Electric Vehicles 101
Get Acquainted with Electric Cars
If you’re new to plug-in electric cars, and are thinking of investing in electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, start here. Get to know the types of electric cars and charging level options, and learn who to get in touch with as you prepare to get plugged in.
Types of Electric Cars
Battery Electric Vehicle
Charging: Levels & Times
Level I (120 volts): 3 to 20 Hours Charge Time
A full charge at Level I can take as little as 3 hours—depending on your type of vehicle—using the familiar 3-prong, 120-volt outlets found in every home and business. It is recommended that charging at this level be on a dedicated 20-amp circuit. Typically there’s no need for equipment installation since the charging plug provided with your car will use a 120–volt outlet. Prior to charging a vehicle at your business you’ll want to consult a qualified electrician to check that your existing wiring can safely support electric car charging.
Level II (240 volts): 1 to 8 Hours Charge Time
Level II charging is faster and may take as little as 1 hour, again depending on your specific vehicle and state of charge. If you want your own Level II charging stations at you’re business, you’ll need a 240-volt line installed by a qualified electrician.
DC Fast Charging (480 volts)
This charging level often requires significant installation and electrical infrastructure upgrades; it uses 480 volts or higher and can charge a car’s batteries up to 80% of capacity in as little as 5 to 30 minutes. This level is only used in certain commercial settings and is not available for residential use.
Charging Equipment Plug Standards
Your Team of Experts
Your Electric Utility
We provide infrastructure planning, assistance in selecting rates, energy management solutions, and other support to help you prepare your business for electric car charging.
Auto Manufacturers & Dealers
In addition to selling or leasing vehicles, automakers and dealers can provide information about charging capabilities and requirements for specific electric car models.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Manufacturers & Vendors
These firms offer the charging stations and other equipment required to deliver electricity safely to electric cars. Many manufacturers and vendors also offer installation, maintenance and billing services.
Equipment Installers (including electrical contractors)
These professionals obtain required permits, perform the necessary installation work, and request local government inspections.
Local Government Agencies
These agencies inspect your electrical work, develop construction codes, and may offer financial incentives for charging stations.
Electric Vehicle Tips
Discover the ins and outs of electric vehicles
Are you installing charging stations for customers, employees, multi-family housing residents or fleet vehicles? We offer tools and resources to help you start planning today.
Learn about the differences between plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, so that you can make more informed charging station installation decisions.
You can select from different charging, or power levels for electric car fueling. Turn to us for more details and assistance in providing information on safe and reliable charging.
Learn how different factors can affect where you install charging stations, and why future expansion plans might make it more cost-effective to invest in additional infrastructure today.
We offer special rate plans with lower costs when you charge during off-peak hours. Contact us today for more information and a customized rate analysis for your business.
Are you ready to install charging stations at a multi-unit site residence? We can help answer your questions about different charging options and rates that meet the needs of your residents.
If you'd like to offer electric car charging to your customers, find out how to maximize convenience, streamline installation and manage your costs.
If you're interested in providing your employees electric car charging access at work, contact us to discuss the best way to meet your specific needs.
Are you thinking of adding electric vehicles to your fleet? We can help by providing a Fleet Conversion Analysis, plus all the tools and resources information you need to ensure safe, reliable, and efficient charging.
Count on your SCE Account Representative to help ensure that you safely and reliably add electric vehicle charging load, while also managing costs.
What You Need to Know
Get plugged in about Plug-in Electric Vehicles with our video gallery
More electric cars means more retailers, office buildings, condos and others are installing charging stations for employee, customer or tenant use.
For over two decades, SCE has been a leading supporter in advancing the safe and efficient use of emerging electric transportation technologies.
Save More Than Fuel
Find a charging station, choose the best rate, and learn about alternative energy sources