Electric cars are the wave of the future, and the future is here; there’s only one problem, charging the thing! How do you charge your electric car if you don’t have a driveway?
The best option for charging an electric car without a driveway is a combination of:
- Mapping out the charging stations along your route
- Making a “power plan” to optimize your use of public charging stations
- Have an emergency backup charge plan, such as using a friend or family member’s charger
Though getting a portable charger might be the best solution, it certainly isn’t the only solution that you have. If going out and getting one isn’t quite in the cards, there are other ways to provide your vehicle with power. Continue reading as we explore other strategies and disguise what advantage a portable charger could provide for you.
How to Charge Your Car without a Driveway
If not having a driveway is holding you back from getting an electric car, don’t let that be the deciding factor. You don’t have to have a driveway to keep your car charged, and you don’t have to buy a super expensive portable charger either.
There are plenty of other options out there, though you may need to put together a power plan to ensure that your vehicle is always charged and ready to go.
The problem with keeping your vehicle charged isn’t going to be an issue as electric cars get more popular; more charging stations will pop up alongside more and better alternative ways to keep your vehicle charged. Making do until then can be a feasible strategy.
Public Charging Stations
Public charging stations are popping up all over. You can find them at some gas stations, targets, and other places. They’re the next best thing to being able to charge your car at home. They are the equivalent of the convenience of a gas station.
Public charging stations can have your battery charged to 80 Percent in half an hour to an hour, depending on the station.
The biggest drawback with the public charging stations is that they are few and far between, though more and more are popping up every day. So, you’ll have to put together a plan to charge your car and know where all the local charging stations are.
Pros of using public charging stations:
- Charging stations are being built in convenient locations such as Target so you can shop while your car is charging.
- It’s a fast way to charge your vehicle’s batteries.
Cons of public charging stations:
- There may not be any conveniently nearby
Level One Charging
Level one charging is much slower and super inconvenient, but it’s a way to keep your car running as long as you’re not traveling vast distances. Unfortunately, it also requires some special equipment.
What is level one charging? Electric cars, with correct adapters, can plug into standard 120-volt outlets to charge—however, this method charges your battery very slowly. If you were to plug it in right when you got home from work by the time you woke up, you might have added 30 miles, 60 if you’re lucky.
To charge your battery to full capacity could take several days, and life doesn’t wait for your car to charge, but if you need an extra few miles then this is an option, just not one that’s going to sustain your car power usage on its own.
If you’re going to plug your electric car into an outlet, you can’t just use any old extension cord. You have to have EV compatible; these extension cords are costly and can be inconvenient.
Pros of level one charging:
- It’s good for adding a few extra miles.
Cons of level one charging:
- You’re going to need special equipment.
- The charging speed is painfully slow.
Use Friends, Family, or Shared Chargers
All right, so maybe there aren’t many charging stations around, or maybe you’re trying to save a little money. If you have a friend or family member living close by with an electric car, you could ask to use their charging port.
You could also look into the numerous services that allow others to share their power ports. Plug share is a way to find where people are offering power-sharing services. It’ll also show you where to find power stations and mechanics.
Those who are offering services could choose to provide free power services, but most set a price. So, who knows, you might find some offering free service—though you might want to leave them a tip every now and again.
Putting Together a Power Plan
Owning an electric car is taking a step into the future and living on the edge of tomorrow. There are benefits to it for you and the environment, but there are also drawbacks.
Not have a place to charge your car at home while it’s parked can be a pain, but with careful planning, organizing your time, and a little money, you can manage just fine.
Setting up a power plan will be key to not running out of power and getting yourself stranded. Charging your car can potentially take over an hour. So, you could find yourself stuck at a power port for a little while.
When setting up a plan, you’re going to need to know a few things about your vehicle.
- What are the options at your disposal to charge your car?
- How long will it take for each charging option to charge your car? Break that number down to how many miles it will charge your car per hour.
- How many hours per week can you run your car?
- How many miles can you go on a full charge?
Now that you’ve got the basic questions out of the way, you need to map out the most convenient place to charge your car. You could use the Plug-share service to pinpoint all of the charging stations in your area.
What are your power station options:
- Are there any on your way to work?
- Near your house?
- Will you be able to use friends or family?
- How will you avoid getting yourself into a pinch?
- What will you do if you get into a pinch?
These are good questions to hash out how to avoid complications in the future. Remember, preparation is the key to success in anything you set out to do; failing to plan is planning to fail.
Here are a couple of tips to stay charged and ready to go:
- Get the special adaptor to plug your car into the wall if you have an available outside outlet, every mile counts. However, don’t run the cord across a sidewalk; someone could trip.
- See if you can park next to an outlet when you go to work. If there is one available, then ask your boss if you can use it.
- Shop at a store that provides charging stations and try to time your grocery shopping around your power usage.
- Ensure that you keep an eye on your power level and don’t let it go under the number of miles you need to make it to a station.
- Stay plugged in; make sure that your car is plugged in if you’re not using it.
Without a charging station at home, a power plan is necessary. While it might seem like an inconvenience to have to plan out how to keep your car powered, it’ll make your life much easier and avoid any unnecessary roadside assistance fees.
Do You Need a Driveway for an Electric Car?
No, electric cars are the wave of the future. As we press forward, the technology that is fueling the industry gets better and better. We’ve come to a point where the electric car is as efficient, if not more efficient, than its fossil fuel counterparts.
