Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are more popular than ever, as both companies and consumers try to reduce their carbon emissions, become less reliant on fluctuating gas prices and take advantage of available tax incentives. Increased adoption means there is also growing demand for charging infrastructure and logistical support.
Notably, sales of electric vehicles spiked in 2022. A recent report from Kelley Blue Book notes that American car buyers bought 200,000 EVs in the third quarter of 2022, which represents a 67% increase from 2021.
More consumers and company-owned fleets are going electric amid the recent passage of both the Inflation Reduction Act, which dramatically increases incentives for EV ownership and manufacturing, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allocates $7.5 billion to build out a nationwide network of 500,000 EV charging stations.
Some states have also taken particularly bold moves toward electrification. Both California and New York announced that by 2035, all new vehicles sold in their states must be electric. So far, these federal and state policies seem to be driving further EV production and adoption. Increasingly, both consumers and companies are converting to EVs, and automakers are announcing bold plans for more electric manufacturing in the coming decade.
As more EV adoption occurs, OEMs, dealers, fleet management companies and companies with EVs in their fleet will need to familiarize themselves with the different types of EV and PHEV charging – paying attention to the differences on how best to charge these vehicle types – as well as how to properly transport, care for and maintain these vehicles.
ACERTUS has outlined some key elements companies should consider when it comes to EV charging, maintaining these vehicles and their batteries and how a logistics partner can help.
EV Charging Levels
When it comes to EV charging, there are three different levels, which represent how fast the charge is delivered to the vehicle. Depending on the vehicle and the situation, one level may be more optimal than the others.
Level 1: The slowest charging level, Level 1 utilizes a 120-volt household outlet. Every vehicle type can be charged at this level, whether an EV or PHEV, by plugging charging equipment into a regular wall outlet. It’s ideal for PHEVs because they have smaller batteries.
For EVs, which have larger batteries, Level 1 charging will add between three and five miles of range per hour of charge.
Level 2: This is the most commonly used level for daily EV charging, requiring 208 to 240 voltage and charging up to 10 times faster than Level 1. Level 2 equipment can be installed at any home, workplace, warehouse or public area. With Level 2 charging, EVs can get between 12 and 80 miles of range per hour, depending on the specific power output of the charger and the vehicle’s maximum charge rate.
For larger EVs, such as step vans, they have larger EV batteries that require a bit more time to charge. Because of this, they typically need to be charged overnight on Level 2 or in less time with Level 3.
Level 3: Also known as DC fast charging – or for Teslas, specifically, supercharging – Level 3 is the fastest type of charging available. EVs can recharge at a rate of 3 to 20 miles of range per minute. Instead of utilizing alternating current (AC) like Levels 1 and 2, Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC).
Typically, Level 3 charges are not installed in homes, as few residential locations have the high voltage power required (anywhere from 400 to 900 volts).
It is important to note, the individual vehicle controls how much power it accepts, so there is no risk of plugging an EV into a charger that delivers more power than it can handle. However, this information can be critical for companies assessing what chargers they should invest in, or what they may want access to, depending on their unique business and operational needs.
If an EV or PHEV is to run properly and be well-maintained, it’s crucial to keep the vehicle’s battery in top shape and prevent degradation. Here are a few important factors to keep in mind when caring for these batteries:
Keep the Battery Charge at 20-80%: While drivers of fuel-based vehicles often likely to fill up their gas tanks whenever possible, it’s not ideal to charge EVs at 100%. Charging to a full 100% can actually wear down the vehicle’s battery over time and should be largely avoided. Similarly, letting an EV get to 0% charge is damaging to the battery and should not happen.
Ideally, vehicle batteries will be kept between a 20% and 80% charge at all times. Fortunately, many newer EVs actually allow for manual setting of the charging maximum, in order to help preserve battery life.
Avoid Extreme Heat or Cold: When parked or not in use, EVs should be kept in settings with as mild of temperatures as possible. If these vehicles are stored in extremely cold temperatures, it can drain the existing charge, cause batteries to take longer to regain charge and lead to inefficiencies.
Storing these vehicles in extreme heat is even more risky. Too much heat can initiate chemical reactions in the EV battery, producing gas and other unwanted byproducts that ultimately deteriorate the battery and its ability to charge properly.
Steps to Boost Range: To improve EV range and further protect the battery, drivers should try to keep their speed under 60 miles per hour whenever possible, keep the vehicle’s tires properly inflated, minimize heater and air conditioning usage and travel light.
Drivers can also avoid driving EVs in areas with heavy traffic, steep hills or particularly rough terrain, and when braking, they can utilize the energy-recovering regenerative braking function on their vehicle.
All of these steps will not only ensure drivers have the EV range they want, but that the battery’s life is protected.
ACERTUS as an EV Logistics Partner
ACERTUS doesn’t just have the expertise to safely and securely move EVs, we have a full suite of logistics offerings. Services include everything from car-haul and drive-away service to EV storage, charging, care and reconditioning work, title-and-registration services and more.
In recent years, ACERTUS has made the necessary investments to ensure we can accommodate our partners’ needs when it comes to EVs and PHEVs. This includes charging infrastructure at many of our 67 storage hubs, strategically located throughout North America, to ensure EVs batteries stay properly charged and ready to drive.
A number of our hubs are equipped with Level 2 charging stations to ensure multiple vehicles can be charged quickly and efficiently while in storage or undergoing prep, reconditioning service or maintenance. ACERTUS is also starting to invest in Level 3 charging at some of our storage locations, particularly those in markets with high EV demand.
Through our hub network, we can fully detail vehicles, complete tire rotations, repair windshields and complete body work. Our expert title-and-registration team can also process titles, registrations and renewals while vehicles are in temporary storage or in transit. This full-service approach ensures EVs, PHEVs and all other vehicles can be transported and made ready-to-drive without the need for extra stops or unnecessary downtime – ultimately, increasing speed to market.
ACERTUS’ more than 1,000 drivers are well-trained to drive EVs and PHEVs and know correct protocols for charging these vehicles, boosting range and keeping batteries in top-working condition. These drivers are well-versed in knowing where EV charging stations exist along their routes, and many of them have portable charging equipment, so vehicles can be charged while en route.
Additionally, ACERTUS has more than 8,000 carriers in our carefully vetted network, all of which are familiar with hauling both EVs and PHEVs and know how to navigate the heavier weight of these vehicles to optimize load factor and keep transports moving efficiently.
Thanks to our hub-and-spoke model, our team is well-positioned to execute home deliveries on behalf of dealers, FMCs or other companies. While this process often involves multiple providers to ensure vehicles are transported, titled, registered and made ready-to-drive before delivery, ACERTUS can assist with all these services, streamlining the process and making it simple for all involved.
Whatever support you need with EVs, PHEVs or any other vehicles, ACERTUS is here to help. We’ll partner with you to create a complete logistics strategy that entails whatever you and your customers most need.
Learn more about ACERTUS’ full range of shipping and vehicle logistics solutions at https://acertusdelivers.com. To connect with one of our team members or receive a quote, contact us here or call us at: 855-ACERTUS (855-223-7887).
Find more info on EV charging, proper care and logistics here.