Before purchasing your first electric vehicle, it’s essential to understand the rules for home charging.
Home charging experiences must be enjoyable and seamless to successfully transition to electric vehicle ownership, significantly as public charging infrastructure still trails the adoption of EVs.
Recent studies have demonstrated that most EV owners use home charging stations to charge their vehicles between drives. Yet, many new EV drivers find the experience of home charging less than desirable.
Insider spoke with General Motors’ Director EV Ecosystem Derek Sequeira to gain tips for improving at-home charging experiences.
Learn the Current Electrical System
Before shopping for an EV installation, any prospective shopper should first understand their home’s electrical capacity in terms of amperage and panel size, according to Sequeira. All this information can help the process go more quickly.
“That way, when it’s time for installation, you can work closely with your installer to determine what capacity will suit your needs,” said Mr. Whitehouse.
Shopping for an Electric Vehicle and Home Charger at Once
In preparation for installation, shopping for both should occur concurrently. According to Sequeira, over 80% of EV charging happens at home when cars remain stationary for an extended period.
GM has taken steps to address this problem by including charging purchases as part of vehicle purchases at dealerships, said an executive from General Motors (GM). All EV models from GM come equipped with charging offers ranging from the Bolt’s offering integrating charger shopping and vehicle shopping to receiving a complimentary home charger with its purchase.
Sequeira explained their goal is to make it as effortless and hassle-free as possible for customers to install Level 2 charging in their homes (more about types and levels of EV charging here).
Know Your Capacity Needs
Before installing your Level 2 charger at home, Sequeira said, you must understand your charging speed needs. Considerations must include battery size and usage patterns when using it regularly.
“Those engaging in more driving – perhaps an hour of daily commuter traffic – should choose a higher charging speed at home,” Sequeira advised. “For such drivers, wall-mounted chargers offer faster charging capabilities.”
Installing a home charger can be costly, but rebate aggregators like ZappyRide can help ensure you take full advantage of applicable discounts.
Find an Electrician to Install. Selecting the Ideal Electrician for Installation
Hiring an electrician who specializes in handling electric vehicle chargers will help ensure a safe and effective charging setup. Get quotes from multiple electricians so that you can compare prices and services.
Optimizing Charging Times If you have the flexibility and can charge your EV during off-peak hours, lowering electricity rates may save money. Utility companies sometimes offer time-of-use plans, which can significantly decrease charging costs by charging during designated off-peak periods.
Home Charging Station Security
Charging stations can be valuable assets that should be safeguarded at all costs to prevent theft. To do this, installing security measures like surveillance cameras or motion-activated lights around your charging station may help.
Preparing for Power Outages
Power outages may impede your ability to charge your electric vehicle (EV). Consider investing in a battery backup system or generator as insurance against unexpected interruptions that might prevent you from charging up during these interruptions.
As with any electrical appliance, charging equipment requires routine inspection and upkeep to operate safely and correctly. Plan periodic check-ups of your charging station to ensure everything works according to plan.
Education of Family or Roommates
If you share your home with family members or roommates, ensure they understand the charging process and its importance. Remind everyone to be conscious of energy consumption when charging an EV and to avoid overloading circuits while it sets.
Track Your Charging Costs
Keep an eye on your electricity bills to accurately record charging costs. This will enable you to identify any unexpected spikes in energy usage and make necessary adjustments that optimize charging efficiency.
Future-Proof Your Charging Setup
Electric vehicle technology and its related charging infrastructure is constantly developing. To stay ahead of the game, ensure future-proofing your charging setup by investing in equipment capable of supporting higher charging speeds or accommodating new EV models.
Smart Charging Solutions
Utilizing innovative charging solutions can be an efficient way to manage charging. These systems can schedule charging during off-peak hours, integrate with renewable energy sources, and allow remote monitoring via smartphone apps.
Explore Solar Power Integration
For environmentally-conscious EV owners, solar integration may be an attractive solution by installing solar panels on their property and using renewable energy generation methods to offset some of their electricity use from the grid.
Utility companies sometimes offer Demand Response programs, incentivizing customers to reduce electricity usage during periods of high peak demand. By joining these programs, you can help contribute to grid stability while earning rewards or credits for adjusting your charging schedule.
Ensuring Adequate Ventilation
Proper ventilation for your charging station is crucial if it is enclosed, as adequate airflow will prevent overheating of your EV’s battery and charging equipment.
Understanding Public Charging Options
While home charging may be convenient, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with public charging stations available in your area. Knowing where they are can provide peace of mind during longer trips or unexpected needs.
Planning for Future EVs
If you plan on adding more electric vehicles to your household, plan your charging setup carefully to accommodate multiple EVs without overloading the electrical circuitry.
Consider Energy Storage Solutions
Home batteries can add an energy storage solution to your charging setup, storing excess solar or off-peak energy that can later be used to charge your EV.
As soon as it’s time to upgrade or dispose of old charging equipment, ensure it is done responsibly. Many manufacturers and organizations provide recycling programs specifically for electric vehicle chargers.
Exploring Incentives for EV Charging
Beyond rebates, many areas also provide additional incentives for owners of electric vehicles (EV), including reduced registration fees or toll discounts; even carpool lanes may offer discounted access – research local and regional incentives, which make ownership even more appealing!
Establish a Charging Area
Set aside an area for charging your EV that will help keep cables and charging equipment organized while also helping avoid potential tripping hazards and make charging simpler. Doing this will also make the charging process safer and more convenient overall.
Encourage Workplace Charging If your workplace offers electric vehicle charging stations, take full advantage of them. Charging at work can extend your daily driving range while decreasing the need for frequent home charging sessions.
Join EV Communities and Forums
Immerse yourself in the EV community by joining online forums and social media groups or attending local EV meetups. Learn from experienced owners while exchanging tips. And stay informed of any advancements in electric vehicle technology or charging infrastructure!
With these tips, you can improve your at-home charging experience and thoroughly enjoy driving an EV. As adoption continues to rise and home charging solutions play an ever-more essential role in creating a sustainable future, home charging solutions become even more necessary to support sustainable mobility solutions.