How to charge an electric car in public places

30 Jan 2023 10 mins to read
Electric mobility is becoming more commonplace, allowing drivers to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) at a wide variety of locations. The most popular place to put electric vehicles is at home, but utilities are also essential for many. While using public chargers is by no means nuclear science, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind and the process can be very different from charging at home.
How to charge an electric car in public places
Summary:This article covers the basics of public charging and lists the four basic steps required to charge an electric vehicle at a public charging station.

What is Public Electric Vehicle Charging?

What is Public Electric Vehicle Charging?

Before diving into the details of using public electric vehicle chargers, it's worth defining what they are. There are various types of public electric vehicle chargers, but a public charger is generally defined as a charging station that is public and usable. In other words, unlike residential charging stations, public chargers are not owned by EV drivers.

So public charging stations include everything from fast charging stations to chargers at gas stations, highways, public garages and shops. Now that we've defined what a public charger is, let's look at how to use it.

How to use public electric vehicle charging stations

How to use public electric vehicle charging stations

1. Buy a charging cable

When you arrive at a public charging station, the first thing you need to do is find a charging cable. Often the cable is built into and connected to the charger itself, but in some cases you will need to use your own cable to connect the vehicle to the charger. These are usually provided by the vehicle manufacturer and are often stored in the luggage compartment.

Of course, plugs and cables vary by region and charger type, so it's worth checking what's used in your area.

2. Take the car to the charging station

Once you have found the charging cable, the next step is to use it to connect the vehicle to the charging station. If the cable is built into the charger, simply plug it into the car's charging port. Usually the fuel tank cap is at one point on a gasoline car - on both sides, but on some models the cap is under the signal in front.

Many vehicles have different sockets for normal and fast charging, which may be the reason for the lack of a charging socket. As a rule, most cars support fast charging, so if the plug fits the socket, then the car is compatible. If not, it's most likely not the correct cable for your vehicle, so don't press on it.

If you use your own cable, it must be connected to the charging station and to the vehicle. This is usually understandable, but there may be a protective cover on the socket that needs to be removed.

3. Accreditation by ID card and start of the session

Once the car and the charging station are connected to the socket, you can start the charging session. In order to start charging, you usually need to first be accredited so that the charging station can arrange payment for your bill. This is often done with a key card, key fob, or dedicated smartphone app, depending on the charger. Some stations allow charging to be initiated directly by tapping on a debit or credit card.

4. End the charging session.

Once the electric vehicle reaches the desired charge level, it is time to end the charging session. Usually this is done in the same way as it was started. Slide the card or key on the charging station, or stop charging via the app.

During charging, the charging cable is usually insured on the car to avoid theft and minimize the risk of electric shock. After charging is complete, you may need to unplug the cable from the car's dashboard before removing it.

The last step is to unplug the cable and plug it back into the charger (if built-in) or luggage compartment (if using your own). Your electric car is charged and ready to go!

How does electric vehicle charging work?

How does electric vehicle charging work?

The instructions above explain how to use public charging stations, but you might be wondering how your electric vehicle charges. And what factors determine the differences between charging stations?

In general, all charging stations operate on the same principles. However, the type of power and electricity they can provide varies.

Charging AC and DC

The main difference between charging stations is whether they provide alternating (ac) or direct (dc) current. Without going into technical details, the difference between the two is that with alternating current, the current changes a certain number of times per second, while with direct current, the current flows at a constant level.

All over the world, electrical networks run on alternating current, but most electronic systems, including electric batteries, store energy using direct current. Therefore, continuous conversion from AC must occur somewhere during the charging process. So the difference between charging stations lies in the point at which this conversion takes place.

In AC charging stations, AC is supplied to the vehicle and converted to DC by the built-in converter. Whereas with continuous charging, the energy is converted into continuous current by the charger, bypassing the car's often slow converter, and fed directly into the car's battery.

