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Charging

EVs are charged while we sleep! 

85% of charging happens at home, so first focus  on figuring out your home charging setup. After that, you can take a look at public charging to support your road trips and other travel needs. 

Get in touch with your electric utility company!

Your electric utility company is happy to help you figure out your home charging setup. Most have special EV rates that provide cheaper electricity during off-peak hours and some even provide charging installation incentives. MNCharging.org provides you a direct link to your own electric utility. 

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Federal tax credit for EV charging station installations.

If you live in a rural or low-income area and install EV charging equipment, you may be eligible for a tax credit for the charging station. This credit is generally 30% of the cost, up to $1,000. Eligibility is based on the installation location being in an eligible census tract. For more information visit the 30C Tax Credit Eligibility Locator page and mapping tool from Argonne National Laboratory.

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Home Charging
Level 1 Charging
Level 2 Charging

Almost every car comes with a Level 1 charging cord that can be used to charge the car from any standard 120V household outlet. Level 1 charging works well if you drive on average less than 30 miles/day. Make sure to have an electrician install a new, high-quality outlet and inspect the wiring for safe use.

  

If you want to take full advantage of your EV, you should have an electrician install a 240V Level 2 charging station. It charges your car much faster and can usually fully charge the battery overnight, no matter how many miles you drive during the day. Usually, these require a 50 A breaker and wiring, but some higher power models could require 100 A power. 
 

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Condominiums and Apartment Buildings

EV charging at Multi Unit Dwellings (MUDs) can be a bit more complicated because there are more stakeholders involved and usually these installations also lead to more holistic system considerations. Get your utility company involved because they can provide technical assistance and might even have some MUD charging programs in place. You can visit MUDCharging.com for more information. 

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Home charging plug standards

Up through model year 2024, all manufacturers (except Tesla) used the standardized J1772 connector for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. Now all manufacturers have pledged to migrate to SAE J3400 standard starting in 2025. This standard uses the same plug that Tesla has used for years, and it is also known as North American Charging Standard (NACS.) Fortunately there are adapters that can be used to charge all EVs regardless of what plug the charging station has.  

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J1772 and NACS plug comparison

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J1772 to NACS adapter

Electricians

New outlet installations for Level 1 cord charging and Level 2 charging station installations are relatively easy and can be done by any electrician. If you are considering a special EV rate from the utility or don't have a trusted electrician, talk with your utility company because they often have a list of electricians that are experienced in EV charging station installations.  

Public Charging
Visit and Destination Charging

Businesses often install Level 2 charging stations for their customers (known as visit charging). Level 2 charging is also a valuable amenity for EV drivers at hotels, resorts, parks, and other locations where people will spend more than an hour. This is called destination charging.


Charging can be a great marketing tool because EV owners use mapping apps to choose where to visit and stay.

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DC Fast Charging (DCFC)

DC Fast Charging is the quickest way to recharge a battery on the go. These stations are often installed near highway corridors and also in metro areas. Usually, people stop between 20-60 minutes at these charging stations and treat their stop as a good time to grab a bite to eat, stretch their legs, and check their email. This provides good opportunities for local businesses.  

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There are also some tools that help you plan for longer road trips: 

Finding Public Charging Stations

Most cars have navigation systems that provide charging station information. However, crowdsourced apps typically provide the most up-to-date information. Here are the most commonly used apps:

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Public charging plug standards

Up through model year 2024, almost all manufacturers (except Tesla) used the standardized connector for DC Fast Charging, There were a couple of Asian manufacturers that had used a CHAdeMO plug, but they were a small minority. Now all manufacturers have pledged to migrate to SAE J3400 standard starting in 2025. This standard uses the same plug that Tesla has used for year and it is also known as North American Charging Standard (NACS.) Part of the reason for this change is that Tesla's Supercharger network has had the best coverage in the US and this plug change will help other manufacturers' vehicles access the Supercharger network. This transition is made easier by adapters. Check the connector standards used at the charging site when you look at the locations with a mapping app.

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CCS1 and NACS plug comparison

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CCS1 to NACS plug adapter

How to pay for public charging

Some public charging stations are free, but an increasing number of station owners do collect fees for charging. This is a good development since it keeps the charging stations available for those who really need to use them. Usually, lower-powered charging stations (Level 2) are more affordable to use and DC Fast Charging stations that provide higher power and faster charging are more expensive to use. This is understandable since DCFC infrastructure is more expensive to install. Due to high power levels these station owners also need to pay demand charges to the electric utility, so DCFC stations are not cheap to operate either. In general, you can expect to always pay more for electricity at the public charging stations than what it would cost you to charge at home. At most stations you can pay with a credit card. If you use public charging stations regularly we would recommend seeing which charging network providers operate the stations that you use the most. You can usually sign for up an account with them to get cheaper rates and use the stations with the operator's smartphone app or RFID card. Charging station mapping apps list which network provider operates which station.     

How well do different standards support road trips?

There are currently three DCFC connectors used in the U.S.: Tesla, CHAdeMO, and CCS. The Tesla connector is used by Tesla on its own Supercharging network. Non-Tesla CFC units have CHAdeMO and/or CCS connectors. CHAdeMO is used only by some legacy Japanese vehicles, so we are seeing charging providers moving away from them. Now that practically all manufacturers have pledged to migrate to NACS standard starting in 2025, things will get more simple. We will still have a period where there are several DCFC plug standards available, but fortunately there are adapters available as mentioned above.


Tesla started building the Supercharging network in 2012 and in early 2014, the network enabled the first coast-to-coast trips. At the same time, Nissan was funding many CHAdeMO/CCS (C&C) charging stations, but most of those installations were going to the major metro areas. This trend of Tesla focusing on the corridor charging network and C&C installations going to metro areas continued for a long time, but it started to change when Electrify America, EVGo, and utility companies started to fund more charging locations. New EVs with bigger batteries will be able to charge using higher power levels, which is reflected in new charging station installations. The federally funded National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program set a standard, requiring a minimum of four cords that can simultaneously provide 150kW charging power each at charging locations that get NEVI funding. As you can see from the maps below, we are starting to have decent DCFC network coverage across the continent. 


When you make decisions on which EV to purchase, DCFC charging speed and the station availability can be one factor, but remember to also consider how high to prioritize it. Some drivers use DCFC stations fairly regularly, some once or twice per month, but a good number of drivers end up using DC fast charging only a couple of times a year.

CCS locations in the US and Canada
9,318 locations, 19,355 connectors. (06/2024, DOE)

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NACS locations in the US and Canada
2,650 locations, 28,077 connectors. (06/2024, DOE)

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Workplace Charging

Many employers are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and one way to do that is to encourage employees to use more sustainable transportation for commuting. Walking, biking, and public transportation are great options, but companies are also looking to provide charging infrastructure to encourage EV adoption among those employees who still choose to use a personal car for commuting. Workplace charging can increase electric vehicle miles traveled, EV awareness among employees, and even provide crucial charging infrastructure for those employees who, for any reason, haven't been able to install charging at their place of residence. Learn more about the potential approaches and options by visiting www.WorkplaceCharging.com.

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