Plug It In
by Pat Goss
If you’re considering a plug in vehicle, well there’s some things that go along with it that you need to consider as well. You have to have a way to recharge your battery in your plug in. That means you need one of these chargers.
Now there are 3 levels of chargers available for most of these vehicles. Level 1, level 2, and level 3. We’re going to talk about one and two because 3, well that’s commercial and it’s usually cost prohibitive for the average homeowner.
Alright, now what we have here is level 1. It plugs into a regular 110 volt outlet in the wall. You don’t need any wiring or anything. It charges at 10 amps. Well that means it’s going to take a long time to recharge a dead battery, depending on the make and model of the vehicle and how discharged it is. That could be 15 to 20 hours to recharge it. So, you might want to step up to something a little higher.
Here we have a turbo cord. Now, this is unique in that, well it’s like a class one and a half. You see, right now we have it plugged in to a standard 110 outlet and we can take it out, we can put this adapter into a 220 volt outlet, and we can plug this in and now, we’re charging at a higher rate. Actually, about 16 amps. That means we’re going to cut the charging time considerably.
But, if you want something that charges faster, you’re going to have to a level 2. Level 2, they’re all going to be level 220 volt. And there are differences in them in the types of plugs that they have, so the wall outlet has to be different, things like that. But, they charge at 30 amps. So there’s a significant reduction in charge time. The things that you look for? Well where are you going to have it? Is it going to be inside the garage or outside? Well if you have an outside one, you need one that’s weather proof. Some of these are portable, so you can take them from one location to another and you can plug it in and charge your vehicle. So the things that you need to do, you need to figure out the location that the chargers going to be in, how much time you can allow the car to sit to charge it and all these different factors. Not the least of which is included in that should be your budget. Well if you do it right, you’ll have a lot more enjoyment out of your plug-in vehicle.
And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.