Public Charging Stations
Our Guide to Public Charging
Public Charging Stations can be a great way to improve your vehicle's range while reducing fuel consumption. As the popularity of Plug-In Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles continue to grow, the network of publicly available charging stations grows with it. In Calgary alone, there are nearly 200 stations found throughout the city.
You'll find both free and paid Public Charging Stations popping up everywhere including at many popular stores, hotels, and restaurants. Websites, like ChargeHub and PlugShare, make it easy to search for available Public Charging Stations and even plan your trip. You can filter your searches to find locations that offer Level 2 and/or Level 3 (DC Fast-Chargers), free or paid charging, and other amenities. You should note that many Charging "Networks" require you to sign up for an account and/or download an app before you can use them. For this reason, you should visit a charging station you intend to use in the future to make sure you're familiar with their requirements before you really need to use it.
Take advantage of the electric side of your Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and enjoy the benefits of reducing your gas bill. For best success, we recommend planning your trip in advance and checking out some local charging stations before you hit the road.
The Difference Between Charging Levels
- Level 1 Charger - Your Vehicle usually comes included with a 110/120V household charger which can be plugged directly into a standard wall outlet. It offers the slowest charge but lets you plug your vehicle in almost anywhere.
- Level 2 Charger - This is the more standard type of Charger and works with 240V outlets (like the kind for a kitchen stove). They're readily available at most public charging stations and let you charge faster than plugging into a regular wall outlet.
- Level 3 DC Fast-Charger - When you need to top up fast, look for a Level 3 or DC Fast-Charger station. At 480V, you can charge your battery to 80% in about 30 minutes. Fast-Charger stations are great for making longer trips easier.
Things to Consider
- While most Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in North America use the same standardized plugs for charging, Tesla vehicles are an exception and use their own style plug. This means that you'll most-likely need an adapter if you want to charge a Tesla vehicle at a non-Tesla charging station.
- Similarly, non-Tesla vehicles currently can't use Tesla charging stations in North America. An adapter is not available due to the specific features of Tesla chargers. Not to worry, there are plenty of non-Tesla Charging Stations out there to meet your needs.
- You should always plan ahead for longer road trips. Planning your charging stops and being aware of charging stations along your route will greatly improve your experience and help avoid stress if you have an unexpected change in your plans.
- Charging times will vary depending on the type of charger, vehicle, and state of your battery. Refer to your vehicle's manual and charging history so that you're familiar with what you can expect from your vehicle.
- In Canada, charging cost is typically based on Charge Time (the duration of charging) and not the amount of power (kWh) put into the vehicle.
- When looking for a Level 3 DC Fast-Charging Station, be aware of what kind of Fast-Charging port your vehicle uses. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV uses a CHAdeMO type plug which is different from a CCS Type 1 plug. Services like PlugShare and ChargeHub will let you filter your search by charger type.