In addition to the standard comforts of modern cars (climate control, navigation, Bluetooth, parking assistance cameras, etc.), most electric cars also come equipped with convenient built-in features. Our post is here to help you become more familiar with some of the most common built-in features, so you can make the most out of driving your electric vehicle.
Vehicle Timers and Schedulers
A vehicle timer is an excellent solution for helping you save on electricity costs and reminding you to charge your vehicle. One of the most common misconceptions is that if you drive an EV, you must purchase a smart charging station with its own timer or app. However, this is usually not the case. Many modern electric cars already come with a pre-built timer, with delay timers and departure timers being some of the most common.
A delay timer allows you to preset a time for your car to begin charging. For example, if we leave work at 5 pm and arrive home at 5:30 pm, we can plug in our vehicle right away. However, if we use our delay timer, we can preset it so our EV won’t begin charging until midnight. (Most utility companies tend to charge less expensive rates during low demand and higher rates during peak demand, often referred to as Time of Use or TOU). This delay will allow us to capitalize on times during the night where electricity tends to be in lower demand, therefore reducing costs.
Nevertheless, a charging station well-suited for your vehicle should ensure a fully charged battery by the following morning. In some EVs, we can also use the departure timer for this.
Departure Timer or Scheduler
If you know what time you plan on heading out the next day, you can preset your car’s departure timer. The departure timer will ensure that your battery is charged by the time you are ready to leave, even if you have a preset charging schedule. Additionally, some vehicles will allow users to choose a full battery or an 80-90% charge at the time of departure.
Built-In Control Panel
If you drive an electric car, the car’s dashboard most likely came with a built-in touchscreen for you to monitor its battery, range, and other conditions. Ultimately, purchasing a charging station with an app is an additional add-on or a specialized feature, not a necessity for a driver’s daily convenience.
Most electric vehicles allow drivers to precondition the temperature control system and have the cabin ready before they leave. If this is done while your car is plugged in, it will not consume your battery, and you can cool or heat your car without losing range.
For more information on how temperatures can affect the range of an EV, please visit our page on indoors vs. outdoors charging. You can also read our tips for maximizing range in hot weather and maximizing range in cold weather.
Mobile Apps for EV Charging
Besides a dashboard touchscreen, most modern EVs also come with the ability to connect to mobile apps that can provide notification updates and locate nearby charging stations. PlugShare is one of the most popular resources to find public charging stations. Google Maps also showcases charging stations, along with their port type, charging speed, and availability in real-time.
Charging at Home Delivers Long-Term Convenience
For fully electric cars (also known as battery electric cars), charging at home eliminates any need for gas station trips or costs. EV drivers who own a residential Level 2 charging station have no need to regularly use public stations. In fact, over 80% of EV charging in the USA takes place at home.
With the optimal charging station, recharging an electric car is as convenient as plugging in a laptop. Plug in the vehicle charger, set the departure timer, precondition the cabin, and the car should be almost ready to go by the next day.
Dual Charging at Home: ClipperCreek offers various solutions for charging two EVs at the same time, such as our Share2 Series and our HCS Dual Series charging stations. These two options are efficient solutions for households with multiple vehicles, such as guest blogger and EV driver Leo Chan explains:
“The ClipperCreek HCS-D40P Plug-in L2 Dual Charging Station… checked every single box: charged two EVs, electrically safe and managed power output automatically, leveraged by my existing electrical infrastructure and is also portable.”
Vehicle Locking Inlets
Many EVs come with locking inlets, which will secure the charging connector as long as the vehicle is locked. This means that if we plug a charging station connector into our EV and walk away after locking our car, no one else can pull the connector out or interrupt our charging. The charging connector can only be removed after we return and unlock our vehicle. This is an incredibly beneficial feature whenever we need to use a public charging station, such as a commercial parking lot or on a road trip stop.
Pro Tip: If the charging connector ever seems as if it’s stuck to the inlet, try unlocking your car doors and then unplugging the connector. Some vehicles will also allow you to use an app to pause your charging session. See our video below for tips on removing a stuck connector.
Protect Your Connector: Over time, dust and debris buildup can interfere with a clean charging connection and potentially even damage your charging unit or car. ClipperCreek’s SAE J1772 Connector Holster is compatible with all SAE J1772 Connectors (the standard connector in North America) and provides excellent protection from the elements. Not only does it prevent debris from getting inside the actual connector component, but it also offers a convenient storage solution for your connector when not in use.