Home EV Charging
One of the greatest concerns potential owners have regarding the purchase of an electric vehicle (EV), is charging the battery. The question of how, where, and for how long to charge an EV are readily answered, and should not deter potential EV owners. A detailed description of the science behind EV charging can be found in “The Solar Report: Your Mileage May Vary: The State of Electric Vehicle Charging” (BI Times 4/1/22 and thesolarinitiativebi.org).
The simplest answer is that all EVs can be charged by plugging them into a standard residential outlet. All electric vehicles come with a 110-volt-compatible, or Level 1 home connector kit. This kit is basically a specialized extension cord that enables you to plug the EV into a standard outlet. The time it takes to charge the battery varies greatly, and is dependent on the capacity of the battery and speed of the charging point. In general, in an hour of charging a typical EV can expect to gain 2-5 miles of range.
Level 1 charging is often sufficient for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) which have smaller batteries and can typically be charged overnight, as well as for EVs with limited daily use. However, EVs have larger batteries and will take longer to charge completely, thus a Level 2 charging station may be a better option for the vehicle owner.
Level 2 charging is much more efficient than Level 1 charging. In Level 2 charging, an EV is connected to a 240 / 208 V circuit. The charger can be hardwired or directly plugged into a 240 V outlet, commonly used for large appliances. The advantage to Level 2 charging is that the EV will be charged 3-10 times faster than a Level 1 charger, or 10-40 miles of range per hour of charging.
Once the EV owner has made the decision to invest in a Level 2 charger, there are many options to consider. The main considerations in choosing a home EV charger are size and functionality. The vehicle owner should consider where the charger will be placed in the home and how long a cord is needed to reach the charging port. The next consideration is the amperage of the charger, as the charging time will vary depending on the amperage. In terms of advanced functionality, there are Wifi connected smart chargers that can schedule charging during non-peak hours, use Alexa voice control, send notifications, and collect charging data, among other options.
Because at-home charging is a powerful tool in our goal of increased adoption of EVs on Block Island, the Solar Initiative is pleased to offer a new subsidy for Level 2 home chargers. 100% of purchase price, up to a maximum of $400, is covered for the purchase of a qualifying Level 2 EV charger for use at your Block Island home. Details on the offer can be found on our website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.