Sol-Air Blog

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: The Differences that Divide

Posted on 8/27/18 2:32 PM


Thanks to tax incentives, rebate programs and an increased concern for sustainable transportation, electric vehicle charging stations are a growing feature at rest stops and parking lots nationwide. Public charging stations are convenient for electric vehicle drivers, allowing them to run errands while their car charges.

According to a 2017 University of Michigan study, there are about 16,000 electric vehicle charging stations around the country with 43,000 total charging connectors. That may seem substantial, but as the market continues to grow a shortage of connectors imminent. For businesses and property owners looking to join the movement and capitalize on the growing need, the time has never been better to jump into the marketplace.

Electric vehicle charging is similar to the Andriod/ iPhone debate. All Android chargers can be used for any device that has a mini USB charger. However, Apple chargers, similarly to Tesla, can only be used to charge their own devices. This means that separate chargers are needed for Tesla cars, and standard electric vehicle charging stations can not be used.

Traditional Charging Stations

Although several different manufacturers build charging stations, nearly all of them use the J-Plug to charge a variety of electric vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Toyota Prius Prime and Kia Soul vehicles. These stations are versatile and can be configured to charge drivers by the session, minute or kilowatt-hour.

Traditional charging stations either provide vehicles with an alternating current (AC) that the car’s battery charger converts into a direct current (DC) for storage or a “quick charge” DC right to the battery. These quick charge DC stations currently account for less than 20% of all charging stations, so it’s reasonable to assume that they will be in high demand as the upward trend of electric car continues.

Tesla Supercharger

The top dog of electric vehicles, Tesla, created its vast Supercharger network of over 1,300 stations with 10,900 connectors throughout North America. With Tesla manufacturing an affordable Model 3, installing a Tesla Supercharger station is essentially betting on its continued success.

With that said, other electric vehicles are able to utilize the Tesla Supercharger with a J1772 adapter. Although the use of these converters was initially somewhat controversial, Tesla has even begun to provide J-Plug converter heads at many new Supercharger stations.


If you’re interested in joining the electric vehicle revolution, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to go the Tesla Supercharger route or stick with a traditional J-Plug charging station. Each choice has its pros and cons, but while we wait for a universal charging station to hit the market, you will have to choose a side.

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