Are all EV chargers the same?

So you’ve decided that your next vehicle purchase will be an EV. We think that’s a wise  choice, especially with the various benefits you’ll experience with an electric car or  truck. As more vehicle manufacturers have launched their electric lineups, it’s raised an  interesting question: are all EV chargers the same?  

After all, when you go to Speedway, Circle K, Turkey Hill, Meijer, or any other gas  station to fill up your gasoline-powered vehicle, all you need to know is whether you  need unleaded or diesel. The pump itself is the same as long as you’re putting in the  right kind of fuel. 

For electric vehicles, the type of fuel is the same: electricity. Are the “pumps” different? 

Popular electric vehicle brands 

Before we dive into that question, let’s talk for a moment about EV brands. Tesla was  the first EV manufacturer that became a household name, though electric vehicles did  exist previously. In recent years, many of the top names in the automotive industry  have jumped on board with EVs, including: 

• Ford 

• Chevy 

• Kia 

• Rivian 

• Toyota; 

And many more. What does this mean about powering your EV when you’re on the  road? Are all EV chargers the same? Let’s look at the big name first: Tesla. 

Tesla’s Superchargers 

Tesla has the most well-known Supercharger network. Even the more rural areas of  Ohio typically have at least one Tesla charging station within a thirty-mile radius. As  everyone from restaurants to stores to hotels to shopping malls started installing Tesla  chargers (after all, they were the proverbial first-to-mass market), it created a sense of  brand buy-in. If you were going to buy an EV, you probably first considered a Tesla. 

As far as its charging connector, Tesla uses a proprietary connector. If you’re looking  for an analogy, compare Apple’s (relatively dated) Lightning connector to USB-C. They  look similar, though you can’t plug one into the other. 

Standard EV charging stations 

Meanwhile, across the rest of the industry, the rest of the car and truck manufacturers  adopted the standard J1772 connector for their fleets. These are used in both Level 1  and Level 2 charging stations. 

Visually, they look similar to Tesla’s connector. However, functionally they’re different —  again, this is a good time to revisit the Apple vs USB-C debate. Similar ports, yet  incompatible with each other.

Unless that is, you could use some kind of an adapter… 

How to use any EV charging station 

…And, as it turns out, you can. The EV industry has created adapters for both styles. If  you own a Tesla and want to use a non-Tesla charger, you can purchase an adapter.  Likewise, if you own any other car brand, yet want to use a Tesla-branded charger, an  adapter exists to make it happen. 

Are all EV chargers the same? No, but we can help! 

Having the right kind of EV charger in your garage is the most important step to owning  an EV. It’s also important to understand the right type of charger — Level 1 or Level 2  — to reflect your usage. Our team can help you with both, so if you’d like to learn  more, give us a call. You can contact us at (614) 660-5879 or send us a message  requesting more info here!

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