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Hi Guys -

I am super new to the world of Electric cars....like my first ever electric car (Fisker Karma) will be delivered tomorrow morning! So I am fumbling through trying to figure this new world out.
One big question I have is that I am starting to see spots pop up around town for electric only parking and charging. Do those spots work for Karma? Are the chargers in these places universal or do they only work for specific vehicles?

I appreciate any help guys.
Thank you!
 

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Welcome to the world of EV ownership.

There's a lot to learn but you're in the right place. I'll get you started.

There are two types of public charging:
  • "Level 2" charging, which uses a standard "J1772" connector that any current electric car can use, and is the most popular type of public charging station
  • "Level 3" or DC charging. This is a lot faster, with higher voltage/amperage. There are several competing standards and formats (CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla's proprietary SuperCharger) but the Karma can't use any of them. The next generation Karma Revero is said to support CCS however

The best way to find charging stations is through PlugShare. They have a website and a phone app, and you can teach it to filter out the connector types you can't use.

While some public chargers are independent and even free to use there are three or four companies that have networks and may charge for use. Each of these networks requires a phone app or an RFID card to initiate charging. I recommend you get yourself an account/card for ChargePoint and EvGO, and depending on what's popular where you live Blink, GreenLots and SemaConnect

There's a lot of information out there. Here's a couple links to get you started:
http://www.electrifyatlanta.com/EV-market-and-basics.pdf
http://images.pluginamerica.org/ev101/charge-options/PIA-NDEW-flyer-2015.pdf
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/electrica...4845FD-FD3A-47C6-9D88-28B36656FEBD/EV_101.pdf
 

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Hi Guys -

I am super new to the world of Electric cars....like my first ever electric car (Fisker Karma) will be delivered tomorrow morning! So I am fumbling through trying to figure this new world out.
One big question I have is that I am starting to see spots pop up around town for electric only parking and charging. Do those spots work for Karma? Are the chargers in these places universal or do they only work for specific vehicles?

I appreciate any help guys.
Thank you!
Dear Jessica,

Welcome to the community and to EV driving.

Public charging points follow industry standards and can charge any car that follows that standard. The Karma support the SAE 1772 standard which is supported by most of the public charging points in the US. There are a couple of other standards, but they use different connectors that would not fit into the charging port of the Karma. So if you can plug the charger into the charging port easily, chances are it can charge your car.

Most of the chargers you encounter in the wild are going to be connected to a charging network and you need to be a member of the network to unlock the charger to start charging your car. Chargepoint is probably the largest national network, but there are others, such as Blink. You should do some research to see which networks are represented in your area and get the membership for the ones you are likely to encounter. Membership is typically free and there is a small one-time cost for the card you need to unlock the Chargers. The price is set by whoever owns the charger, some are free, while others charge a nominal amount for charging.

The other benefit of networked chargers such as Chargepoint is that they are supported by their own app that you can use to find chargers and to see if the charger where you are going is in use or not.

Other apps, such as Plugshare, are crowd-sourced and help you find chargers, even the ones that are not connected to a network, but they cannot tell you if the charger is working or whether it is in use or not. The information can also be spotty or inaccurate and YMMV.

Depending on your driving patterns, you will most likely find that you don't really need to charge the car every time you go somewhere, but you generally get better parking spots if you are charging your EV, so it may be worth it for that reason.

You should also consider getting a 220V Level II charger (like this one for example) for your home to charge the car a lot faster at home. Another thing you should check into is whether your utility offers special EV rates that offer very cheap electricity late at night for charging up your Karma.
 

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For most real world driving, though. I recommend you get a Level 2 (240 volt) charger for your home. If you have that, you just drive around during the day, and plug in when you get home. Always start the day with a full charge. If there is a charger right where you want to be for a few hours (like at work or at a movie or at a hotel), then by all means use it. But, you should know that you'll get about 10 miles added to your battery per hour of charge (5 or less if you just use 110v charging). So, you have to be somewhere for a while for it to be worthwhile to charge -- and pay chargers are usually more expensive per mile than gas (in the U.S.). So, I would never bother going anywhere out of my way to use a public charger, when I can just fire up the engine for those few times when I'm going to exceed 40-50 miles in a day. That is what the Karma is all about - removing the worry of Range Anxiety. Drive on electric charge as much as you can! But, never ever worry if you can't.
 

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For most real world driving, though. I recommend you get a Level 2 (240 volt) charger for your home. If you have that, you just drive around during the day, and plug in when you get home. Always start the day with a full charge. If there is a charger right where you want to be for a few hours (like at work or at a movie or at a hotel), then by all means use it. But, you should know that you'll get about 10 miles added to your battery per hour of charge (5 or less if you just use 110v charging). So, you have to be somewhere for a while for it to be worthwhile to charge -- and pay chargers are usually more expensive per mile than gas (in the U.S.). So, I would never bother going anywhere out of my way to use a public charger, when I can just fire up the engine for those few times when I'm going to exceed 40-50 miles in a day. That is what the Karma is all about - removing the worry of Range Anxiety. Drive on electric charge as much as you can! But, never ever worry if you can't.
That's one of the great benefits of driving a Karma vs a pure Battery EV is that the Karma is carrying its own power plant that you can use to keep moving when the battery is discharged. It's really the best of both worlds.
 

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And if you choose to have PowerSource's TOM unit installed, you can re-charge the battery as you drive, which provides even more flexibility for charging when you are away from home.
 
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