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EV Charging on the Road

Charging on the road.

EV charging is easier than ever.

If you’re on a road trip in an electric car, you’ll need to plug in. So, be sure to familiarize yourself with electric car charging vendors, their rates and what chargers they offer. You can also download helpful apps ahead of time for public charging.
graphic of ev plugged into level 2 charger

Level 2 Public EV Charging

  • Typically around 25 miles of range per hour of charging
  • Located at retail establishments, workplaces, restaurants, grocery stores, and in towns and cities everywhere
  • Best for “topping off” or getting a few extra miles of range while you’re shopping, eating or working
  • Uses a J1772 connector that is compatible with all electric vehicles (Tesla provides an adapter)
graphic of ev plugged in DC fast charger

DC Fast Charging

  • Fastest electric car charging option – provides up to 250 miles of range per hour, depending on the car and charging equipment
  • Can charge up to 80% typically in about 20 to 30 minutes
  • Used to facilitate longer distance driving or road trips or for a quick recharge
  • Most non-Tesla chargers have a CCS/SAE Combo connector
  • Tesla DC fast chargers will only work with Tesla vehicles
ev state of charge

EV State of Charge and Battery Charging Curve

A popular analogy to explain EV State of Charge (SoC) is that of an empty movie theater. Before the movie starts, people can pour into the empty theater quickly, finding seats all around them. As the seats fill up, it takes increasingly more time to find available seating until the theater eventually (and slowly) reaches capacity.

  • SoC is the level of charge of an electric battery relative to how much capacity remains in it, ranging from 0% (completely discharged) to 100% (fully charged).
  • When you first plug in, your EV communicates with the charging station to determine the best rate of charge. The EV controls the charger, but certain conditions, such as the battery temperature or SoC, can also impact charging.
  • The change in charging speed as your battery gets fuller and fuller is called the Charging Curve.
  • When your SoC is nearly empty, it charges quickly. As the battery becomes fuller, the charging speed and power step down to help protect the battery. At 80% SoC, charging rates slow significantly.
  • Since it takes much longer to charge beyond 80% SoC, you may want to consider unplugging and charging later at a lower SoC.

Fast Charger Connectors

Fast charging uses four different types of connectors – CCS/SAE Combo, CHAdeMO, Tesla Supercharger and NACS. Tesla has CHAdeMO connectors available for purchase, but only Tesla vehicles can charge at their Superchargers. All other brands are equipped with either CCS/SAE Combo, CHAdeMO or NACS connectors.
  • Combined Charging System (CCS)/SAE Combo

    Leading charging standard in North America, compatible with most non-Tesla EVs.

  • CHAdeMO

    Japanese charging standard, compatible with Nissan, Mitsubishi and some Kia® EVs. Tesla EVs require a Tesla CHAdeMO adapter.

  • North American Charging Standard (NACS) / Tesla

    Increasingly popular charging standard developed by Tesla, now open for others.

Find a Public Charging Station

Mobile apps like PlugShare enable you to search public EV charging stations by plug type, charging speed and charging provider, including station functionality and current availability.

Tips for Charging on the Road

When planning a road trip or charging around town, be sure to follow these tips to help maximize your vehicle’s charge and increase the life span of your vehicle’s battery.
  • Always carry a backup standard Level 1 charger.

  • If your battery gets low, slow down. Faster speeds use more battery.

  • Plan your route and plot places to charge before your trip.

  • Ensure your apps are downloaded and working.

  • Find several charging options around your charging location.

  • Don’t let your range go below 25 miles (approximately).

  • Consider your EV's range with certain variables (climate control, speed, temperature or others).

  • Take advantage of HOV lanes that allow EV drivers.

  • Charging at Home

    Consider installing a Level 1 or Level 2 charger at your home.

  • Choosing an EV

    Check out our EV selector tool and see which model works best for your lifestyle.

  • EV Initiatives

    We’re helping promote electric vehicles (EVs) and expand charging infrastructure.

  • Park & Plug Resources

    Information to help you use Park & Plug charging stations safely.

Duke Energy is not affiliated with the manufacturers or vendors, does not expressly or implicitly warrant the performance of the products and is not liable for any damage caused by these products or for any damage caused by the malfunction of these products. Any non-Duke Energy logo or trademark is owned by its respective manufacturer or its assignee. Duke Energy, 400 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.