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Electric Vehicle Chargers

December 12th, 2019 Comments off

Will You Need an Electric Vehicle Charger in 2020?

For those who like to be on the cutting edge, you probably already know where your local electric vehicle (EV) charging station is located. For the rest of us, the need may not be as eminent, but in the not too distant future, EV charging stations will be everywhere including our own garages and where we work.

Electrical Vehicles Are Here to Stay

An electric vehicle charging station supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles. The usable battery capacity of a first-generation electric vehicle is about 20 kWh, giving it a range of about 100 miles.

Tesla was the first company to introduce longer range mass production electric vehicles, initially releasing their Model S with battery capacities of 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh, with the latter having an estimated range of about

300 miles. The new Tesla Cybertruck and Roadster are coming to market with ranges of over 500 miles and performance unmatched by most supercars.  As of August 2018, there were 800,000 electric vehicles and 18,000 charging stations in the United States.

What type of charger will I need?

Charging an electric vehicle is as simple as connecting a normal electrical appliance; however to ensure that this operation takes place in complete safety, the electrical installation must comply with standard safety regulations. These include being grounded, having a circuit breaker to protect against overloads, and be protected from accidental contact.

Level 1 — Home Charging cords are standard equipment on a new EV. Level 1 charging only requires a grounded (three-prong) 120V outlet and can add about 40 miles of range in an eight- hour overnight charge. Overnight Level 1 charging is suitable for low- and medium-range plug- in hybrids and for all-electric and battery electric vehicle drivers with low daily driving usage.

Level 2 and Beyond — Home and Public Charging typically require a charging unit on a 240V circuit, like the circuit used to power a common electric clothes dryer. With a typical 30 amp circuit, about 180 miles can be added during an eight-hour charge. Common public chargers are typically Level 2 chargers that can be found at offices, grocery stores, and parking garages. Many companies are now offering what is being called “wall connectors” that take a 50 or 60 amp circuit but are 50% faster than then 30 amp home charging connections – these are now becoming the preferred choice for EV customers.

DC Fast Charging — Public Charging is the fastest currently available recharging method. It can typically add 50 to 90 miles in 30 minutes, depending on the station’s power capacity and the make of EV. These are also known as SuperChargers.

Potential Home Upgrades Needed

To accommodate charging EV’s at home, especially if you want to charge the vehicle more quickly and to higher capacity levels, many homes will need to have their electrical service increased.  Many electrical services in residential homes are only 100 amps and are not sized large enough to accommodate charging circuits (even some 200 amp services may not have the capacity).  It is very important to get these designed and installed right as an EV will likely be the most expensive investment you make that “plugs in”.

For some, these are decisions you are already making, for the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time.  If you need assistance in understanding what it takes to GO EV we are here to help!

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