For this reason, the fastest electric vehicle chargers almost always provide continuous current. Hence the common name fast continuous current, in practice the fastest continuous current chargers can deliver up to 350 kW. This allows you to charge an electric car in about 15 minutes. Fast stream chargers are also essential for long-distance electric vehicle journeys, allowing you to quickly recharge your battery on the go.

Why should I charge my electric car at public charging stations?

Why should I charge my electric car at public charging stations?

If you have a young electric car, you may wonder why you chose to charge at a public charging station in the first place. In addition, residential charging is convenient and provides plenty of range for most daily commutes.

Unlike gasoline-powered cars, which only charge when the battery is low, you can charge your electric car wherever there is a source of electricity. So this opens the door to opportunistic charging and the ability to charge an electric car not out of absolute necessity, but because it's convenient and affordable.

Imagine, for example, that you come home from work and go to the supermarket to buy groceries for the week. If the supermarket has a public electric car charger, you can plug your car into an outlet while you shop, or charge your battery.

How to find public car charging stations

How to find public car charging stations

Unlike charging stations, which are a common sight on the streets of our world and can be easily found almost anywhere, public charging stations are much more discreet and can be found in a wide variety of places.

The easiest way to find a public charging station is to install the charging station app on your smartphone. There are many different ones, but all of them, as a rule, display the same characteristics, i.e. chargers nearby, with important information such as charging speed, number of chargers and their availability.

Common mapping applications such as Google Maps or Apple Maps can also show public charging stations, but cannot show all charging stations in an area. As a general rule, not much of the factual information above can be provided on the Special Charge Application.

How to pay at public charging stations

How to pay at public charging stations

Another important issue related to the utility of electric vehicles is payment. Unlike gas stations, which often have employees and an accountant, electric cars are always charged when self-service. Therefore, you have to organize your payments yourself and are unlikely to be able to use cash.

Generally, you can pay for charging an electric car in two main ways. First, if you have an account with a payment point operator or a mobility service provider. In this case, you usually receive an RFID card or key fob. This will allow you to identify yourself at public charging points. In this case, the commission is usually added to your account and charged later.

Another option offered by some public charging stations is to pay directly with a contactless debit or credit card or through a charging app. This allows stations to be charged from different networks, increasing flexibility. However, some carriers may charge higher fees for direct card payments and the amount charged is not easy to track.

Public EV charging may be a new and different experience, but it offers incredible flexibility and can be adapted to your lifestyle and habits. We hope this article has answered some of your questions and cleared up any doubts you may have about battery charging.

Electrify Your Ride: 5 Simple Steps to Charging Your Electric Car in Public

If you're one of the growing numbers of electric vehicle (EV) owners, you may have experienced the exhilaration of zooming down the road powered entirely by electricity. But sooner or later, you'll need to recharge your battery. That means plugging in to a public charging station - and if you're new to EVs, that can seem daunting.

But don't worry: with a little knowledge and planning, it's easy and even fun. In this article, we'll show you how to charge your EV in public like a pro.

Step 1: Know Your Charging Level

Before you head out on your first public charging adventure, it's important to know what kind of charger you need. There are three levels of charging:

  • Level 1: This is the slowest way to charge your car. It uses a standard 120-volt outlet and can take up to 24 hours to fully charge your battery.
  • Level 2: This is the most common type of public charging. It uses a 240-volt outlet and can fully charge your battery in 4-8 hours.
  • DC Fast Charging: This is the fastest way to charge your car. It uses a dedicated charging station and can charge your battery up to 80% in 30 minutes.

Make sure you know what charging level your car requires before you head out. You can usually find this information in your car's manual or on the manufacturer's website.

Step 2: Plan Your Route

Savvy EV drivers always plan their route before hitting the road. This means knowing where public charging stations are located along your planned route. You can find charging stations using apps like PlugShare, ChargePoint, and EVgo.

When planning your route, be sure to take into account factors like driving conditions, elevation changes, and weather. These can all affect how far your car can go on a single charge.

