Charging OptionsMost plug-in electric vehicles will charge at home on one of two charging levels. Depending on which charging level you select, you may need to upgrade your home electrical system.
Done on a standard 120-volt outlet that typically won’t require customers to make modifications to their electric panel or home wiring. The electrical draw is equivalent to a 1500-watt personal hair dryer. Most plug-in hybrids can take up to seven hours to fully charge at Level One. A battery electric vehicle can take up to 18 hours for a full charge depending on the battery’s state-of-charge, or how much energy remains in the battery when the vehicle is plugged in. The ideal configuration for Level One is a dedicated circuit for the electric vehicle charge connection.
Charging at Level Two is done on a 240-volt rated charging unit, also known as an EVSE. It will likely require the customer to make changes to their electrical panel and add a new circuit (if one is not available) in their home similar to that used for an air conditioner or electric dryer. Most battery electric vehicles can take up to seven hours to fully charge at Level Two.
According to U.S. Census Data, approximately 40 percent of all NES customers drive less than 20 minutes to work each day. If the customer’s battery range is 100 miles and they recharge every night, the battery would have a state-of-charge around 50 percent when the customer plugs in. Therefore, it would take between four and five hours to recharge completely.
DC Fast charging is currently being developed for commercial charging locations such as along major interstates. Not all battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles will be equipped to accept DC fast charging.
Basic Electrical Requirements
All Plug-In EV charging station installations are subject to national, State and local building and electrical codes.
- Level One - Either a 15- or 20-amp single-pole breaker is required.
- Level Two - A 40-amp, two-pole breaker is necessary.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)
- Level One - A 15- or 20-amp standard residential wall plug and receptacle is acceptable for 120-volt charging.
- Level Two - According to the National Electrical Code® (NEC), in 240-volt electric vehicle charging equipment installations, the supply equipment should be wired permanently to the electrical supply circuit. The supply equipment may vary in design depending on the manufacturer and vehicle type, but it must meet specifications set forth in the NEC.
Customers should check with the auto manufacturer to determine what type of plug-in vehicle charging equipment is required and should consult local code officials to determine specific installation requirements.
In limited circumstances, an exhaust fan may be required by state or local codes to ensure proper battery ventilation. Generally, all new plug-in electric vehicles expected to be produced by major automakers will use sealed battery packs that greatly reduce the possibility of gaseous release during charging. These vehicles may be considered exempt from ventilation requirements. Again, customers should check with the vehicle manufacturer and with the local building inspector’s office for requirements.
Local government permits may be required prior to installation or construction. The local building and safety department should be consulted to determine specific requirements. If an electrical contractor is hired to perform the work, it is still the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate permits have been obtained.
Customers should consult local code officials to determine if a city or county building inspection must be completed prior to activation of the new charging circuit for the plug-in vehicle. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to verify that all required inspections are completed satisfactorily.
Plug-in vehicle charging equipment installation costs can vary greatly depending on the configuration of the home and electrical circuitry, local code requirements and the type of equipment installed. A licensed electrical contractor should be consulted for a cost estimate. Several auto manufacturers are working with their customers to provide site assessments and EVSE installation cost estimates. Customers should check with the auto manufacturer to determine if this is a service they offer.
Commercial EV Charging
NES is ready to assist commercial customers in planning their Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging needs.
- Evaluate service transformers and grid infrastructure serving your business
- Discuss rate options
- Consider any situations unique to your business
For more information, email us at [email protected].