Electric Vehicle Charging Stations | Should You Go Green?

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Do you want to be more environmentally conscious? The shift to clean energy is happening all around and hybrids and electric cars are becoming more of a common sight on our streets. Electric vehicles are not just a fad, they are one of the first steps in a seismic shift to clean energy, saving the average American money at the pump. As an electrical contractor in Clearwater we have the knowledge and the tools to install electric vehicle charging stations in your home or commercial property. Here are some points you should consider when deciding to go green!

How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?

The time it takes to fully charge an electric car depends on two main things with the electric vehicle charging stations power capacity being one:

The Size Of The Car Battery

You can apply the same principles of the battery size of an electric car to the gas tank size in a normal car. Simply put, the bigger the car battery the more power it can hold, which correlates with the time it takes to fully charge.

The car batteries are also dependent on the model of car you own. The batteries can range from 16kWh (Mitsubishi MiEV) to 100kWh (2018 Tesla Model S 100D).

The Speed Of The Charging Point

Electric vehicle charging points fall under 3 main categories when it comes to speed (from fast to slow):

Rapid Charging Units

They can range from 43-120 kWh which, depending on the battery size, can generally give you an 80% charge within 30 minutes

Fast Charging Units

These charging points can range from 7-35 kWh, which should generally take 3-4 hours to fully charge the battery.

Slow Charging Units

The slower ports (anything up to 3kWh) will take 8 hours to charge an average electric car.

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?

The cost of charging and running an electric car is a lot less than your average gas fueled car. To see the difference, let’s compare the cost of running both vehicles, assuming that the average American drives about 15,000 miles per year.

Gas Car Cost

The average gas price in June, 2018 was $3.19 per gallon. Reuters reports that the average mpg (miles per gallon) of a new vehicle in the US for 2018 was 25.0 mpg. (15000/25) x 3.19 = $1,914 of fuel costs per year for the average American person.

Electric Car Cost

The average price per kWh is 9.55 cents in Florida in 2018 for residential buildings. Taking the battery capacity of the smaller EV of 30 kWh (Nissan Leaf) with 107mile range, that’s $2.90 per 107 miles, or $406 per year, for the average American driver. You can see, then, that installing an electric car charging station and purchasing an electric car will save a lot of money.

How Far Can I Travel On A Full EV Charge?

This depends on the battery capacity of your vehicle. The Tesla Model S has the longest range of any electric car with a reported 275-337 miles, depending on terrain and other external factors. On the other end of the scale, the Mitsubishi MiEV offers just 62 miles on a full charge, which would really only be suitable for people who only travel locally. It is for this reason that electric vehicle charging stations will become as prominent as regular gas stations. But it makes sense to have one installed in your home.

Can I Charge An Electric Car At Home?

Yes, with installed electric car charging stations, you can charge your electric car overnight at your home. It is estimated that 85% of EV owners charge overnight at their home. The first thing you need to decide is what level of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) you want installed. You should consult with your electric utilities provider or an experienced electrical contractor before deciding.

Level 1 EVSE

A Level 1 EVSE provides a charge through a 120V AC plug. This will need to have it’s own dedicated branch circuit (it should not be sharing with other major appliances like refrigerator, washer/dryer etc.). Level 1 EVSE can be attached to a normal three-pronged outlet. This level is mainly suitable for hybrid cars, as the power generated would not be suitable for EV’s.

Level 2 EVSE

This is suitable for a fully dependent electrical vehicle, providing a charge through a 240V AC plug. Special equipment is needed in order to install a level 2. As with the level 1, it should also have a dedicated electrical circuit branch. We advise that you consult with an experienced electrical contractor when installing this system.

Level 3 EVSE

Although the most powerful charging point for EV’s, this is typically not suitable for residential properties. A level 3 EVSE charges through a 480V DC plug. Generally it would take 30 minutes to fully charge most EV batteries. This rapid charging unit is not suitable for all types of electric cars. They are common for the commercial and public charging points. If you are a business owner and would like to have a free consultation about installing a Level 3 EVSE, contact us.

Financial Benefits To Electric Vehicles

It actually makes financial sense to get an electric vehicle, especially with some federal and state tax incentives. Make use of the off-peak electric rates in Florida by charging the EV overnight while you are sleeping. All states have a TOU (Time Of Use) energy program. You can contact your local electricity provider to see when these off-peak times occur, usually between 10pm-6am. You can find detailed FL and Federal tax incentive lists here.

Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

If you’re thinking of going green when it comes to commuting around town there are many different options to choose from. From the battery capacity that you need to the power of charging stations installed at home, there are many options available. If you are considering installing an EV charging point in your home or commercial building we recommend consulting with an electrical contractor first. The highly trained electricians at East-West Electric have the tools and knowledge to maximize your energy needs. We’d love to show you how you can switch to green energy. Call us at (727) 771-9403 today or submit our online contact form.

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