Step 3: Have the Right Tools

Charging in public requires a few essential tools:

  • Charging cable: Make sure you have the right cable to connect your car to the charging station.
  • Charging card or app: Many charging stations require a special card or app to access them. Make sure you have these before you head out.
  • Phone charger: Your phone is essential for finding charging stations and navigating your route, so make sure you have a way to keep it charged.

Step 4: Follow Charging Etiquette

When charging in public, it's important to be a good citizen. Here are a few tips:

  • Don't hog the charger: Once your car is fully charged, move it so someone else can use the charger.
  • Respect reserved spots: Some charging stations have reserved spots for certain types of EVs. Don't park in these unless you have the correct car.
  • Be patient: Charging can take time, especially if you're using a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. Don't get frustrated if it takes longer than you expected.

Step 5: Enjoy the Ride

Charging your car in public can be a fun adventure. You can explore new areas, meet other EV drivers, and enjoy the satisfaction of traveling on pure electricity.

Just remember to plan ahead, have the right tools, and follow charging etiquette. With these tips, you'll be a pro at charging your EV in public in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • Know what level of charging your car requires before heading to a public charging station.
  • Use apps like PlugShare, ChargePoint, and EVgo to find charging stations along your planned route.
  • Make sure you have the right tools, including a charging cable, charging card or app, and phone charger.
  • Follow charging etiquette, including not hogging the charger and respecting reserved spots.
  • Remember to enjoy the ride!

By following these simple steps, you can take full advantage of your electric car's capabilities and enjoy the ride with peace of mind!

On-The-Go Charging Tips for Charging Your Electric Car Away From Home

Electric cars are on the rise, and they are becoming more popular every day as people look for sustainable and energy-efficient modes of transportation. While charging an electric car at home or in the office might be easy, it can be a challenge to charge your vehicle when you're on the go.

Why You Need to Charge Your Electric Car

Electric cars rely entirely on battery power, and just like your phone or laptop, they run out of juice fast. When you're out and about running errands or on a road trip, you need to ensure your electric vehicle is charged and ready to go. Charging stations are becoming more readily available, but charging an electric vehicle requires a different approach than filling up a traditional vehicle, and it can be a bit overwhelming.

On-The-Go Charging Tips

Here are some top tips to help you charge your electric vehicle on the go:

  • Plan Ahead – Before setting off on a trip, make sure you research charging stations and plan your route accordingly. Plenty of apps and websites provide information about charging stations, and you can map out your journey accordingly.
  • Bring Your Charging Cable – It's essential to carry your charging cable with you wherever you go. Even if you plan on using a public charging station, it's wise to have a backup plan just in case.
  • Be Prepared for Emergencies – It's not uncommon to get stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery. Always have a portable charger in your trunk just in case you need it in an emergency.
  • Charge During the Day – It's better to charge your electric vehicle during the day when there is plenty of light. Charging your vehicle overnight can attract unwanted attention, and some charging stations might not be available at night.
  • Choose the Right Charging Station – Different charging stations offer different charging speeds. The quickest charging stations are usually found at highway rest areas, but these are not always reliable. Look for charging stations with good reviews and ratings.

Key Takeaways

Charging your electric vehicle on the go requires some preparation, but it's easy once you know what to do. Here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • Research charging stations before setting off on a trip and make sure to plan your route accordingly.
  • Carry your charging cable with you at all times, even if you plan to use a public charging station.
  • Have a backup plan in case of an emergency, such as a portable charger in your trunk.
  • Charge during the day when there is plenty of light and choose the right charging station for your needs.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently head out on the road with your electric vehicle and avoid getting stranded with a dead battery. Happy charging!

The Future of Road Trips: Making the Most of Public Electric Car Charging Infrastructure

Road tripping has always been a popular way to explore new places and make unforgettable memories. However, in the past, many people have been limited by the range of their gas-powered cars, making long road trips a challenge. But with the increased proliferation of electric charging stations, road tripping just got a whole lot easier.

