How to Find a Charging Station

Although most charging of plug-in vehicles occurs at home, there will be times when you may need to use a public charging station. These AC Level 2 charging stations, and the occasional DC Level 3 fast-charging station, can provide the charge you need in a reasonable amount of time. The U.S. Department of Energy, through the Alternative Fuel Data Center, is helping lead the way in the creation of a centralized database that lists publicly accessible charging stations.

This rapidly evolving database helps drivers search for charging stations and provides information to third parties such as auto manufacturers, navigation providers, auto clubs and others that in turn share the data through their own applications. For example, the location-based services built into most EVs (and their smartphone apps) will provide the locations of nearby charging stations. In addition, EV charging stations can be found using the online AAA TripTik® Travel Planner, or the AAA mobile app which is available for both iPhone and Android platforms.

In 2011, AAA launched the first of several roadside assistance trucks with the ability to recharge electric vehicles at the roadside. Currently in select markets, a stranded AAA member with a depleted EV battery can be provided with either AC Level 2 or DC Level 3 fast-charging, depending on the capabilities of their vehicle. AAA’s mobile charging service, which is only offered in limited areas, provides up to a 15 minute charge that allows the vehicle to be driven up to 15 miles – to the member’s home or the nearest public charging station.