Do I Need to Get Special Equipment to Charge My Electric Vehicle?

October 16, 2018 11:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you decide to make the transition to an electric car, you might be wondering whether you need to purchase any special equipment to charge that vehicle at home. It can be a little overwhelming when you first start off with your electric car, as you’re going to have to learn a lot of new terminology and information, including how slow or fast the vehicle can charge, the cost you can expect to pay for charging and the complexity of the charging setups you’ll use.

With all this in mind, here’s some information from a licensed electrician in Forsyth County, GA about charging your electric vehicle.

Charging your vehicle at home

The majority of electric cars currently available to consumers can be charged simply by using a standard 120-volt wall socket. This is frequently referred to as “level one” charging. However, this isn’t always a practical solution, because it takes a long time to charge the vehicle fully, and it can be difficult to keep up with, depending on how frequently you use your vehicle.

Many homeowners with electric cars choose to install a 220-volt (level two) charging station, which provides users with a much more rapid charging station specific to the make and model of the vehicle.

If you’re new to electric chargers, you might not know exactly how to plug your vehicle in. The chargers are found onboard your vehicle. The actual charger is encased in the vehicle, and converts the AC power from your house to DC power that recharges the battery pack in your vehicle. The box, cord and plug that get attached to the wall of your home that supplies the electricity to your charger is called the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE)—this is the equipment you install in your home if you don’t want to have to rely on the slow charging of a 120-volt wall socket.

The EVSE makes charging significantly easier. It offers almost twice as much voltage, which means you can essentially cut your charging time in half. This also makes it easier for you to take advantage of “time of day” discounts from your electric provider—many providers charge less for power used during times of lower demand.

If you do decide to purchase an EVSE, here are some of the features you’ll want to look for:

  • 30-amp service: With this service, you can add another 30 miles of range in an hour of charging. If your current vehicle is unable to take advantage of this faster charging rate, that’s fine, but getting the 30-amp service now means you won’t have to upgrade the EVSE later if you purchase a new electric vehicle.
  • A good-sized charging cable: Most charging cables are 15 to 25 feet, but if this isn’t going to be enough, you might be able to find longer cables, or otherwise think about relocating your EVSE.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi enabled EVSE with touch-screens are more expensive, but can be remotely controlled for better metering and for controlling charging events.

For more information about charging your electric vehicle, or for answers to other questions about home electrical in Forsyth County, GA, contact Duke Electric Co. today.

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