Public Electric Car Charging Infrastructure: A Game-Changer for Road Trips

The development and spread of public electric car charging infrastructure is a game-changer for road trips. With more and more charging stations popping up across the country, electric vehicle (EV) owners can now travel longer distances and explore new areas previously unreachable due to range anxiety.

The following are the benefits of public electric car charging infrastructure that make road tripping convenient:

  • Wide Coverage: Charging stations are now most frequently found on major highways, making it easier to travel longer distances without the fear of running out of battery power.
  • Reduced Cost: With the cost of gas being an ongoing concern for road trippers, EV owners can now take advantage of the reduced cost of charging their cars with electricity.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprints: EVs emit significantly less greenhouse gas emissions compared to gas-powered cars. This means you can make a difference by reducing your carbon footprint while travelling and exploring new places!
  • App Integration: Charging station apps help you find nearby charging stations and also tell you if the station is available or in use, so you can plan your route accordingly.

With the rapid expansion of electric charging stations across the country, the road trip experience will undoubtedly become more accessible and enjoyable than ever before.

How EV Charging Stations Are Making a Positive Impact on the Environment

One of the primary motivations behind the development and proliferation of public EV charging infrastructure is a need to reduce pollution and improve air quality. The transportation sector is responsible for a significant amount of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the driving factors behind rising global temperatures.

The environmental benefits of electric charging stations are essential for a healthy future. Here is a list of key takeaways:

  • Reducing reliance on oil: By shifting towards electric cars, dependency on oil will reduce, leading to a sustainable source of energy.
  • Improvements in Air Quality: Electric cars emit fewer pollutants and will help reduce urban pollution.
  • Renewable Energy Integration: Charging stations that use renewable energy sources tie in and support the larger push towards renewable energy sources needed to tackle climate change.

With governments worldwide promoting the adoption of electrified transport, it’s no surprise that the future of transportation is electric cars!

The Changing Nature of Road Trips

The growth of public EV charging infrastructure and the increasing adoption of electric vehicles are changing the nature of road trips. Traditionally, road trips have been associated with gas-powered vehicles and lots of pit stops to refuel and stretch the legs. With EVs becoming the norm, road trips are becoming a cleaner and more eco-friendly way to explore new places.

Other evolving trends that will continue to shape the future of road trips include:

  • Integration with Tech: Navigation applications and planning software that calculates routes, charging stops, and charging times will become more common.
  • Improved Batteries: With technological advancements, the range of electric cars is expected to keep improving, making longer trips possible.
  • Autonomous Driving: Self-driving cars will eventually become widely available, adding more comfort and convenience to road trips.

As these trends continue to develop, road trips as we currently know them will likely become things of the past, replaced by cleaner, more eco-friendly, and more technologically integrated experiences.

The Future is Electric!

The future of road trips is electric, and with the continued expansion and improvement of public EV charging infrastructure, road tripping is becoming more accessible, affordable, and environmentally friendly than ever before.

If you’re an EV owner or are thinking about investing in one, you can now explore new destinations with confidence, knowing that you’re reducing your carbon footprint and taking advantage of the latest technology to make your journeys sustainable, enjoyable, and above all, memorable!

Plug-In and Go: The Pros and Cons of Charging Your Electric Car in Public Places

If you're an electric car owner, you know how important it is to maintain a sufficient battery charge. While charging at home is convenient, sometimes it's just not an option. That's where public charging stations come in, giving you the opportunity to charge your car on the go. However, using public charging stations has its pros and cons. Let's explore them in detail.

Pros of Charging in Public Places

  • Convenience: Public charging stations are located in various locations, making it easy to charge your car while on the go. You can find them in parking garages, shopping centers, airports, and other public places.
  • Fast Charging: Some public charging stations offer fast charging, allowing you to quickly charge your car's battery and get back on the road.
  • Cost-effective: Many public charging stations offer free charging or charge a nominal fee, making it an affordable option for electric car owners.
  • Availability: With more and more public charging stations popping up, the availability of charging stations is increasing, making it easier for electric car owners to access them.

