Tips for Electric Vehicle Drivers in Texas
How to Charge
- Standardized connector
- At home using a normal wall outlet (cable included with car)
- Slow charge rate (3-5 miles per hour)
- Useful for drivers traveling 40 miles or less daily (Level 2 preferred if available)
- Standardized connector
- At home using a dedicated charging station
- Medium charge rate (15-30 miles per hour)
- Useful for drivers traveling 100+ miles daily
DC Fast Charging:
- Three connector types (CCS, CHAdeMO, Tesla)
- Just off the highway using dedicated high power stations
- Fast charge rate (150-400 miles per hour)
- Useful for long distance driving 300+ miles daily
When to Charge
- All Electric Vehicles have timers that let you set when the car charges.
- The best time to charge your Electric Vehicle is between 10pm and 6am. This is when renewable wind power peaks and there is typically more capacity in the Texas grid.
- You want to avoid charging late afternoons (4pm to 7pm) when there is typically less capacity in the Texas grid.
How Full to Charge
- For improved battery longevity maintain charge between 20% and 80% when possible.
- Normal daily driving charge to 80%.
- Before long trips charge to 100%.
- While on long trips don't charge to 100% at DC Fast Charging stations (only charge what you need to get to your destination, usually 80% or less).
- Don't let your battery sit at 0% or 100% for long periods of time.
Where to Charge
- There are over 2,000 charging stations (and growing) in Texas and many stations charge multiple vehicles at a time.
- For daily driving, most charging will occur overnight at home or throughout the day at Level 2 and DC Fast Charge stations. Stations are usually located at offices, shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels.
- For highway driving, charging will happen at dedicated DC Fast Charging stations located along main highways. Drivers can choose from multiple networks based on the fast charging connector on their vehicle (most networks support multiple connector types at each station). Common networks include Electrify America, Tesla, EVgo, and ChargePoint.
- Like any trip you should plan ahead. Charging stations are connected to the web with apps that display station status, occupancy, cost, and charge rates.
- Helpful charging station maps and route planners for EV drivers:
- Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and typically require less maintenance than traditional vehicles.
- For example, the new electric F-150 truck is targeting 40% less maintenance costs over the vehicles lifetime.
- Normal items to keep track of are windshield wiper fluid and tire pressure.
- The batteries that power electric vehicles are maintenance free.
- Driving an Electric Vehicle in Texas is like driving a gasoline car that gets 68-89 mpg (depending on EV efficiency).
- Electric vehicles produce 60% fewer CO2 emissions compared to internal combustion vehicles.
- Electric vehicles get cleaner over time as the electrical grid gets cleaner.
- The State of Texas offers a $2,500 rebate for buying an electric car. Texas EV Rebate Program (2,000 applications accepted per year).
- The US Federal tax credit is up to $7,500 for an buying electric car. Federal Tax Credit (200,000 vehicles per manufacturer).
- Electric vehicle drivers save $500-$1500 per year in refueling costs compared to gasoline.
- Auto manufacturers are estimating 40% reduction in maintenance costs over the life of electric vehicles.
- Many electric utility providers offer reduced rate plans for night time hours (this is when you should charge your car).
- Rebates exist for the installation of charging stations at homes and businesses (check with your local utility provider).