Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are becoming more and more popular out on the roads. With fuel prices nearing $4.00 per gallon again, people are searching for alternatives to save money. Electric and hybrid vehicles are options you might consider when thinking about a new car or SUV.
You may have noticed charging stations popping up around Indianapolis; the Hamilton Town Center in Fishers has installed three stations as a courtesy to shoppers, and multiple charging stations can be found in Downtown Indy. These stations are a perfect solution to recharging your vehicle’s batteries on the go; but what about at home? If you see these vehicles as an option for your next purchase, you should also look into installing a home charging station where you can plug-in and “refuel.”
Electric vehicle supply equipment is used to charge your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, and are categorized by the time it takes to charge; Level 1 and Level 2 are your options. Let's take a look at the differences:
Level 1 charges a vehicle through a 120-volt AC plug. Many electric and plug-in vehicles come with a cord for this type of connection. A Level 1 charge can add 2 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging to your vehicle, and also takes more time to fully charge the battery than Level 2 charging. This choice is typically used when only a 120-volt connection is available. The charging station needs to have its own dedicated circuit, which will prevent your charging vehicle from overloading a circuit and tripping a circuit breaker.
Level 2 charges via 240-volt electrical service, which most homes are equipped with. It provides a faster charge than Level 1. In addition to home charging equipment, this requires the installation of a dedicated circuit of 20 to 80 amps; most Level 2 charging equipment operates at up to 30 amps, which requires a 40 amp circuit. Level 2 charging can add 10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging; a benefit for drivers with a longer commute. Depending on the equipment you decide upon, Level 2 products can be basic with just safety features, or come with convenience features such as charging timers and communications capabilities.
Once you’ve decided which type of charging is right for you, contact us. We can help you choose the right equipment for your needs, tell you if your home is capable of powering it, and install additional circuits if needed.