Tail adds that Level 1 may be sufficient for many EV owners if they don't drive more than 40 to 50 miles a day. You’ll need an electrician to install a special 240-volt receptacle, like the ones used for most clothes dryers, in your garage.
Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the September 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Charging in a single-family home, usually in a garage, allows you to take advantage of low, stable residential electricity rates.
General Motors estimates the annual energy use of a Chevy Volt is 2,520 kWh, which is less than required for a typical water heater. In comparison, over the past ten years, U.S. regular conventional retail gasoline prices have fluctuated from below $1.50 to over $4, squeezing annual household budgets by as much as $1,500 per average passenger car.
If you charge primarily at night and your utility offers special off-peak rates, your costs may be even lower. Level 2 adds about 10 to 60 miles of range to a vehicle per hour of charging time, making it suitable for all EVs.
Using Level 2 ELSE requires drivers install special charging equipment as well as have a dedicated electrical circuit of 20 to 100 amps. The price of Level 2 residential ELSE varies, but typically ranges from $500 to $2,000 before installation and state or utility incentives.
As ELSE installations must comply with local, state, and national codes and regulations, be sure to work with a licensed electrical contractor. Your contractor should know the relevant codes and standards and should check with the local planning department before installing ELSE.
The safety risks of installing and using home ELSE are very low, similar to those associated with other large appliances like clothes dryers. The ELSE wall unit also should be positioned to minimize the hazard of tripping over the power cord.
In general, this means keeping the cord out of walking areas and positioning the wall unit as close as possible to the vehicle’s electrical inlet. There are a number of options available for residential charging infrastructure, and your EV manufacturer should be able to recommend which Level 2 ELSE might work best with your vehicle.
However, both building owners and EV drivers face unique considerations when installing charging stations, ranging from parking and electrical service access to billing and legal concerns. Learn how to work with your building owner to install a station through the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative’s Guide for Residents of Multi-Unit Dwellings.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center also has best practices and case studies to share with owners of multi-unit dwellings. Most electric vehicles are supplied with a cable that allows you to use a maximum 3kW domestic socket, though be warned that charging like this takes a lot longer for your car than it does your phone.
Wall boxes typically start at 7kW and go up to 22kW, so it’s worth noting that the more powerful the wall box, the quicker the charge. Whether that’s balancing the local grid capacity or ensuring that you only use electricity during off-peak times, smart wall boxes save money.
Speak to your landlord or the building developer about requesting a charge point, as it’s likely this sort of infrastructure will not only add convenience but also value to the property. Toucan also speak to your local council or authorities, who may have policies or grants in place to support the installation of residential charge points.
Toucan use an ELSE supply cable for a 3 pin plug socket as an occasional back up. Drivers usually choose a dedicated home charging point because it's faster and has built-in safety features.
A fully installed home charging point costs from £449 with the government OLAV grant. Electric car drivers benefit from a £350 OLAV grant for purchasing and installing a home charger.
Tip: Most domestic properties have single phase power which means the maximum charging rate is 7kW. While faster charge points are available (such as a 22kW unit), these are usually found in commercial properties where there is a three-phase power supply.
A certified charging provider will include installation cost in the price of the unit. While it is not necessary for most to charge every day, many drivers plug in each time they leave their car out of habit, giving them maximum flexibility should they have to make an unexpected journey.
Overnight charging also ensures that the car’s battery is full each morning for the day ahead. You don’t need to unplug once the battery is full, charging will stop automatically with a dedicated home charger.
The good news is, unlike fossil fuels, there are lots of things that can be done to understand and reduce the cost of electricity to get further savings. Greener energy Today an electric car is already greener than a combustion engine vehicle, but charging with ever more renewable energy makes electric car driving even more environmentally friendly.
The UK's grid is continually getting greener with more and more renewable energy generation, such as wind power. Depending on the max charging rate of your charge point and vehicle, this load can damage your main fuse.
