Best Places To Charge Your Electric Car

By Austin Morris 02/08/2023 12:00pm


Quick Facts About Best Places to Charge

  • The easiest and best place to charge your electric car is at home with a Level 2 charger.
  • Most public charging stations offer Level 2 and Level 3 chargers.
  • Tesla owners need an adapter to use non-Tesla charging stations.

One of the biggest hesitations for prospective electric vehicle (EV) buyers is where they will charge their cars. Unlike plentiful gas stations, there are far fewer EV charging stations, and they are more spread out. When going on long trips, drivers of electric cars must plan their routes before hitting the road.

You’ll find many different public charging options, too. So you need to download apps and get it all straight. Then, some electric cars, like the Nissan Leaf, work with specific chargers. Keep reading to learn where to charge your electric vehicle and what to do if your car isn’t compatible with every charger.

Where To Charge Your Electric Car

Where to charge your electric vehicle and how long it will take to charge based on the charging station level.

You can charge your car at home, grocery stores, along highways, public transit stations, office buildings, and more. Charging stations continue to pop up across the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center reports that electric vehicles can fast charge at more than 5,200 public Level 3 DC fast charging stations. For Teslas, another 1,650 Superchargers are available.

Electric vehicle chargers could soon be around the corner, even at gas stations. BP and Shell have already announced ambitious plans and investments in electric charging stations. For example, Shell USA announced plans to acquire Volta and its network of 3,000 charge points at malls, shopping centers, and grocery stores like Whole Foods.

Free charging at a Volta station

There are plenty of options to choose from when deciding where it’s best to charge your electric car.

  • Home
  • Workplace Charging
  • Public Charging


The easiest and best place to charge your electric car is at home. Studies show that 80%  of EV owners charge their cars at home. At-home charging is one of the cheapest ways to charge an EV. Many states, cities, local municipalities, and electric utility companies offer rebates and incentives for charging at home. If you live in an apartment complex, check with the manager. Oftentimes, they want to add amenities and perks for residents, and an EV charger may be among them.

Level 1

Most electric cars come with a Level 1 charger that works with a standard household outlet. While this is the slowest way to charge an electric vehicle, it eventually gets the job done.

Level 2

If you don’t mind paying a little extra, you can upgrade to a Level 2 charger. Most car manufacturers offer a Level 2 charger as an upgrade and may even provide free installation.

RELATED: How Long Does It Take To Charge an Electric Car?

Workplace Charging

Many companies have installed charging stations for employees to use while working. These chargers tend to be Level 2 chargers, giving your car a faster charge in fewer hours than a Level 1.

It’s an excellent place to charge your vehicle during the workday. A charger at work should allow you to get to and from work, and then some. Just remember your charging etiquette and share the chargers.

Public Charging

Public charging stations might seem intimidating if it’s your first time charging an EV, as they can sometimes be unreliable, charge at different speeds, and more. You’ll occasionally find broken chargers and sometimes another EV hogging the spot overnight. But most times, you’ll see public charging stations conveniently located in places where you run errands, at public transit sites, and in shopping areas like supermarkets and Walmart and Target stores.

Public charging stations are usually Level 2 or 3 chargers, meaning they provide the most energy to your car in the shortest amount of time. These chargers come in handy when going on a long drive. They are also great when your car has a low battery and needs a quick charge to make it home. Since public Level 3 DC fast chargers can provide you with up to 80% battery charge in about 15 to 30 minutes in some vehicles, by the time you make a pit stop to buy coffee and a few snacks, you’ll be ready to hit the road again.

However, while Level 3 DC fast chargers are great for quick charging, they should not be your go-to for everyday use. When used too frequently, DC fast chargers can damage the car’s battery, potentially doing more harm than good. It’s also advised to fast charge up to 80% and not to let the battery drain below 20%.

What About Tesla Charging?

Tesla Superchargers in the snow.

Teslas offer a different charging system than other electric cars, so they are not compatible with most public and workplace charging stations unless you buy an adapter.

If you don’t want to pay extra for the adapter to use at public charging stations, your car will automatically find Tesla charging stations near you.

The price of Tesla charging can vary where you reside. The EV giant increased its Tesla Supercharger pricing, then dropped it some at the end of 2022. However, prices remain higher. After a recent over-the-air update, Tesla now displays real-time pricing at a given Supercharger location.

Still, during peak hours of the day, prices can drastically increase, leaving drivers wanting to skip out on charging. If you prefer to avoid the Supercharger frenzy during peak hours, stick to charging your Tesla at home, unless you need it for a long trip.