seek recommendations from EV communities, or look for charging station signage while driving. Make sure to verify station availability, compatibility, and pricing. You can find Volta stations on our app or website. Download our mobile app (available for iOS and Android) to search for charging stations and get turn-by-turn directions.
Question 4: How Far Can an EV Travel on a Single Charge?
Answer: The distance a vehicle can drive from a charging session depends on several factors including: how much power (“charging speed”) the station can deliver, measured in kilowatts (“kW”); how much power the vehicle can accept, measured in kW; the duration of the charging session; how much energy the vehicle’s battery can store, measured in kWh2; and the efficiency of the vehicle, measured in miles/kWh. Other factors that can influence a vehicle’s charging capacity and speed are the charge state of the battery, battery temperature, and the condition of the vehicle's battery.
Question 5: What are the Benefits of Chargers at Shopping Centers?
Answer: Many EV drivers want recharging to conveniently fit into their existing routines — public chargers at popular destinations are one such solution, enabling drivers to top up their battery while running errands, dining out, or shopping. This convenience can help alleviate range anxiety and integrates charging seamlessly into daily routines. For commercial properties, Volta's media-equipped EV chargers can also positively increase in-store sales when that store's products are advertised on-screen3.
As National Drive Electric Week celebrates the growing adoption of EVs, Volta and other EV charging networks can play a crucial role in educating the community on the benefits of public EV charging when it comes to fostering overall EV adoption. Learn more about EV charging basics on our website: voltacharging.com/charging-for-all.
Drive Electric DFW was hosted by The Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition (DFWCC) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).
1 Charging speeds are per USDOT. Other sources may state slightly different speeds.
2 Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit used to measure electrical energy expended or used over time. One kilowatt-hour is the equivalent of one kilowatt of power transferred or consumed in an hour.