Charging an electric car is easy. Discover the different charging option for your plug-in vehicle: Types of charging stations for home and how to find and use public charging stations.
Charging your car when you get home is as easy as charging your phone or computer.
Two charging options are possible:
It's like having your own gas station at home. But the cost of home charging is only a fraction of the cost of gasoline. On average, about $ 2 of residential electricity will travel 100 km.
Plug-in vehicle equipment always includes a portable 120V charger that plugs into a standard household outlet.
This method allows a charging speed of up to 6 km per hour (variable depending on the car model). Vehicles with a battery less than 20 kW can generally be recharged in 3 to 12 hours with a 120V terminal.
The 120 V terminal will be sufficient to ensure a full daily charge if the electric vehicle travels less than 100 km per day. If usage is more intense, a 240 V charge should be considered to ensure a full charge at least once per day.
Good to know: the 120 V terminal is not designed for permanent installation and the EV driver will generally have to store it in the vehicle before leaving. If the motorist chooses to leave the 120 V terminal at home, there is no longer a terminal in the car in case of exceptional need, which is an important function of this basic EV equipment..
The main benefit of a 240 V charging station is its greater charging speed, which is three to five times faster than 120 V charging. The vehicle will gain up to 40 km of range per hour when charging with such a station.
Most EV drivers therefore opt for 240 V charging at home. Charging will take 3 hours or less for smaller batteries (20 kWh or less) and up to 12 hours for larger batteries (100 kWh).
The other big advantage of 240V charging: you can take advantage of winter warming. With remote start, you can defrost and preheat the connected vehicle without reducing the battery reserve, as the necessary energy will be supplied by the terminal.
With the vehicle’s dashboard or mobile application, you can schedule specific charging hours, making it possible, among other things, to optimize battery conditioning according to a planned departure time.
This function also helps avoid peak periods during winter months, following Hydro-Québec’s recommendations.
Whether you live in a house or a condo, it is almost always possible to install a residential charging station.
Even some owners of rental properties agree to offer this service to their tenants because it is an increasingly sought-after service. An asset to increase the attractiveness of its building.
The government of Quebec, some municipalities and even some employers offer subsidies to encourage owners of rechargeable vehicles to have their own home charging station.
More and more employers are offering recharging to their employees by providing them with recharging stations and car parks reserved for this purpose.
The Charging station at work Program in designed for companies wishing to offer recharging to employees.
For some EV owners, this free service represents a substantial saving! For others, it helps to choose a cheaper vehicle with a smaller battery... since the vehicle is fully charged for the return home. Owners of plug-in hybrids also benefit by avoiding the use of their gasoline engine even further.
For businesses, it is an investment that can pay off. This is a great advantage in attracting and retaining employees. In addition, it is a visible environmental commitment that improves the image of the company. A win-win situation!
For most EV drivers, recharging on public networks is rare and occasional. It is generally only used for long journeys, if the vehicle's range is insufficient to get home.
Today, it is very easy to travel almost everywhere in Quebec by electric car. The stations are located in a wide variety of locations, close to shops and services
For charging on the road, the wise EV driver plans breaks according to charging needs. A stop at a tourist destination, a meal break or a snack all become opportunities to plug in. Public charging networks include three types of charging stations: 240 V charging stations, DC fast charging stations (DCFC) and Tesla Superchargers.
Several online tools and mobile applications help find charging stations from different charging networks. The most commonly used ones in Québec are:
These three applications also offer a trip planning function, useful for long journeys. You enter your destination and the application identifies the charging options on the journey, taking into account the registered vehicle. These applications also make it possible to check the status of targeted stations (available or already used, for example).
The Quebec Charging Network continues to grow.
At the start of 2021, there are more than 6,000 public charging stations in Quebec, including more than 430 fast stations and 162 Tesla superchargers.
The main networks are :
Note also the new EcoCharge network, launched at the end of 2020 in partnership with IGA supermarkets.
According to his or her travels, planned stops and vehicle compatibility, an EV driver will choose between a 240 V charging station, a DC fast charging station (DCFC) or, in the case of Tesla vehicles, a Supercharger.
Public 240 V charging stations
Spaces next to charging stations are reserved for charging electric vehicles. Once a charging session is completed, the vehicle must be moved to free up the charging station.
Spaces reserved for charging. It’s the law!
Since May 18th, 2018, article 388.1 of the Highway Safety Code stipulates that «Only electric road vehicles and plug-in hybrid road vehicles may stop in a space reserved for recharging electric vehicles [...] when they are plugged into a charging station». Offenders will be fined $100 to $200.
It is not necessary to stay near the vehicle while charging. The EV Driver notes the estimated end of charge time indicated by the car or in the terminal application, to be sure to return before the end.
But once charging is complete, the most basic rule of good manners is to move your vehicle to let free access to the terminal.
Recommendation: 80% maximum at a DCFC
At DC fast charging stations (DCFC), it is recommended to stop charging once battery level is around 80%, as the charging speed decreases when approaching this point.
As it is billed by the minute, it becomes more and more expensive above 80%.
In addition, it is a question of good citizenship to allow other EV drivers to connect instead of monopolizing a terminal that provides us with energy in no time!
If more power is needed, it might be more efficient to continue charging on a 240 V station. Alternatively, if another DCFC is available along the way, it is usually preferable to continue further and charge again later.