WASHINGTON - The Alternative Fueling Station Locator, an online mapping tool of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC), now provides a new way to search for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, making it easier for drivers to plug in. For years, EV owners have used the Station Locator to find public charging stations, but beginning Thursday, Dec. 23, they'll also be able to track down the exact type of station they need and know how long it will take to charge their vehicles.

EV drivers have several options in charging equipment, each with different voltages and corresponding charging times. A Level 1 charger has a 120v, alternating-current (AC) plug, providing a full charge in eight to 20 hours, depending on the vehicle. Level 2 equipment operates on a 240v circuit, fully charging a vehicle in three to eight hours. Direct-current (DC) fast charging equipment supplies electricity at 480v, requiring only about 30 minutes to top off EV batteries. The Station Locator distinguishes among these three options, letting drivers know which kinds of stations are where. Users can also locate less common charging equipment, such as inductive paddles, and emerging technologies, as they appear.

In allowing EV owners to search for charging stations by equipment type, the AFDC is continuing its commitment to being the premier resource on alternative fueling options, including electric charging.