Cons of Charging in Public Places

  • Competition: With the increasing popularity of electric cars, public charging stations can get crowded, making it difficult to find an available station.
  • Time-consuming: Even though some public charging stations offer fast charging, it still takes longer to charge your car's battery than it does to fill up a gas tank. This means you may have to wait for your car to charge before hitting the road.
  • Compatibility: Not all public charging stations are compatible with all electric car models, meaning you may have to drive farther to find a compatible station, which can be inconvenient.
  • Costly: While some public charging stations offer free charging, others charge high fees for using their equipment, which can be cost-prohibitive for some electric car owners.

Key takeaways

  • Public charging stations offer convenience and affordability for electric car owners, but they also come with potential downsides like competition, compatibility issues, and high fees.
  • As more and more electric cars hit the road, public charging stations will become increasingly important, and infrastructure will continue to grow.
  • Ultimately, whether or not to use public charging stations will depend on your specific needs as an electric car owner, but it's important to be aware of the pros and cons before plugging in.

In conclusion, public charging stations have pros and cons that you need to consider before using them. While they offer convenience, affordability, and fast charging, they also have downsides like competition, compatibility issues, and high fees. As electric cars become more popular, the infrastructure for charging them will continue to grow, making it easier for owners to charge their cars on the go. Ultimately, the decision to use public charging stations rests on individual needs, so be informed and choose the option that's best for you.

Juice Up Your Commute: A Guide to Public Electric Car Charging Stations

Are you tired of running out of power in your electric vehicle (EV) while on the road? Then it's time to juice up your commute with a guide to public electric car charging stations. With the growing demand for eco-friendly solutions, consumers are increasingly turning to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint. However, without proper charging infrastructure in place, your EV becomes nothing more than a paperweight. In this blog post, we'll guide you through everything you need to know about charging stations and how you can find them to keep your ride charged up.

The Benefits of Public Charging Stations

Public charging stations offer a host of benefits to drivers of electric vehicles, including:

  • Convenience: With public charging stations scattered across key locations, EV drivers can refuel their vehicles while running errands or grabbing a bite to eat.
  • Cost-Effective: It's more affordable to opt for public charging stations than paying for home charging setups, which can be costly to install.
  • Reducing Carbon Footprint: Using a public electric car charging station is eco-friendly, as it uses renewable energy to fuel your car, reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Free Promotions: Many stores now offer free charging as a promotional offer to their customers, which can save you money while you eat, shop, or run errands.

Types of Charging Stations

Both government entities and private companies are now in the business of installing EV charging stations. Here are the types of charging stations available to EV drivers:

  • Level 1 Charging: It is the basic charging level, which uses a standard 120-volt power outlet, which can take up to 20 hours to fully charge your car. It is best to use this option overnight or when staying near a station for an extended period.
  • Level 2 Charging: It takes approximately 4-8 hours to charge your electric vehicle. Level 2 charging stations operate using a 240-volt power outlet and require installation from a professional electrician.
  • DC Fast Charging: Also known as Level 3 Charging, these stations can generate between 60 kW and 100 kW and can charge your car battery up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes.

Where to Find Public Charging Stations?

Electric car manufacturers such as Tesla, BMW, Chevrolet, Nissan and many others offer a list of public charging stations on their website. However, many third-party apps also exist that can direct you to the nearest public charging station. Some popular apps include Plugshare, Chargepoint, and Electrify America. Another way to locate a public EV station is to use Google Maps and filter your search by choosing 'Electric Vehicle Charging Station.'


Investing in an electric vehicle is a smart move. Not only does it reduce your carbon footprint, but it also saves you money in the long run. However, locating public EV chargers is crucial for staying on the go and avoiding range anxiety. With public EV chargers becoming more common, and available in restaurants, shopping centers, and public spaces, you can easily run your day-to-day errands while charging up your vehicle. So, juice up your commute today and explore public EV charging stations near you!

