EV charging stations provide a convenient way for drivers to recharge their batteries. But where does the electricity that powers these charging stations come from? This blog will explain how EV chargers work, the most common charging station power sources, and the average cost to charge an EV vehicle in Colorado.  

car using an ev charger

How Does an EV Charger Work?  

Before we dive into the electricity sources, let’s briefly explain how an EV charger works. Most electric vehicles on the road today use Level 2 chargers, which deliver 240 volts of power. This is 2x the power you’d find in a standard 120 volt.

Level 2 chargers typically come with two options for plugs: the J1772 plug, which is compatible with all EVs currently on the market in North America, and the CHAdeMO plug, which is primarily used by Japanese EVs such as the Nissan Leaf. Some higher-end charging stations also have built-in WiFi capabilities, allowing drivers to start and stop their charging sessions remotely.

When connected to a power source, electricity goes through these plugs and charges the electric vehicle’s battery.

Now that we know how an EV charger works let’s look at the different ways it can be powered. 

The Most Common Charging Station Power Sources

Hardwired Connection to the Electric Grid

The most common charging station source is the electric grid. 

The electric grid is the network of power lines and plants that generate electricity for homes and businesses. 

When a charging station is connected to the grid, it draws electricity from the power lines and converts it into the direct current (DC) needed to charge an EV battery.

One advantage of this setup is that it provides a consistent and reliable source of power, which is essential for drivers who need to charge their vehicles on a regular basis. Another advantage is that it does not require special equipment or permits, as the charger simply taps into the existing electrical infrastructure. 

Solar Panels

The second most common power source for charging stations is on-site solar panels. 

Solar panels are a renewable energy source that generate electricity from sunlight. 

When solar panels are used to power a charging station, the electricity generated is stored in batteries and then converted into DC when a driver needs to charge their vehicle.

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular option for powering charging stations because they are environmentally friendly and can help save money on utility bills. However, solar panels can be more expensive to install than grid-connected charging stations, and they may not generate enough electricity to power the station during times of low sunlight.

How Much Does it Cost to Charge an EV in Colorado?

The average cost of electricity in Colorado is $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which means it costs about $1.50 to charge a 100-mile EV with a 60 kWh battery. However, the actual cost of charging an EV will vary depending on the power source used and the price of electricity in your area. 

Overall, investing in EV charging increases your bottom line by increasing property value, attracting new customers, increasing employee satisfaction, and saving your business money with incentives and tax credits. Learn more about how EV Charging saves you money in the long run by downloading our free resource, Increasing Your Bottom Line with EV Charging Stations.  

No matter where you live in Colorado, Mac Electric & Lighting can help you find the right solution for powering your EV. We offer a variety of services, including EV charger installation, and our team of experts is always available to answer your questions. Contact us today to get a free quote on an EV charging station and installation.