The electric car craze is becoming less of a craze and more of a here to stay scenario across America. This is posing new challenges and raising new questions as drivers struggle to find charging stations. Despite promises, there are more to come, homeowners need to understand their options when it comes to keeping their cars running. Here’s what you need to know about charging at home, as well as an overview of your other options.
Volkswagen aims to invest $2 billion over the next decade to support U.S. electric-car infrastructure. This initiative will include new stations and is actually related to their diesel emissions scandal settlement. The plan is to attack four 30-month plans with an investment of $500 million each. California topped the list for targeted metro areas.
Tesla is committed to developing a nationwide network of electric-car stations which they call “superchargers”. Drivers owning Model S sedan and Model X crossovers get free charging for the first 1,000 miles annually whereas Model 3 drivers must pay a fee. As of 2020, the company had 908 stations across the U.S. However, Tesla’s are compatible with other public outlets and can also be charged in the home.
Watch for Workplace Charging
Another place you might start to see more charging stations is in workplace parking lots. This can prove to be an added draw for the growing number of electric car enthusiasts. Workers can pull up to a charger and allow it to charge while they work. Between home and work chargers, drivers will never need to worry about losing power.
Street Parking Behind
If your work doesn’t have a designated parking lot, and you rely on street parking, you won’t be likely to find a spot to charge. It’s really not something that is on the radar of most American suburbs, let alone cities even though you can find them in other countries. Curbside charging just isn’t a priority for U.S. infrastructure.
Improved Charging Speeds
As more electric cars are sold, more funding becomes available to design improved technologies. The goal here will be to create electric vehicles and chargers that can be completely charged in just 10 minutes. However, auto companies might not be ready to commit to reconfiguring battery chemistry and vehicle electronics to see this happen any time soon. This also poses issues for charging stations who will need capabilities to adapt to this type of battery upgrade.
Home Charging: EVSEs
That brings us to home charging stations. You can buy a charging station for as little as a few hundred or upwards to a few thousand dollars allowing you to conveniently charge your car overnight. This is the most likely way people will charge their cars in the future, as currently, 80% of electric car owners do so today. Homeowners can choose between the Level 1 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) or Level 2 EVSE. While Level 2 EVSEs are faster, they also need special equipment.
This makes Level 2 EVSEs more expensive, as well as more difficult to install. Both types of EVSEs require secure storage of the charging cord to avoid damage. As well, you should keep an eye on the accessible EVSE parts to look for signs of wear. Proper maintenance requires cleaning now and then to get longer use from your charger.
Costs for Home Charging
Chances are you brought your electric car to save the planet and on fuel costs. You definitely will pay less than gas, with an average of 12.6 cents/kWh. For a full charge, you’re looking at about the same cost of running your AC for six hours. It’s even less for hybrid electric vehicles because they have smaller batteries. According to GM, the annual energy use of a Chevy Volt is 2,520 kWh which would cost about $320 a year to charge. If you get off-peak savings at night, you can see even more savings. The average retail gasoline prices can be as high as $1,500 a year.
So how far will an average overnight charge get you? It varies from car to car, but a Tesla Model 3 will travel at least 220 miles, while GM’s Bold will go at least 238 miles. If you consider the average American travels roughly 25 miles a day, you can get a pretty nice run on a single overnight charge, depending on your commute.
If you are looking for more information about electric car chargers in Dallas and Fort Worth, get in touch with us at TopTech Electric today.