To avoid overloading your main fuse, some smart home chargers automatically balance the power drawn by your charge point with the rest of your home, ensuring it never causes your total demand to exceed the max available supply. Another benefit of this feature is the ability to have more than one charge point installed so that youcanchargecars simultaneously without having to manually switch between them.
Pod Point's Solo Smart Charger features Auto Power Balancing that adjusts your charge, so your electric supply doesn't get overloaded. There is a tendency for a lot of charging to be started when drivers arrive home after work and peak around 20:00.
Smart home chargers will be able to react to and/or anticipate this and manage the rate of charge across thousands of vehicles to smooth out these peaks. The net effect will be that everyone gets a full charge over a fractionally longer time, but the grid will be protected.
For a start, they do very much require you to have a driveway or at least a dedicated parking space close to your house. Solutions for on-street parking are, as yet, limited, and even if toucan get a spot on the road right outside your house there are potential safety risks being found from trailing your charging cable over the pavement.
If you’re in rented accommodation you may also struggle to convince your landlord to allow a charge point install. Whether you run your cable through an open window or perhaps install a dedicated weatherproof socket outside, this option is certainly cheap.
Installation times obviously vary depending on where the point will be located and where the electricity supply enters your house. To make the whole process as straightforward as possible we’ve pulled together this guide that will answer all your questions on the different methods of charging.
However, with battery sizes increasing all the time these units can take over 24 hours to deliver a full charge and as a result manufacturers recommend they are only for ‘emergency use’. Installed on the side of your house or in a garage, it is capable of delivering faster charging times safely and reliable.
As the name suggests, it’s mounted to the external wall of your property and allows you to quickly and easily plug your car in to charge. Better still, toucan buy fast charging units that will slash the time it takes to replenish the battery, while there are also ‘smart’ units that toucan program remotely to only charge at certain times (such as when your electricity tariff is cheapest) and that can condition the battery to increase its lifespan.
You’ll require a driveway, garage or some other form of off-street parking close to your house if you want a wall box, as toucan ’t stretch the charging lead over a public footpath or road, plus it will need to be installed by a professional electrician. On the whole the cost of fitting is included in the price, but there may be an extra charge if significant changes need to be made to your household wiring.
To encourage drivers to switch to EV, the Government is offering financial incentives through its OLAV (Office of Low Emissions Vehicles) department. If you buy a new EV, then you’ll currently qualify for a grant that pays for 75 percent of the price and installation cost of a wall box, up to a maximum of £350.
If you buy the unit on its own then toucan choose your own technician, but they will need to have accreditation from the manufacturer of your chosen device. It’s worth being aware that the fitter will probably need to check your preferred location for fitting and your home’s electrical circuitry before going ahead.
And if you want the wall box fitted a long way from your fuse box or your wiring needs upgrading, then be prepared to pay a bit more for installation. As a result, toucan make sure you’re only charging when electricity is cheapest, or limit the amount of energy in the battery to 80 percent to avoid overheating the cells and improving longevity.
The current that your charger can supply will be based both on your home wiring and your car’s on board charging adaptor. Most wall boxes deliver 7kW fast charging, which reduces the time by about half compared to 3kW units.
There are also 11kW and 22kW options, but these require a three-phase power supply, which is rare in domestic applications but often found in industrial or business premises. Toucan have your home upgraded, but it’s unlikely that the extra cost would justify the quicker charging times.
With untethered units you use the charging cable provided with the car, which plugs into the charger at one end and EV at the other. When a number of vehicles are connected for long periods at dedicated V2G chargers (such as when parked up during the day while their owners are at work, or overnight), energy providers can use the combined capacity of the batteries for energy storage or access their electricity for extra power during peak periods.
The next step is to roll out the technology into a domestic environment, with your car becoming part of your home’s energy supply. This system could prove particularly useful with renewable energy, allowing you to store electricity generated by solar or wind power that would otherwise go to waste, such as during the day when there’s less need for heating and lighting.
The only downside is that currently only vehicles fitted with the Chemo charging connector are capable of this two-way flow of energy.