Maintain EV Power with an At-Home Level 2 Charging Station

Chevy Volt - Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging StationsAll-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are gaining popularity around the world. Nissan’s Leaf can be found plugged into a public electric vehicle charging station in South America while the REVAi/G-Wiz I is charging at a London on-street station. Other examples of EVs include Tesla’s Roadster and Model S, Chevrolet Volts, the Brammo Empulse Electric Motorcycle, and Renault’s Fluence Z.E.

Types of Charging Systems

EV Charging - Santa Rosa EV Station InstallersThe biggest challenge of operating an EV is finding an electric vehicle charging station in the area where the vehicle is operated. Level 1 charging involves plugging into a 110 household outlet. It’s a very slow process that provides 2 to 5 miles driving for each hour of charging. DC Level 2 is a fast charge unit providing 60 to 80 miles driving distance after just 20 minutes of charging. This charging system is impractical for the general public, as installation and operation is quite expensive.

A better solution for homeowners, businesses and small fleets is the AC Level 2 in-home charging station developed by Tesla and other manufacturers. It requires 240 V power, which is frequently already in the home (for electric dryers) and commercial buildings. It only takes an hour of charging to get 10 to 20 miles of driving distance. It’s an affordable way to recharge the EV and get a longer driving range than that provided by Level 1.

Suitable for outdoor and indoor use, it can be mounted on the wall or installed as a freestanding pedestal resembling the look of a gasoline pump. Level 2 requires a dedicated circuit ranging from 20 to 100 amps. Overnight charging usually results in a fully charged battery.

Safety measures built into the system protect the user and the equipment. It’s important to hire a reputable firm experienced in the installation of Level 2 charging stations to ensure their proper operation. Specifically:

The ALC (available line current) needs to be no more than what the EV is allowed to draw.
Communications between EVs and Level 2 charging stations must be verified so power flow during charging is immediately stopped in the event of a problem.

Expectations for Electric Vehicles

The electric vehicle market is expected to continue to grow as consumers discover the convenience of using EVs for short trips to the store, school, and local activities. An affordable at-home charging station eliminates concerns about safely recharging cars and motorcycles. Wide-spread public stations are still in the future, but EV owners in Santa Rosa as well as any other location in the counties of Sonoma, Napa, and Marin can have a home unit installed now.

Santa Rosa Electricians are licensed to install at-home Level 2 charging stations providing up to 200 amps of power for Tesla, LEAF, and other EVs. Just an hour’s worth of charging gets you out and about once more. The proper outlet for your EV assures the proper safety measures are in place while charging. This protects you in addition to the EV’s battery and operational system.

It’s recommended to install a home charging station before buying an EV, as you can’t count on finding a free or for-cost unit when it’s needed. Call the experts at Santa Rosa Electricians today for an appointment to discuss installation of your EV charging station today at 707-387-1888!

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