Welcome to EV Equity University! This is a library of informative educational content about all things EV.

EV Education Series

Episode 1 - Electric Vehicle Charging 101

Dive into the world of electric vehicle charging as we break down the basics, explore different charger types, provide essential tips for seamless charging, and determine how much it will cost to charge your EV. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned EV owner, this quick guide will supercharge your knowledge and keep you confidently on the road.

Myth Busters

"Electric vehicles are worse for the climate than gasoline-powered vehicles because of the production process "



While it is true that electric vehicles (EVs) generate higher emissions during their manufacturing phase, they ultimately result in considerably lower emissions throughout their entire lifespan when compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars.


"Electric vehicles are more likely to catch fire than gasoline-powered vehicles"



Electric vehicles (EVs) are generally less prone to catching fire compared to their gas-powered counterparts. However, in the rare event that an EV does catch fire, managing and extinguishing it can be challenging due to the prolonged and intense nature of the fires. This is mainly due to the unique characteristics of lithium-ion battery packs, which are notoriously challenging to cool down. Even after being seemingly powered off for 24 hours, these batteries can still produce sufficient heat to potentially re-ignite the fire.

"Electric vehicles are more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles"



While the upfront cost may be more expensive, electric vehicles require less maintenance, have lower fuel costs, and can benefit from various incentives such as tax credits, rebates and down assistance.


Vehicle Types

Hybrid (HEV)

Has a regular gas-powered engine and a very small 1-2 kWh battery that is charged by regenerative braking, so it can’t be plugged in. Powered by both the gasoline and electric motor. This enhances the car’s fuel performance but does not allow for electric only driving.

Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

Gas and battery-powered, but the battery is significantly larger and can be charged by plugging into a level 1 or level 2 charger. When the battery runs out, the gas engine takes over until you plug it in to recharge. PHEVs can drive on battery power alone with an electric range of 11-53 miles and a total range of up to 620 miles.

Battery Electric (BEV)

Has no gas engine and instead has a large electric battery that powers the electric motors. BEVs are charged by plugging into a level 1, 2, or 3 charger. Most new BEVs have a range of 200-300 miles, though some can travel up to 600 miles on a single charge.

Charging Connectors


Level 1 and Level 2 charging standard for all non-Tesla EVs sold in North America.


Created for EV fast-charging by the Japanese auto industry affiliated CHAdeMO Association in 2010. While some Japanese brands still use CHAdeMO connectors, like old Nissan Leaf models, the connector is no longer used.

North American Charging Standard (NACS)

Designed to accept any voltage, which allows owners to effortlessly transition from Level 1, to Level 2, to plugging into Tesla’s Supercharger network. NACS is standard issue for Teslas, but are becoming the national standard on most EVs from 2024 forward.

Combined Charging Systems (CCS)

The most common type of DC fast charging connector. When you look at a CCS plug, it looks a lot like a J1772 plug, but with two additional power lines at the bottom. This creates a high-voltage connection that boosts the power output for fast charging. CCS is used internationally by electric vehicle manufacturers.


Direct Current (DC)

Electrical currents that run continually in a single direction, like in a battery or a fuel cell

When you use a DC charging station, the conversion from AC (from the grid) to DC happens within the charging station—allowing DC power to flow directly from the station and into the battery.

Alternating Current (AC)

An electrical current, or flow of charge, that periodically changes direction (alternates). Power that comes from the grid is always AC. Batteries, like the one in your EV, can only store power as DC. A converter is built inside the car called the “onboard charger”. It converts power from AC to DC and then feeds it into the car’s battery.

This conversion process slows the flow of energy to your vehicle, which is why using an AC charger takes longer.

Kilowatt-hours (kWh)

An electric car’s battery capacity is expressed in terms of kilowatt- hours which is abbreviated as kWh.

It refers to the amount of energy consumed over one hour of charging.

Higher kWh chargers allow EV owners to recharge their cars significantly faster.


he amount of energy that an electrical device is burning per second that it’s running.

In an EV, watts describes the transfer rate of energy. Normally we use horsepower to measure gas vehicles performance. Like horsepower, watts can be used to see the power (meaning speed, torque, acceleration, etc.) of an EV. Because electric cars require a lot of power, they are typically rated in kilowatts.

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