Charge It Up: A Comprehensive Guide to Public Charging Stations for Electric Cars

Driving an electric car is a big change from your traditional gas-burning vehicle. For starters, the fuel you use is electricity, which means you need to find charging stations if you want to keep driving. Public charging stations are the most convenient way to keep your car powered up while you're on the move, and with public charging stations popping up all over the place, you'll never be too far from a charge. Here's a comprehensive guide to public charging stations for electric cars.

Types of Public Charging Stations

There are two main types of public charging stations: level 2 and DC fast charging.
  • Level 2 charging stations are the most common type of public charging station. They provide a 240-volt charge to your vehicle and can take a decent amount of time to fully charge your battery.
  • DC fast charging stations, on the other hand, use a different type of charger and can provide up to 400 volts of power. These stations can charge your car up to 80% in as little as 30 minutes, making them great for when you're in a rush.

Where to Find Public Charging Stations

There are a number of resources available to help you find public charging stations near you. Some great options include:
  • PlugShare: PlugShare is a popular app that can help you find public charging stations in your area. You can filter by location, charger type, and even see reviews from other electric vehicle owners.
  • ChargePoint: ChargePoint is another popular app that can help you find charging stations. They have a network of over 100,000 charging stations across North America.
  • Tesla Supercharger Network: If you drive a Tesla, you can take advantage of their Supercharger network, which provides free charging for Tesla owners.

Cost of Public Charging Stations

The cost of charging at a public charging station can vary depending on where you are and what type of station you're using. Some charging stations are free, while others charge a small fee for their use. On average, you can expect to pay between $0.10 and $0.30 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity.

Benefits of Public Charging Stations

Using public charging stations instead of charging your electric car at home has its own set of advantages. Here are some of the top benefits:
  • Convenience: You never have to worry about running out of charge if you're driving long distances.
  • Cost-saving: Public charging stations can be cheaper than installing your own charging station at home.
  • Environmental benefits: Using public charging stations means you're using clean energy and not contributing to climate change.
  • Networking opportunities: You'll have the chance to meet other electric vehicle drivers while you're charging.

In Conclusion

Public charging stations are the lifeline of any electric vehicle. Although it may take some getting used to, charging up at public stations is more convenient than using your own at-home charging station. So, next time you're planning a road trip, remember to seek out some public charging stations en route. Your electric car will thank you!
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Add comment

Anyone have any creative solutions for charging an electric car while on a road trip?
song placencio5/29/2023, 8:40:56 AM
It can vary from station to station, but some can charge up to 80% in about 30-40 minutes.
How fast does the charging speed go at public stations?
Not all of them are universal, so you gotta make sure the station is compatible with your car.
hershel mckensie5/22/2023, 4:28:47 PM
It's generally safe, but be careful of any suspicious activity around the station.
Is it safe to charge my car in public places?
Do the stations work for all electric cars?
Bro, public charging stations are the way to go. Just find one and plug it in.
Can I pay for the charge with my credit card?
Yo, can I charge my electric skateboard at these stations too?
Wait, how do I actually plug in the charger to my car?
Lorri Pickenpaugh5/15/2023, 4:29:58 PM
Your car will usually give you a notification when it's fully charged or close to it.
It depends on the location and time of day, but it's always a good idea to have a backup plan.
Jimmie Jastrebski5/12/2023, 8:44:16 PM
There are some free charging stations out there, but they're not as common as paid ones.
How much does it cost to charge at a public station?

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Energy5 EV Charging solutions comprise a full range of end-to-end turnkey services for businesses. From permitting to incentive acquisition to installation, management software, and down-the-road maintenance, Energy5 streamlines the whole process every step of the way.
300 W Somerdale Rd, Suite 5, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043
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Energy5 EV Charging solutions comprise a full range of end-to-end turnkey services for businesses. From permitting to incentive acquisition to installation, management software, and down-the-road maintenance, Energy5 streamlines the whole process every step of the way.
300 W Somerdale Rd, Suite 5, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043
Email address
Phone number
(856) 412-4645