The world of electric vehicles has been changing rapidly in recent years, in a good way. With that change comes new car owners and new products. Here are some tips to prepare your home to buy an electric vehicle. Also, check out the four most frequently asked questions about electric vehicle charging.
Things to do before buying an electric vehicle
The Wall Street Journal says that electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle sales accounted for 4.4% of the passenger vehicle market in 2021. If you’re taking the plunge, it’s easy enough to prepare. Before you buy an electric vehicle, check the different offers for the brand and your location.
Some brands offer some form of free charging with the purchase or lease of an EV. Electrify America and EVgo are popular companies that offer free, unlimited DC charging for new cars. Audi e-tron GT buyers get three years of complimentary unlimited DC charging at Electrify America, same with the Hyundai Ioniq 5. You can find this information on the brand’s website, as it should be clear what’s coming with your new car.
Also, try to maximize your savings with federal and state incentives. The US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) allows you to search for incentives by state and other forms. Some places will help cover the cost of installing a home charger, which leads to the next point, charging.
Do you get a charger when you buy an electric vehicle?
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Your EV has a charging cable that you can plug into a regular outlet. This is the slowest type of charging and it can take 14-16 hours to fully charge the electric car. Charging like this is acceptable in a pinch, but most electric car owners choose to install a charger at home.
A public charging station typically offers level 2 electric vehicle chargers. These stations offer slower charging so people can get out and enjoy the area while charging. This can take three to four hours, depending on a few factors. Before you buy an EV, check your area for chargers. New ones appear every day, it seems.
In contrast, a DC fast charging station is designed to get you in and out. With 20 to 30 minutes plugged in, most electric vehicles can charge up to 80%. Tesla Superchargers offer the same charge duration and are usually found in major cities or off major highways.
Home charging solutions for your electric car
Find a good electrician if you decide to install an electric vehicle charger at home. A 240-volt outlet will power a level 2 charger so your EV is fully charged and ready to go. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Moloughney, who consults on residential electric vehicle setups, says he may not need many changes if his house is new or up-to-date. “Most houses can do without that extra amount of electricity,” Moloughney said. Once this has been determined, the upgrades can be completed and the electrician can install a home charger.
One of the best all-around chargers is the JuiceBox 40 Smart Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station ($699 at Amazon). The 40 comes in a few output levels and even has one that can match the Tesla wall jack at 48 amps. The ChargePoint Home Flex EV charger has a lot of great features. Offered in a NEMA 14-50 plug or NEMA 6-50 plug style ($749 at Amazon).
The Tesla Wall Connector ($400 at Tesla) is the brand’s home charging solution. It can add 44 miles of range per hour of charging and comes with a 24-foot cord. There are multiple power and amperage settings for any Tesla EV you may have. You don’t have to make up your mind before buying an electric vehicle, but it’s good to keep that in mind. There’s a lot to learn in the first few months of ownership, but you’ll get used to it quickly.
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