Motorcycle News - Where to Charge Electric Motorcycles?
We’ve all heard of range anxiety for electric vehicles, the fear of running out of power before you reach your destination. Apart from the cost, range is the one of the biggest limiters for electric vehicle adoption.
Now, if you have a garage with easy access to a regular household outlet, you can just plug it in overnight and wake up to a fully charged battery every morning. If your workplace is likewise set up with outlets in the parking area, then you should be fine using your electric motorcycle as a daily commuter, unless you work really far from home.
But if you have to make a long detour or run some errands during the day, it’s important to know where you can find a place to charge your electric motorcycle. There are currently thousands of charge stations across the country, mainly clustered around large cities. If you live in the country, they’ll be harder to come by, which is why electric motorcycles are usually marketed more as a form of urban transportation.
Before we continue, let’s get familiar with the nomenclature. Currently, there are three levels of charging available. Level 1 is the 120 volt outlet, your typical standard household outlet. Level 1 charging locations are relatively common, but they offer the slowest charging speed. They’re enough if you want to plug in your bike overnight, but if you’re looking for a place to top up in the middle of a longer journey, Level 1 charging won’t do the trick.
Level 2 chargers use 240 volts, just like the outlets for your electric oven or dryer. Most electric motorcycles are set up to use Level 2 charging stations, and while they aren’t as ubiquitous as gas stations, they are becoming increasingly common. Depending on your motorcycle, it should take about a couple of hours to charge a battery to full using a Level 2 charger.
Both Level 1 and Level 2 charging work on AC power. A step up is DC Fast Charging which boasts even faster charging speeds, enabling an 80% charge in about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, DC Fast Charging stations are expensive, and therefore still uncommon. They also require a different kind of charging port. At the moment, the Energica and Lightning offer DC Fast Charging ports. If you own a Zero or other electric motorcycle, you’re likely restricted to a Level 2 charger.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are currently 1,185 public Level 1 charging stations and 14,193 Level 2 charging stations across the country. Meanwhile, there are just 2,302 DC Fast Charging stations in the U.S. Those numbers are as of this writing, and the numbers are increasing over time. The U.S. Department of Energy offers this handy online electric vehicle charging station locator:
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May 28, 2018 at 06:37PM