The electric car’s one hang-up is that you need to have a charging port installed in your driveway or garage to keep it powered. This is a potential setback for those who want an electric car but prefer living in an apartment or condo where we don’t have access to a private driveway or garage.
So, if you have to have a driveway to have an electric car, what about people who just don’t want the hassle of owning a home?
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to have a driveway to charge an electric car. There are several options available for people just like you.
Here are some of the ways to charge your vehicle right now:
- Get a portable charger
- Pay a friend to use their charging port
- Use a public charging port
- Use a standard 120-volt outlet
As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, so do the options for charging them. There are plenty of options in the works, and it’s quite likely that there will be charging stations all over towns and cities one day.
Consider a Portable EV Charger for Emergencies
One of the best options for keeping your vehicle charged and ready for action is to buy a portable EV charger. A portable charge will solve your problem quickly, and it has other applications as well.
So, what is an EV charger? It’s a portable generator that you can carry in your vehicle if your car runs low on power. These chargers can charge your car quickly and anywhere.
With a portable EV charge, you can charge your car at work, while shopping, overnight at a friend’s house on the side of the highway; it doesn’t matter. EV charges make charging your vehicle convenient, and there’s no need to have a power plan if you have one.
Not all portable chargers are created equal, and some will work better than others. The older model charges slowly and isn’t anywhere near the level of what is coming out.
Take, for example, Blink’s newer portable charge; it can charge at around one mile per minute, which’s incredibly fast compared to some of the older versions that could only provide around ten miles of charging per hour.
Portable chargers could be the best solution to your problem and might be just what you’re looking for—though they come with one major drawback, especially when discussing the newer, more efficient one.
The price is high, really high to take home a charger that will make your life easier and solve the problem of driveways charging; you’re going to fork out some bucks. You’re looking at no less than 600 dollars and upwards of 6000.
Pros of portable chargers:
- Charge your car anywhere
- Fast and efficient
- No driveway required
Cons of portable chargers:
- They use gasoline, offsetting the ecological impact of your electric car
- They are not meant for every scenario and are quite heavy
- For a good EV charger, you’re looking at thousands of dollars.
If you frequently spend time in areas without electric charging stations and can’t install a home charger, a portable charger could be a good investment in the short term.
What to Look for in Electric Cars for Apartments
Not all electric cars are equal, and if you’re going to run an electric car with no way to power it at home, you’ll need to be picky with the kind of car you choose. You’re going to want to make sure it’s got a few qualities that you wouldn’t otherwise worry so much about if you had a home charger.
Without a home charger, you’re going to want to make sure that your car can hold as much power as is available in today’s EV. The more miles you can travel on a single charge, the better off you’ll be as you won’t have to worry about getting to a charging port as much.
The EV with the greatest range on the market today is Tesla, would’ve thought? Tesla offers several cars at different price ranges with the longest-reaching batteries on the market. The biggest issue is that they are a little pricey but not so much that they are out of reach entirely for the average American.
Both the Tesla model T and the Model Y have long-range and are affordable vehicles.
- The Model 3 can go 353 miles on a single charge that’s about the same distance a Kia Soul can go on a single tank of gas. It’ll run around 47,000 dollars.
- The Model Y has the power to run 326 miles on a single charge and sells for 50,000 bucks.
If the price is an issue and you’re looking for something with a good range and a lower price, you can always opt for a Chevrolet Bolt. They’re not flashy or very fast, but the bones of the car are solid. The Chevrolet Bolt will cost you around 38,000 and has a range of 259 miles.
There are two more options if money isn’t the issue; both have a great range, flashy and fast. These two are the total package in electric vehicles.
- Tesla Model S this vehicle is gorgeous and quick, with the longest range of any EV on the market at 373 miles. This car requires some deep pockets though its going price is 90,000 dollars.
- Tesla’s Model X can compare with the Model S in range, price and speed.
When it comes to a great car EV with a long-range Tesla is the way to go.
When getting an EV, regardless of living situation, another important question: battery life. It is dependent on you, and the company warranty as the batteries of electric vehicles are similar in lifespan. They’ll last you around 100,000 miles, but there are ways that you can shorten that, and some companies offer warranties on the batteries.
To get the most out of your battery, you’re going to stay away from level 3 charging. While it is the fastest way to get back on the road, it can also heat the battery and shorten its lifespan. Some companies offer a warranty on the battery pack that lasts eight years and up to 10,000 miles. Kia extends the years of its warranty to ten years, 10,000 miles.
Level 3 chargers are also more expensive and can be more difficult or expensive to install, especially in apartments or places where you need someone else’s approval.
When you don’t have a charging station at home, making sure your battery’s life degrades as slowly as possible is very important. You are more likely to get stranded than someone who has a charger at home and for whom battery degradation isn’t as crucial over the long term.
Hyundai, on the other hand, will warranty the battery pack for life. The issue with the warranties, while they are good, only covers certain instances where the battery won’t hold a charge. So, read your warranty and know what’s covered and in what situation.
You’re not entirely powerless in the health of your EV’s battery pack. If you take care of the power pack and stay away from fast charging, you’ll be able to squeeze the most out of your car’s power source.
Yes, it is possible to own an electric car even if you don’t have any home charging options; it just takes a little more effort. As we go forth into the future of electric cars, more and more solutions will become available.
Companies will be putting together cast power networks; companies are proposing curbside popup charging stations. So, it’s safe to say that powering your electric car won’t be a problem very shortly. Instead, the problem will be where to find gas.