As civilization has moved on from one level to another, there also has been a gradual shift in the way in which man has used transportation to move from one place to another. Around few thousands of years ago, man use to perhaps use his feet as the only means of transport for covering distances from one place to another. This led to the ancient man being restricted to tribes and clans focused and concentrated only in a small areas. However, as civilization progressed, man started to domesticate certain animals like bulls, horses, donkeys, camels and various other animals for moving men and material from one place to another.
While this was good and welcome, it had its own shortcomings. The animals had limitation as far as covering distances and speed was concerned. This led to the invention of other forms of energy like gasoline and coal. This was a big revolution and set the stage for major changes in the way man moved men, material and other such things from place to another. Automobile transport is perhaps the most common and most widely used means of transport and it has grown from one level of competence to another.
The Driving Force Behind Automobiles
Petrol and diesel are the most common used means of transport and are considered to be the driving force behind the automobile revolution. However, as the price of fuel keeps going up and it supply becomes limited, there always has been a desire to look for some alternative to the same. The first beginning perhaps was the use of bio-fuel to drive automobile. While this was a big step forward, the technology still needs to be mastered. This is because of the fact that it requires huge quantities of raw material for making a small amount of bio fuel that can be used for transportation through vehicles. Solar energy is also another form of renewable source of energy. However, the initial cost of investment on solar panels is quite high and secondly it is also dependent to a large extent on weather. Hence, the next best option is to move toward electric cars and this has become quite a craze over the past few years.
They Are No Longer Futuristic
Around two or three decades ago, electric cars could be considered as popular, cost effective, eco friendly and fuel efficient means of transportation. They are run by batteries and once charged they can be good enough to transport a small family with belongings. They could cover a distance of around 30 to 40 miles and in some cases more.
While the emergency of battery run electric cars or hybrid cars as they are called is indeed a great leap forward, there are some issues pertaining to charging the batteries of the cars. This is all the more relevant and extremely important when you have to travel quite a distance in these hybrid cars. Hence, it is quite common that there are scores of people who would like to have a clear answer to the question as to how to find electric car charging stations when travelling from one place to another. Answering this question is vital because without regular recharge of the batteries, these hybrid cars can cover only limited distances. The mileage offered by petrol and diesel is much more and therefore this point should always be kept in mind.
Are There Enough Charging Stations?
Yes, it is a fact that when these electric operated cars first came into the market, there was a huge problem of identifying the right charging stations along the route. However, as the number of electric cars increased, the number of charging stations also has increased quite significantly. Further, even the mainstream car makers are very serious and highly focused as far as the electric car or hybrid car segment is concerned. Hence, the onus also lies on them to ensure that charging the car on the road is made as easy and as convenient as possible. Therefore, if you look around and gather some information and knowledge, you will not find too much of difficulty in identifying the right charging center in your city, state and of course in the country you are in.
Some States Have Set The Agenda
It is fact that electric cars are still in its infancy stage and compared to gasoline driven cars, the number of electric cars is still quite low. However, there are some states in the country like California that are taking all the steps to popularize these types of hybrid cars. According to some figures there are many states that would like to see a third of the cars plying on the roads to be powered by electricity. The target is also to double the figure by 2030. In other words, the day may not be far off when we will have 50% of all cars in the country being driven by electricity. That will be a huge achievement considering the fact that the USA is the biggest market for all types of automobiles and cars. The day when 50% of this huge numbers of cars move using renewable electricity sources it will make the country and also the world a much healthier and pollution-free place.
There are various states that have started to heavily incentivize the use and sale of plug-in and hybrid electric cars. As per record, California leads the pack when it comes to manufacture and sale of hybrid and electric cars.
What Kind Of Benefits Are Available?
There are many benefits that come associated with electric cars and this also is one of the main reasons for the growing number of electric car charging stations along the city and also along highways and trans-state roadways.
Many states in the country offer attractive tax incentives that bring down the cost of these electric cars, motorcycles and trucks. Since California has taken the lead in this matter, the tax benefits offered by this state could be a good benchmark. The state offers tax rebates up to $2500 for cars that run fully on electricity, $1,500 for hybrid cars. Further the car owners could enjoy tax breaks up to $7,500 for what is known as plug-in electric drive vehicle credit amongst other facilities.
What About HOV Lanes (High Occupancy Vehicle)?
To encourage the use of electricity cars, many states, including states such as California are spending huge amounts of money on HOV lanes. These are to allow such vehicles to use lanes that are traffic free. However, there are some conditions that have to be met when it comes to using these lanes. The cars that are being used in these lanes must be fully emission-free and of course they must be powered by electricity. Hybrids are not allowed for these benefits because they may use traditional combustion engines powered by gasoline for powering the vehicles.
These HOV lanes ensure that the users do not have to waste too much of time charging the cars on the highway and other desolate places. There are quite a few of them and once the vehicles have been put on charge, the users have facility to sit and spend some time meaningfully.
The World Of Promotions And Discounts
Apart from the fact that there are many numbers of charging points along the roads, the owners of electric cars also have quite a few other benefits. They also get some of the most amazing and attractive parking promotions and discounts. You will be able to make use of the front of the lot parking spots and that too at busy destinations and also when you are attending local events. This has driven many combustion engine driven car owners to move to electric cars.
Are There Different Levels Of Chargers?
There are basically three main types of charging that are available for electric cars. The first one is level 1. This is similar to using a home based charger with a 120 volt outlet. Most electric cars come with 120-volt charger as the standard.
The next is level 2 charger. This is basically for home based chargers. If you can upgrade the home outlets to 240 volts, you save almost 50% time when it comes to charging these electric cars.
DC fast charging is the third option. These are super fast when it comes to charging and they also could add up to 60 miles of range in just around 20 minutes. Though not all electric cars are compatible with this form of charging, there are some specific brand names of charges that make this possible.
How To Find The Right Charging Stations?
Today technology has improved and plug in electric cars can travel up to 24 miles on a single charge. When you are using a hybrid car, you would certainly not be exhausting the charge very soon. You could keep the electric charge-driven options for doing daily errands and could move the gasoline when hauling long distances.
Make Use Of Online Tools
The US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels has the most detailed list of private and public electric car charging outlets in the entire country. There are also other wonderful resources like PlugShare that offers user friendly maps, along with trip planners. These apps work both on Android and iPhone. It also lists down around a few thousand charging stations.
Another way of finding EV charging stations near you is to use Google Maps.
Click here to get a map view with charging stations near you!
The Final Word
We need to bear in mind that most of the public plug-in charging center for electric are private operated. Many of them use different charging technologies. Therefore, if you are keen on increasing the chances of identifying the right charging centers, then you certainly must join one or more of these pay-and-use charging centers. If you feel that you will use the charging facilities regularly, you could go in for monthly subscriptions and this will help you save quite a bit of money.