ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING 101
By James Kennedy, Founder and President Beach Cities Solar Consulting LLC
Electric vehicle charging is a hot topic, especially in California. By the year 2025, there is projected to be 18,000,000 electric vehicles in the United States! Both California homeowners and businesses are looking to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure at a rapid rate, and can benefit financially by combining the installation with their solar and battery storage projects. I will explain more about the three types of EV charging options below.
Level 1 charging or charging using a standard DC 110-volt outlet, can be done in almost any home in California, provided there is an outlet within reach of the electric vehicle. Almost all electric vehicle manufacturers provide a charging cord that can be used with Level 1 or Level 2 charging outlets. This form of charging takes the longest, typically taking an entire night (8 hours) to charge your electric vehicle’s battery enough to drive 40 miles. If you are charging your electric vehicle using this method, make sure to do so after 9PM to avoid excessive TOU fees.
Level 2 charging or charging using a 240-volt outlet can be done in any California home or business, provided the electric panel has an available 50-amp circuit breaker, or the capacity to add one. This form of charging is more rapid than Level 1, typically charging your electric vehicle’s battery enough to drive 25 miles every hour. The cost of installation can vary from $1,500-$2,500 depending on several factors and an electrical permit may or may not be needed. We offer Level 2 EV charging outlet installations to our solar and battery storage customers at our cost, typically about half the figure quoted above! If you are charging your electric vehicle using this method, make sure to do so after 9PM to avoid excessive TOU fees.
Level 3 charging (also known as DC fast charging or super charging) is the most powerful charging available on the market today. These DC fast chargers are typically seen along highways, in restaurant or hotel parking lots, and at other publicly accessible areas. Tesla has its own network of super charging stations throughout the U.S. and is rapidly expanding this infrastructure. Level 3 chargers are the fastest form of charging and can charge an electric vehicle’s battery enough to drive 100 miles in 30 minutes! The owners of DC Fast Charging stations can bill their customers by credit card or app. DC Fast chargers require a commercial electrician due to the electrical load and wiring requirements and always require an electrical permit. Installation costs for DC Fast Chargers can range from $45,000-$50,000 based on several factors. There is an incentive program in California for the installation of DC fast charging stations, with limited availability. We offer Level 3 EV DC fast charging installations to our commercial and corporate solar and battery storage customers through our partner EnelX. Inquire below to see if your organization is eligible for any California incentives.
Interested in hiring Beach Cities Solar Consulting LLC to provide a turnkey home or business solar and energy storage proposal with electric vehicle charging infrastructure? Get started by e-mailing us a copy of your most recent electric bill (12 months for businesses), a picture of your home’s electric panel (or switchgear for businesses), and a picture of your roof material today: firstname.lastname@example.org.