The time it takes to charge an EV: An unexpected observation after one year of driving an EV
One question that constantly comes up about electric driving is the time it takes to charge an EV.
My wife and I own two Teslas: a Model X and a Model 3. The X replaced a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe, and the 3 replaced a 2012 Honda Civic. Upon making the transition to EVs, we immediately noticed something that one might not expect. We found that we actually spent less time dealing with fuel for our cars.
Allow me to explain.
We used to go get gas our Honda Civic about once every ten days, as that was our main commuter vehicle. (My wife and I actually work at the same place, so we only use one car for our daily commute.) We tended to gas up our Hyundai Santa Fe about once every 20 days because we drove that vehicle far less than our Civic. Nonetheless, combining both vehicles, that still works out to about 55 trips to a gas station a year - and that's not including road trips.
Now, I have to tell you... our family is really busy, and every one of those trips to the gas station was almost always hassle that involved a trip to Costco. We went to Costco for gas because the price of gas there is always significantly less than at other gas stations. For us, Costco is about a ten-minute drive away. I confirmed this with Google Maps, which suggested the trip is nine minutes.
As we all know, real-world travel times always take longer than the estimates provided by Google Maps, so I added one minute to the Google Map estimate. This is also consistent with my perception of the time that it takes to drive this particular trip. (Admittedly, I haven't timed this trip with a stop watch as of yet, but I will, and then I'll update this article.) Now, let's add in the time to wait in the Costco gas line (and there is almost always a lineup for Costco gas). I would estimate this to be about seven minutes on average. Then there is the time to actually gas up once you get to the pump. I would estimate this to be about three minutes. I was always racing against the other folks gassing up, so I always carried out this process as quickly and as efficiently as I could. Then there is, of course, the ten-minute return trip back home. Add up all that time and you get about 30 minutes per trip to the gas station. Multiply that 30 minutes by 55 trips each year, and you get a grand total of... drumroll please...
27.5 wasted hours a year!
Of course, we often timed our gas trips with shopping at Costco, but that generally meant not timing our gas trip with the need for a full (or near-full) tank of gas, so that would simply mean smaller fill-ups, and that would mean even more trips to the gas station.
Now, in the interest of full transparency, I fully admit that I hated those gas trips. I resented the time it took, and I hated it all the more because I was buying gas... gas that I knew was contributing to climate change. In fact, I often Tweeted out my dislike for the entire rigamarole of getting gas while I was waiting in the Costco gas line.
Now that we drive electric vehicles, we spend absolutely no time obtaining fuel for our daily driving. We simply plug our cars into our home EV charger (which is situated conveniently on the inner wall of our garage, right in between our two cars) and the act of plugging a car in to a home EV charger takes all of about five seconds. We then walk inside our house, and forget all about it. We only need to do this once every few days. (Less in the summer, more in the winter.)
The car may take between two to eight hours to charge on our Schneider Electric 30 Amp EV charger, but that's all happening while we're home at night, and, quite often, this is happening while we're sleeping... so this process doesn't require us to take any time at all out of our day.
Moreover, we pay a mere 6.5 cents per kWh of energy after 7:00 PM, so that would cost us around $3.00 to fill our Model 3, and about $5.00 to fill our Model X. Not too shabby.
As far as I'm concerned, that's a win-win-win:
If you drive an EV but do not yet have a home EV charger, then I would highly recommend that you go out and get one today in order to experience the full convenience of owning and driving an electric vehicle.
When it comes to the environment, we are all neighbours.