Why have an electric vehicle (EV) charger in your home?
With the rising prevalence of EVs in California, you may be considering buying one yourself. After all, they cost much less to maintain and fuel, are better for the environment, and are very quiet on the road. They are also becoming more and more convenient, as electric vehicle chargers are popping up everywhere.
When you own an electric vehicle, it’s incredibly useful to have a charger right in your own home. There are plenty of incentives and rebates available to decrease the cost of installation. Besides tax breaks, California also has a Clean Vehicle Rebate project which assists in purchasing an EV. Your local energy provider may also provide additional rebates, for example, PG&E offers a Clean Fuel Rebate which will provide you with $800 towards either installing an EV charger or towards electricity for that charger. Lists of rebates and incentives can be found here and here.
For newly built multi-family residences like apartment buildings, California now requires EV infrastructure to also be built. This only applies to residences with 17 or more units, and 3% of the parking spaces provided must be EV spaces. The convenience of accessing charging stations will encourage more people to own electric vehicles.
Installing a charger in a single family home
1. Hire an electrician to assess your electrical situation so you can determine the type of charger that is right for your vehicle. There are three levels of electric vehicle charging systems:
- Level 1: 120 volts. These can be plugged into a standard outlet, and will charge slower. These are an especially good choice for hybrid electric vehicles.
- Level 2: 240 volts. These will charge four times faster than the level 1 charging system, but you will need to install a 240 volt outlet and obtain a permit to do so. You can install it on the same meter as your regular electricity, or a separate one. These are a good choice for battery electric vehicles.
- Level 3: 500 volts. These can fully charge a vehicle in 30 minutes, but cannot be installed in a residence and are not supported by all EVs.
2. Contact your energy provider to determine rates. You may need to send an application for change of service. A list of providers, their phone numbers, and addresses for all of California can be found here.
3. Obtain a permit from your city to install your EV charger. Different cities will have different regulations concerning EV charger installation. Your charger may be indoors or outdoors, which may have different requirements. Inspections may also be required.
4. Your electrician will complete the installation of your EV charger
If you are remodeling or building a new home, you will need to include the EV charger in your plans. You should research the requirements in your city (search electric vehicle charger regulations in your city or call them for more info).
Building EV charging spaces for a multi-family residence
For a multi-family residence, these guidelines are the same. California issued new regulations for electric vehicle charging stations concerning accessibility, but those unavailable to the general public are not currently required to follow these regulations.
However, according to the CALGreen building standards code, newly built multi-family dwellings with 17 or more units must have 3% of their parking spaces with the capability of becoming an electric vehicle charging station. There is no requirement to actually build the stations, but they must have the potential to be converted into one.
Plans must include locations of future charging stations, chargers and their amperages, concealed raceways, and load calculations. The electrical system must be capable of charging at all of the stations at once, at the full amperage of each charger.
Interested in installing an EV charger in your home? Design Everest has you covered! Call us at 877-956-9908 for more information.
- https://energycenter.org/sites/default/files/docs/nav/programs/pev-planning/san-diego/fact-sheets/ResComm EVSE Permit Guidelines v3_Final_attach.pdf
*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with members of Design Everest.
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