Choosing the Right EV Charging Station in California

Whether you’ve already brought home an EV or you’re still trying to decide if you should go electric, you should know that there are thousands of EV charging stations in California. The map above can show you exactly where to find them—but we understand if you still have questions after browsing through your options. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Level 1 Charging is available via any standard three-prong outlet, but since you’ll only gain 3–5 miles of range per hour, we don’t recommend this method.
  • Level 2 Charging stations are the most common public EV charging stations in California—and elsewhere. Different vehicles charge at different rates, but a Level 2 Station can generally refill a battery completely in four to ten hours. For a plug-in hybrid, expect a much faster fill-up.
  • Level 3 DC Fast Charging stations offer the ultimate in fast-charging convenience. Refilling to 80% might take as little as 20 minutes, which makes these charging stations ideal for travelers and busy professionals.
  • Tesla Superchargers are not compatible with the EVs made by other manufacturers, at least not at this time. However, if you do drive a Tesla, you should know that these charging stations are widely available. The speeds that these Superchargers offer are comparable to those of Level 3 DC Fast Charging stations.

A Guide to EV Charging Stations in San Francisco

Since charging a vehicle takes more time than filling up with gas, it’s especially important to get familiar with the most accessible charging stations in your area. We can’t cover the entirety of California, but we want to provide a closer look at where to find top-rated EV charging stations in San Francisco—just a short drive from our main office in Sausalito. Hopefully, the information will be of use to city-dwellers in all parts of the state.

Here’s a closer look at the options you’ll have in the Bay Area:

  • There are nearly 1,000 charging stations in the Bay Area, and roughly 700 of those are in San Francisco proper. 
  • The vast majority of EV charging stations in San Francisco offer Level 2 Charging capability. This holds true in most locations.
  • If you need to charge up in a hurry, you should know that you can find a Level 3 DC Fast Charger at almost every Whole Foods within the city limits. Other stores, like Safeway and Walgreens, may offer similar charging capabilities. You can also find Level 3 Chargers in many parking garages, and at select points throughout the city.
  • If you’re not in a rush, using a Level 2 Charging station can help you save—and protect your battery over the long term. And since you’ll have time to kill, it’s not a bad idea to look for a Level 2 Charging station at some location where you’ll have room to stretch out and relax as you wait. Our recommendation? Check out the Level 2 station at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Crissy Field.

Cartelligent is Here for You

Cartelligent is an auto broker service that connects buyers and lessees to vehicles that fit their precise needs and preferences. We pride ourselves on being a resource for shoppers from all over the state of California, and we hope you’ll think of us when it’s time for your next upgrade. Start a conversation today, or learn more about our services while you’re here.