Electric Chargers for the Home Garage
Formula E racers used to swap out cars when their batteries were drained, but that’s hardly an answer for your daily commute.
And while additional high-tech roadside charging facilities will make electric driving more practical, it’s the availability of convenient Level 2 EV charger that persuades many vehicle buyers to go electric.
“Home is the main charging location for most E.V. owners,” said Gil Tal, director of the Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Research Center at the University of California, Davis. “Even in California, more than half of the E.V. owners are not using any out-of-home charging infrastructure. They are O.K. with just plugging in at home .”
Over 80 percent of electric vehicle owners charge at home, theEnergy Department says, adding that “charging in a single-family home allows you to take advantage of low, stable residential electricity rates.”
Three methods of charging cars’ lithium-ion batteries are in use: Level 1, using a standard 110-volt outlet; Level 2, an upgrade to a 240-volt outlet; and DC fast-charging, which uses direct-current electricity. However, owing to the high cost and complexity of DC equipment, home use is typically kept to Levels 1 and 2.
Level 1 charging, with the plug-in cord that is standard on electric vehicles, can replenish the battery of some limited-range electrics and hybrids — like the Chevrolet Volt or Fiat 500e — overnight.