Charging 101: The Key To Adapting To an Electric Vehicle (EV) Lifestyle


by Eran Dahan

I’ve heard it again and again, the most stressful part of going EV is charging. If you have felt this, believe me, you’re not alone. Take my partner in crime, Rhonda Massad of Montreal Grandma and West Island Blog. After a few weeks of driving her BMW Canbec i3 S, she expressed the same fear and its completely understandable. Owning an EV car is a total paradigm shift from one lifestyle to another. Yesterday, you went to the gas station for a few minutes to fill up your combustion vehicle and now, you’re looking for the closest charging station to pick up some charge. Or at least, that’s one way to look at it.

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The truth is, owning an electric vehicle isn’t much different than a gas one. It only feels as though it is for the first while unless of course, you have your friendly Mr. BMWi to fill you in on how best to enjoy your new EV.

Charging Levels

We will begin with the most important of all charging facts. Charging levels. Now, before we begin, remember, for even more information on charging, you can head to my Mr. BMWi charging page now by clicking here, let’s begin with the types of charging cables. When it comes to this, the main thing to concern yourself with is quick charge types (or level 3) because that is what you will see most out in public and more importantly, that is what you have to make sure your car is compatible with.

There are 3 main charging types which your car must conform to in order to charge it at a charging station. SAE CCS (BMW i3), Supercharger (developed by Tesla) and CHAdeMO (Nissan Leaf). Having one of these three systems means you will likely be safe at nearly every station you encounter. Charging at these stations is as simple as making an account and using an app or the card mailed to you by the network. Two examples of these charging station networks include ChargePoint and FLO.

Now, when it comes to the home, you have the choice of using the standard 120v socket or the stronger 240v socket installed by a qualified electrician. Installing the 240v socket will decrease your charge time significantly from 20 hours to 4. For more information on charging, head to my Mr. BMWi charging Page HERE.

Lifestyle of an EV Driver

There are no 2 ways about it, driving an EV car will change your life. It’s a very different experience but the change isn’t as arduous as it looks. Think of it this way, when you leave your house in the morning, your car is optimally charged to 100%. While you go through your day, the focus is picking up small blasts of charge wherever you go, this will decrease any wait time and ensure that you have sufficient charge to prevent range anxiety from rearing its ugly head.

Heading to the movie theatre? Plug your car in! Grocery shopping? Check if they have a charging station! Do this, and you will find that EV life isn’t hard on your life or your wallet.

Still having trouble crossing over the alternative energy line? The i3 provides the perfect option, known as the Range Extender. A small generator which functions off a small 9L gas tank. Emissions on this generator are so small that the i3 is still considered a 100% EV car and qualifies for the full government credit but it gives you the security and confidence to travel where you need to go and know that you have a plan B waiting when you need it.

Eran Dahan, A.K.A Mr. BMW, is a client adviser at BMW Canbec with a specialty in electric cars. Being a small business owner himself, Eran has a unique appreciation for customer satisfaction.”Considering an Electric car? Stay tuned for more posts by your friendly neighbourhood Mr. BMW.