Before bringing home a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV), review the types of vehicles available to find one that best fits your lifestyle. Federal and state incentives can help you fit a new vehicle into your budget. Then, consider your charging options:
Determining A Charge Level
The average PEV needs to recharge daily. Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) is the external unit commonly called a charging station. EVSEs are what safely connect your vehicle to a home or business electrical service.
- Level 1 Charging
- AC energy is delivered to the vehicle’s on-board charger. Charging is done from a standard 120-volt, 15 amp grounded receptacle. We recommend using a dedicated circuit to ensure it is not overloaded. At this level, a full battery charge takes about 8 to 10 hours.
- Level 2 Charging
- For a faster charge, batteries are charged using a 240-volt power supply. Level 2 charging requires an EVSE device for safety. EVSEs operate at a fixed location. This can be a free standing or wall-mounted unit. A full charge at Level 2 typically takes 4 hours. EVSE manufacturers include, but are not limited to, Aerovironment, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, and ChargePoint America.
- DC Fast Charging
- Manufacturers have developed a “fast” charging technology. It can recharge properly equipped electric vehicles in 30 minutes or less. Currently, not all PEV vehicles can be charged using this system.
Where Can Electric Vehicles Be Charged?
All PEV’s and Level 1 and 2 charging stations come with a standard adaptor for charging. SAE J1772 is the North American standard for electrical connectors. It includes several levels of shock protection. This ensures safe charging even in wet conditions.
- Charging Stations
- At Home
- To fuel your PEV at home, you will need access to a 15-Amp 120V grounded receptacle in a location convenient for charging.
- If you’re considering installation of a Level 2 charging station, the following steps will guide you through a typical installation process:
- Step 1: Assessment
- Contact a qualified, independent electrician. Ask for cost estimates, permitting and inspection requirements. If you purchased your vehicle through a dealership, you may want to work through the dealership.
- Step 2: Permitting and Upgrades
- The electrician will evaluate your home’s electric panel for capacity. If needed, the electrician may recommend a new circuit. If the service is undersized you or your electrician may have to contact us to request a service upgrade.
- Step 3: Installation and Inspection
- An EVSE installer or qualified electrician will inspect your home. Inspections are very important and are required in most municipalities. You or your electrician should contact the appropriate local agency to assure permitting and electric code compliance. If needed, upgrades to your electrical wiring will be made. Even if you’re charging at 120V, an electric vehicle may overload an existing household circuit. Especially, if it’s shared with other electrical devices, such as lights and appliances. Then the equipment will be installed. Overall installation costs will vary.
- Step 4: Charge and Go!
- We do not have to approve your home charging station. However, we are interested in knowing the number of charging stations installed within our service area. We use that information to gauge the impact PEVs have on our system. Contact us if you are thinking about installing a charging station. We can explain rate options that may reduce your charging costs.
UPPCO is providing information only and does not endorse or recommend any specific manufacturer or distributor.