Everything You Need to Know About Charging Your Electric Vehicle

If you’ve got an electric vehicle, or EV, you’re going to need an EVSE, which is short for Electronic Vehicle Service Equipment. It’s the wall-mounted charger that supplies electricity to the vehicle’s battery pack. These chargers are simple to install and provide 240-volts of electricity. The following outlines everything you need to know about the various types of chargers, and what it takes to operate them.
(It should be noted that you don’t need an EVSE when you’re driving certain hybrid vehicles. Only Plug-in hybrids require charging.)

The Cost of Residential Charging Equipment

In the long run, operating an EV is cheaper than a traditional gas guzzler, and there’s the added bonus of reducing your carbon footprint. That being said, there are some costs you’ll need to consider, such as the increase on your electricity bill, the cost of installing the EVSE, and the cost to upgrade your circuit breaker.

charging the Kia Soul EV
Here some tips to cut costs and drive for free:

·  If you live in a deregulated market, be sure to shop around for the most affordable electricity rate. Some states, such as Texas, have deregulated markets and residents can opt for cheaper or more environmentally friendly energy. Learn more about this at Texas Electric Rates.

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·  Switch to LED light bulbs and turn off lights and electronics when they’re not in use. Simple green actions at home can reduce your electricity bill by as much as $50 per month.

Your electricity bill will go up, but the costs will be nowhere near what you would have paid to operate the average fuel economy vehicle. In the US, the average cost of electricity is 12 cents per kWh, so on average you’ll pay $520.00 per year to charge your vehicle. Compare this to $2,135, which is the average annual cost of gas, and you begin to see the very real value in purchasing an EV.

As for the EVSE and circuit breakers, these are one-time costs. According to PluginCars.com, a compelling authority on all things EVs, the average cost of comparable and durable. EVSE is between $600 and $700. As for the circuit breaker, if it’s already rated for at least 40 amps, you can leave it be. If not, you’ll need to upgrade. The cost of upgrading your circuit breaker is dependent on whether or not you need an electrician, and then it will be the standard per hour electrician rate plus the cost of a new breaker box.

Types of Residential EVSE

Basically, there are three types of electric vehicle chargers, level one, level two, and DC fast charging. Level one charging is your standard 120-volt household outlet. You can charge your EV in a standard household outlet, but why would you want to. This method is slow, so slow it will only allow your vehicle to travel up to five miles per hour of charging.

You’ll probably want a level two wall-mounted charger, which provides 240-volts. If you’re not familiar with electrical wiring, you’ll need an electrician to install and mount the device for you. The charger should provide between 10 and 20 miles of travel per hour of charge. If that’s not fast enough for you, there’s always the DC fast charger, which provides an 80 percent charge in roughly thirty minutes.

Overall, purchasing and installing an EVSE will require a small investment; however, the money you’ll save in fuel costs will more than cover it in the long run. If you can’t afford an EVSE right now, don’t let that stop you from purchasing an EV. Consider using your electricity outlets to charge your vehicle while you’re saving the funds to install the EVSE; or, you can choose a hybrid vehicle that doesn’t require home charging, but will require stops at the fuel pump from time to time.

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