This is nothing new to millions of electric car owners, but it’s something that should be shared, emphasized, and repeated every day for the many, many, many more people who don’t have an electric car.
It seems that everyone without an electric car wants to know two things (or, at least, these are the two questions that jump into their minds to ask an EV owner when they run across one): 1) how far can it drive? 2) how long does it take to charge?
With home charging, unless you are in a rather unique situation, the answer to the latter is probably a very simple one that the questioner doesn’t expect: “I don’t know, I don’t really pay attention.” Or you could say “A few seconds.”
Sure, you can calculate it if you want. You can check the start time and end time. However, with home charging, all you have to do is plug in when you get home and unplug when you leave.
We drive approximately the US average, and the past few days have involved a lot more driving than normal as we’ve gone back and forth between our old home and new home several times as well as going to a furniture store a hop, skip, & jump further away than we typically drive. Yet, even just using 110V charging, we are getting far more electricity than we need.
I do have the advantage of charging here during the day since I work from home, but even without that, charging from the end of a normal work day till the next morning provides so much electricity that you’d have to have an abnormally long commute or extra errands in order to need more than that provides.
I do get the point of having faster Level 2 charging at home. No knock on anyone who has that, and maybe I will decide to get it one day. But even without that, the answer to how long it takes to charge is simply, “I don’t know. It just takes me a few seconds to plug in when I get home and a few seconds to unplug when I leave.”
I don’t know if most non-EV owners know that you can charge at home and that owners with that capability seldom need to charge outside of home, and I don’t know how many realize that you can charge on a normal electricity outlet. Though, I’ve long assumed that people didn’t realize the latter, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that Volvo Cars spent a ton of money on simple commercials showing EV owners plugging into a normal 110V electricity outlet with a plug that looks like a MacBook Pro plug — commercials I’ve probably seen more than every other EV commercial combined. I assume that some market research told Volvo Cars that most people don’t know that’s possible, don’t know how easy EV charging is, and have concerns about EV charging. Volvo Cars said, hey, this is a simple challenge to solve — just show people in a simple, clean, crisp way how easy it is to charge an electric car.
It is as simple, easy, and convenient as the commercial indicates. It’s ridiculously easy. It’s so much easier than going to a gas station, pumping gas, and paying for gas. Heck, it’s much easier than if you went to a gas station and sat in your car while someone else pumped your gas, as ~6 seconds a day is less than it takes to pull into a gas station and have your gas pumped once in a while.
Yes, I just spent a lot of time and text explaining in different ways how easy it is to charge an electric car and answering the question of how long it takes to charge an electric car. Given how frequently the topic is broached, though, I hope that some of these lines and context will be useful for others as they attempt to respond to what can come across as confusing questions. Also, many EV owners may be inclined to track the charging time and respond with that — and perhaps it’s useful when explaining road trip charging — but I think that not explaining that it takes just a few seconds a day most days of the year means not communicating one of the core essences of convenient EV life to people. In general, I think that people assume EV life is less convenient, but for many owners, it is far more convenient than driving a gas-powered vehicle.
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