Now more than ever, electric vehicles (EVs) are expanding our transportation options while simultaneously promoting a better environmental living solution. In general, EVs produce fewer emissions in comparison to conventional vehicles. If you’re a homeowner and are considering buying an electric car, you probably have some questions.
In this post, we’ll explore the different types of EV solutions you have as a homeowner and the benefits of owning an EV.
Evolution of EVs
With advancements in technology moving at a rapid pace, it’s fair to say that EVs are the future of transportation. Nearly 120 years ago, the development of electronic motors and concepts began. It wasn’t until around 2008, when Tesla Motors created its Roadster, that EVs started to become a popular and efficient competitor. While global sales of EVs surpassed one million units in 2019, recent predictions show that by 2030 EV sales will reach 100 million units. The growth of the EV market can be attributed to the increase in technology. Now that manufacturing and assembly is a lot easier, EVs are more affordable for your average consumer.
Electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity considerably because of the increasing concern for the environmental impact that greenhouse gas emissions cause. Although it takes energy to charge the vehicles, the carbon emissions of an EV are 17-30% lower than a gas- or diesel-powered car. The Department of Energy (DOE) reports that the US has over 20,000 charging stations across the nation, making traveling in your EV that much easier. Within the last year, the EV market expanded to several car manufacturers and will only continue to grow.
Is Your Home EV Ready?
As electricity is becoming a more dominant fuel option for drivers across the nation, homes and communities that are EV ready tend to be more appealing to homebuyers. One survey showed that 59% of the participants wouldn’t mind paying more to live in communities that are green and sustainable. Having a home that is EV ready is a great way to make your home more attractive, and it can even add value to it.
To ensure your home is ready to accommodate an electric vehicle, you must choose your charging solution, find a safe space to place your dedicated charging unit, and get it installed.
EV Solutions For Your Home
When looking to choose a charging solution for your home, there are three tiers of EV chargers. The chargers in levels one and two are the most common, while level 3 chargers are usually reserved for public charging stations.
Level 1: Plug into a traditional 120 V AC plug. Charging time is dependent on your specific EV, but on average, with this level charger, it takes between 6-14 hours to get a full charge. It’s recommended that you have an electrician come in and examine your home to make sure the number of amps used to charger your vehicle is sufficient to do so without harming your home or car.
Level 2: Charging is powered through a dedicated circuit and 240 V AC plug. The estimated charging time for this option ranges between 3-6 hours, depending on your EV. Level 2 charging is the popular selection amongst homeowners.
Level 3: DC fast charging station is the quickest level of EV charging. Depending on your car, it typically takes around 30 minutes to get an 80% charge. Most level 3 chargers are found in shopping centers and other public places as they are not suitable for residential installations. These can cost as much as $100,000.
A typical circuit needed for EV chargers is 240V and is similar to the power of large appliances like clothes dryers and air conditioning units. Installing a 240V outlet can cost you between $300-$800. The National Electrical Code (NEC) has a 25-foot limit on your charging cord length, so be sure you look for space where you can easily reach your vehicle without pulling your cord tight. When looking to prepare your home for an EV charging station, you can set it up outside your home or in an interior area like a garage.
Interior Installation Tips
- Consider available space on the floor, walls, and ceiling
- Ensure overhead doors and other objects do not obstruct.
- Ensure installation does not impede the vehicle’s ability to park in the garage.
- Note the location of the charging port on the expected vehicle
- Garages are required by the NEC to provide a switch-controlled lighting outlet
- Connector height must be between 18″ and 48″ from the ground
- Charging stations should be placed to minimize the intersection of cords with typical walking paths to avoid tripping hazards
- Avoid physical damage by placing the charging station out of the line of vehicle travel
Exterior Installation Tips
- Consider potential parking areas
- Keep in mind the location of the charging port on the car
- Choose a well-lit area to avoid the risk of tripping and vandalism
- A mounted station should be between 24″-48″ from the ground unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer
- Chargers that operate above 50V should be placed out of the line of the vehicle’s travel.
The charger you use is determined by the type of EV you have purchased.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost for a Level 1 charger, including installation, is between $1,000 to $1,700. On the other hand, a Level 2 charger will likely cost $1,200 to $2,000.
To learn more about your charging options, you can check your EV manufacturer’s website or owner’s manual. If you’re getting a charger installed for your EV, we recommend hiring an EV-certified electrician as they will help ensure things are installed safely and correctly.
Apps for Your EV
With advancements in technology, some EV chargers are Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled from an app. These apps allow you to effortlessly set a charging schedule, set reminders, and they even let you know how much you’re spending on charging your EV. Some apps like Google Maps can not only show you where the nearest charging station is, it can also let you know if they are in use or not. Other apps can record the driving style of your conventional gas-powered car and compare it to an EV of your choice to show you the saving comparison.
If you have or are thinking about getting an EV, here are a few apps you may want to consider downloading. https://www.steerev.com/best-electric-car-apps/
EV Tax Incentives
The federal electric vehicle tax credit program provides a tax credit as high as $7,500, depending on the vehicle you choose and your tax circumstances. The amount of the credit available has nothing to do with a vehicle’s range, price, or performance. The tax credits and other incentives you qualify for are dependent on your tax status and which EV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) you own. To help give you a better look at what the number will look at based on your unique driving usage, you can use this calculator to calculate the total cost of ownership and emissions.
Other rebate options are dependent on the state you live in and the type of charger you are using. Charging your EV primarily at night may offer you benefits if your utility company provides special off-peak rates. Charging your EV on renewable energy such as solar or wind minimizes these emissions and may help you save more. Visit here to get an accurate estimate on what incentives, rebates, and grants you may receive from purchasing an EV.
Are you EV Ready?
As EVs continue to grow popularity, EV home solutions are more prevalent than ever. Ensuring that your home is EV ready by choosing a proper location and charger can help you save money, increase the value of your home, and make your home more attractive if you ever decide to sell it.
While there are a few charging options available, the decision is dependent on your unique needs. If you’re interested in buying an EV and want to learn more about the benefits it brings to you as a homeowner, we’re here to help.
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The included content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as professional advice. Additional terms and conditions apply. Not all applicants will qualify. Consult with a finance professional for tax advice or a mortgage professional to address your mortgage questions or concerns. This is an advertisement. Prepared 8/5/2020.