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For immediate roadside assistance please call:

1.800.222.4357
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*222 (on mobile)
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Charging Stations

Did you know that networks of charging stations, similar to gas stations, exist throughout North America? CAA provides a handy tool for finding charging stations closest to you!

EV

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The most important thing to know about charging an electric vehicle, be it a BEV or a PHEV, is that it is as easy as plugging in a toaster. Speaking of ease, did you know that future charging may be as easy as simply parking on a designated spot, without being plugged in. Until that technology is ready, consider the three different levels of plugged-in charging.

Levels of Charging

Level 1

  • Using a 110/120 volt outlet, which is a regular three-prong household socket, most plug-in electric vehicles can be recharged overnight.

Level 2

  • Using a 220/240 volt outlet, the type found at most charging stations, many models can fully charge in 3-5 hours.
  • This type of outlet can be easily installed in most homes.

Level 3

  • Fast chargers, typically 480 volts, charge batteries to 80% in as little as half an hour.
  • These chargers are still rare, but are generally available in cities in Canada, the United States, and other countries.
  • Fast charging requires one of two types of connectors: CHAdeMO or COMBO.
Connectors for Level 3

There are 2 types of connectors for fast charging:

CHAdeMO

  • Developed and adopted by Japanese and Korean manufacturers
  • Found in the Nissan LEAF, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and the Kia Soul EV
  • CHAdeMO adaptor can be used to charge Tesla vehicles, which have their own connectors and a network of fast charging stations

COMBO

  • Used by almost all American and European manufacturers, including Chevrolet, Ford, and BMW
  • CHAdeMO connector vehicles need a COMBO connector to recharge unless the fast charging stations have both types, which is common
Quick Battery Change Facilities

An alternative to recharging the battery in the vehicle is to swap it for a fresh, fully-charged battery. Battery quick-change facilities are in experimental use, with robotic change times of less than a minute reported, but only vehicles designed specifically for quick-change batteries can be serviced at these facilities. Stocking and recharging an adequate number and various types of batteries are significant challenges for these facilities.

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