Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition

Atlanta's Home for Electric Vehicle News and Information

Guest Post: I Got My Electric Car Home, Now What? By Tim Smith Modernize.com

Leave a comment

Editors Note:  with all of the ‘ink’ over the last several months devoted to the Georgia EV tax credit, my friends at Modernize were very willing to provide something different and useful. 

To fight back against rising gas prices and a deteriorating environment, many have invested in electric cars that not only save the atmosphere from pollution but also save the driver countless dollars from filling up the tank. As with all major purchases, there is some required maintenance, but since electric cars are still out of the ordinary, that maintenance is not yet common knowledge. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online that detail how to take care of your electric car. Here, we’ll look into how to properly outfit your home garage for your new car.

Garage Pic

Via Modernize.com

The first thing you need to know is whether your house has enough juice to actually power an electric car. Many older homes – as in, built in the 50s and 60s – are not outfitted to handle the electricity needs of an electric car. If this is the case, you are going to need to rewire your garage to handle a proper charge for your vehicle. For this, you’re going to need a 12-amp circuit, at least, to charge the car with enough time for the morning commute. This circuit is going to need to be separate from any other as you don’t want anything else leeching power from it.

If you’re in a new home, it still might be wise to rewire your place as even the outlets in new garages only handle up to 120 volts. Full electric cars like the Nissan LEAF take up to eight hours to charge on an outlet with twice the power, so you’re going to want a more powerful circuit if you don’t want to have to plan your life around your car’s battery. Thus, many recommend a 240 volt charging station dedicated to charging your electric car. 240 volts – sometimes known as level 2 charging – is enough to keep the LEAF running on eight hour charges every night. And those dedicated charging stations can be programmed to time their charge to lessen their load on the power grid and act more efficiently which, again, helps the environment and your wallet.

Connector Pic

Via CityofEvanston.org

These stations are properly called Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment or EVSE. The EVSE is the bridge between your home’s power and your car’s battery, controlling the electricity current and shutting down in case of a power surge, a software crash or an electrical short. If this sounds complicated, don’t fret, as fortunately many electric car manufacturers will send a certified electrician to your home to check if your garage can handle the electric load of a motor vehicle and advise you on any upgrades that are needed.

Author: Jeff Cohen, Founder, Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition and Georgia EVentures, LLC

I am an "EVangelist" who wants you to experience the joys of driving and owning electric vehicles. I currently own a 2015 Tesla Model S 60, and have owned/leased a 2015 Nissan LEAF and 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet VOLTs. I maintain two Wordpress blogs: an EV information focused blog (AtlantaEVDC.com) and an EV Rental blog (gaeventures.com) and Facebook page (facebook.com/gaeventures) and three Twitter Sites: @JBCMKTR (personal), @AtlantaEV and @GAEVentures and JBCMKTR on Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s