Now that there are new, more economical electrical vehicles on the market, owners need to think about how to refuel their car. Not everyone has the capability of charging their EV at work. Sometimes, buying a new EV wall charger is not even necessary, depending upon your driving habits. There are several choices you will need to make as a new EV driver, based upon your needs.
Levels of Charging
There are three levels of EV charging. One level is not relevant for home use. Level One is simply using your home’s 120-volt outlet. There is no additional cost. Depending upon your driving habits, though, this option may not replenish your battery enough overnight.
Level 2 EV charging is with 240 volts of power. It charges your vehicle much faster. This option involves buying a unit that is portable or one an electrician installs that will cost anywhere from $300 to $1200. In most cases, you will want a unit capable of delivering 30 amps of power to your car. This will entail a 40 amp fuse in your circuit breaker.
The cost of installation of EV wall charging units by electricians depends not just upon the electrician’s rate but also the length of wire that needs to be run. Installation could be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to well over a thousand.
One of the key points that new EV owners need to ascertain is how long it takes to do a full charge of their car and the mileage of their daily commute. The Chevy Bolt EV takes 10 hours to fully recharge at 240 volts and 24 hours at 120 volts. It really depends upon how far you are driving each day in order to determine if Level 1 or 2 charging is best for your particular situation.
Most plug-in hybrids, though, do not need dedicated Level 2 charging stations because of their limited driving range. They also have the capability of running on gasoline if the battery has been depleted.
Installed or Portable?
There are two schools of thought here. An EV portable charger can be plugged into the same type of outlet that you likely use for your clothes dryer that allows 240-volt devices to run off of the outlet. A qualified electrician can install such an outlet if you don’t have one in the requisite charging location. If you move, you can take your portable EV charger you have purchased with you.
The other school of thought is that you might enhance your home’s resale value if there is an EV charging station installed in your garage. You don’t necessarily need an expert EV installer to do the work for you, but you do need a reputable electrician.
Another potential issue about portable versus installed charging stations is that an outside charging station installation may be required to be hard wired by your local building code. You will also need to see if a permit is required for this installation. Your licensed electrician will know that answer.
Wifi Smart Controllers
The consensus is that most people can manage their EV charging without doing it remotely from their cell phone or another connected device. There are also reports that this type of system can have glitches or failures, especially if your internet connection goes down. For this reason, most EV experts suggest staying with a simple EV charger, whether it is portable or installed. This extra tends to drive up the price as well.
A smart EV wall charger would make sense, though, if the driver needed to keep track of their mileage for work or income tax purposes.
Some Recommended Units
Many EV drivers recommend the Clipper Creek units for their durability and simplicity. One of the units has the capability of being used as a part of a portable installation. It is 32 amps, compact, and has 25 feet of cord. Both of the Clipper Creek units come in well under $600.
Budget and Dependable
Another highly rated EV charger is the Seimens VersiCharge. It is simple to use, a bit larger than most but highly dependable. It costs $359.99 and is the most affordable full function EV charger on the market. It has the capability of allowing you to delay the charging if needed.
If Wifi is Needed
If you need to keep track of your mileage, then the eMotor Werks JuiceBox Pro 40 can take care of EV charging management through your cell phone. It is not as simple to use as the other two listed units and comes in at around $650.
You will first need to assess your daily mileage needs to determine if you need a 30 amp EV wall charger. If you need 30 amps, you will have to make the decision about a fixed installation or a portable unit. Few will need the smart EV charging units.
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