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Now that we’re well into the 21st century, more and more businesses provide customers and employees with a place to charge their electric cars. Not all charging situations are the same, however. Stores typically set their own charging rates, and some are even free. That said, how much does it cost to charge an electric car at Aldi?

A person walking into an Aldi grocery store
An Aldi store in Streator, Illinois | Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Charging your electric car on the cheap at Aldi

With thousands of storefronts in dozens of countries, Aldi is one of the best-known grocers in the world. There are more than 2,200 Aldi locations in the U.S. and thousands more throughout Europe, Australia, and Great Britain.

Not every Aldi location offers electric vehicle charging, but if you can find an open charging station, it might not cost you a penny to fill your EV battery.

Charging levels explained

If you are planning to switch from driving a fume-belching gasoline car to getting where you need to go in a clean-running EV, you’ll need to understand the different levels of EV charging. As NeoCharge explains, charging levels are determined by the amount of voltage delivered. The higher the voltage, the less time it takes to charge.

Level 1 EV charging

The lowest, slowest way to charge an EV, Level 1 involves plugging your car into a standard 120V household outlet. This low-level “trickle charge” uses the same voltage as refrigerators, televisions, and phone chargers. Typically accomplished at home overnight, Level 1 charging provides only around 50 miles of travel distance.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) states that a Level 1 charger can take up to 50 hours to fully charge an EV battery and one to two hours to charge a hybrid vehicle battery. For drivers with a short commute, Level 2 charging can be a fine at-home charging option.

Level 2 EV charging

Faster than the first level, Level 2 charging is offered at many commercial locations and may be done at home via a 240V outlet. This is the voltage used to power things like water heaters, stoves, and clothes dryers.

Whereas Level 1 can take up to 50 hours to fully charge an electric car, EV Town says a Level 2 charger with a dedicated 40 amp circuit can top off a fully depleted EV battery in four to six hours. If starting each day with a full battery feels right, Level 2 charging is for you.

It is worth noting that opting for Level 2 charging at home may incur additional expenses. Unless you have a spare 220V outlet, you’ll need to have one installed. Alternately, you may add a Smart Splitter to enable EV charging when you’re not using your dryer or other high-voltage appliance.

Level 3 EV charging

By far the fastest EV charging method, Level 3 is sometimes called DC Fast Charging. Available only at commercial locations, this sort of rapid charging relies on direct current (DC) in lieu of the alternating current (AC) employed by other EV chargers.

As part of an independently powered network, DC Fast Charging takes mere minutes to fully fill a depleted EV battery.

Tesla Supercharging

Branded by Tesla, this sort of station delivers the same benefits as DC Fast Charge. Not all Tesla chargers are Superchargers, however. Unless a charger is specifically called a direct current Tesla Supercharger, it’s likely a Level 2 AC charger.

One big benefit of using a Tesla Supercharger or another Level 3 charging station is that these terminals have their own dedicated power supplies and don’t rely on electricity provided by the store at which they sit.

Find an EV charging station near you

Stores such as Aldi are adding new charging stations all the time. In fact, the grocery chain recently announced it would be doubling the number of Aldi charging stations in Ireland over the coming year.

EV drivers who wish to stay apprised of charging stations in the U.S. and Canada can use apps such as PlugShare, Electrify America, and ChargePoint. These free-to-use apps can be customized to find the right sort of charging station for your electric vehicle.


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