Electric Vehicles are in high demand these days. As concerns for the environment and commutes increase, more and more people are opting for electric cars. Many times what is overlooked though, is the amount of power required to charge a vehicle at home, without it taking 2-3 days to fully charge!
At Switched Electric we have been installing new circuits and charging stations since around 2012. We have many installations and years of experience getting owners set up to quickly and efficiently charge their vehicles.
Most homes have existing wiring located in the garage or carports, but it is not adequate to properly charge the vehicle. So what then do you need?
Most electric cars charge much quicker and more efficiently with a “Level 2” charging station. These units allow a higher current flow to from the homes electrical system to the vehicles batteries, thereby charging them at a much faster rate.
Most cars can do with a 30 amp 240 volt system, but some cars can handle up to a 100 amp 240 volt system. Each and every manufacturer though has certain set parameters to how large of a circuit should be used and how quickly they will allow their batteries to be charged.
For example, the following vehicles would have these approximate charging times with a 30 amp 240 volt Level 2 charging station (approximate times):
2018 Tesla Model 3 Standard 8.5 hours
2018 Tesla Model 3 Extended 12 hours
2018 Nissan Leaf 7 hours
2018 Chevy Bolt 10.5 hours
When however they jump up from 30 amps to 40 amps, look at how the times can be lowered (approximate times):
2018 Tesla Model 3 Standard 6.5 hours
2018 Tesla Model 3 Extended 9 hours
2018 Nissan Leaf 6 hours
2018 Chevy Bolt 8.5 hours
The additional power requirements that an electrical vehicle can add to an older home, may be more than the electrical service can handle. Many of the homes in the Bay Area were only built with smaller 100 amp electrical services, and may require upgrading to a larger 200 amp or even 400 amp electrical service panel.
To find out if that is the case, Switched Electric can provide what is known as a “Load Calculation”. This is an equation we use based upon the National Electrical Code to determine the correct size of the electrical service for the home, instead of simply guessing.
We highly recommend that you give us a call to do the evaluation of your existing electrical service to see if it can handle the electric car, and to see what costs and steps are involved in getting your home Electric Vehicle ready!