Electric Vehicle Charging (EV)
Electric vehicles (EVs) are making headlines with growing popularity and are making significant headways in the marketplace. With the price of gas going on the upward trend without any hope of a decline and consumers becoming more conscious of the negative impact that gas is having on the ecosystem and with the call for a better and cleaner California, there is now a growing demand for more Electric Vehicles.
An EV is an automobile that is powered by an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. The electric vehicle gets its energy from a controller, which regulates the amount of power depending on the way the driver accelerates. The electric vehicle takes its power from the energy that is stored in its rechargeable batteries. Common household electricity can recharge the batteries.
EVs are the wave of the future and pioneers who have taken the plunge now are paving the way for the rest of us to follow.
The concept of the electric vehicles have been around for years, and they are entering into the mainstream market due to the advance in technology that has improved the battery staying power tremendously, faster charging, the vehicles having a greater range, lower cost of acquisition and government incentives to buyers. There are two types of EVs in the market all-electric vehicles and the plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The all-electric cars run only on electricity, and typically have a range of 80 to 100 miles though due to advance in technology some electric vehicles have a range up to 200 miles. Plug-in hybrid vehicles run on a combination of electricity and fossil fuels. The electric range is about 40 miles at which the vehicle will now change to an internal combustion engine. Most times the internal combustion engine powers the vehicle during rapid acceleration and also act as power for the heater or air conditioning. Some plug-in hybrids come equipped with regenerative braking which converts some of the energy lost during braking into usable electricity that is stored in the batteries. The newer Electric vehicles travel between 100 and 400 miles on a single charge, depending on speed and driving conditions so when shopping for an electric vehicle, the buyer should be aware of the performance of the vehicle that they are buying.
Purchasing a new electric vehicle is a choice that can only be made by you. Buying an electric vehicle comes with a $7500 federal tax credit while in California you can receive up to $2500 in addition to the federal tax credit thereby bringing down the price of the electric vehicle. Consequently, this has to lead to a drop in prices and more Californians are buying more electric vehicles. The state of California now has over 500,000 electric vehicles on the road unlike a few years ago where there were just a couple of thousands. The increase in electric vehicles has equally led to a more cleaner environment.
Recently the California state governor calls for a massive 5 million electric vehicles on California road by 2030. What could bring a drawback to this enviable position is the lack of available charging stations in California to charge the Electric vehicle. Presently there are about 10,000 charging stations in California and to accommodate the increase in electric vehicles the state needs at least 250,000 charging station, but according to California’s Department of General Services, it takes an average of 18 months to go through the process of planning and to install a utility grid-tied Electric Vehicle charging station.
Another way is to charge the electric vehicles at home. The home can be prepared for charging by hiring an electrician to install an electrical circuit to where you will park your vehicle. Another challenge to this is that about 40 percent of California’s lives in apartment, townhouse, or condominium that does not have access to dedicated parking with charging outlet.
Since there are not enough charging station and a large percentage of the California population lives where charging their electric vehicles cannot be charged at home the only remaining way is to turn to solar power.
A solar installation can charge your electric car just as it will supply energy for the rest of your home appliances. To install a solar panel to charge your electric vehicle in your home all you need to know is how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) it takes to drive your car for 100 miles which can be converted to miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe). The information that you get from the conversion can be used by an installer to design a solar panel system that will generate enough power to cover both your home and your electric car. There are three types of charging methods available. Below is an outline of what they are and how they work.
LEVEL 1 CHARGING
This is the most basic EV charging station and is done with the use of a regular household electrical socket with 120 volts at 15 or 20 amps. This is the slowest charging method providing about 4 miles of charge per hour. Typically this would be used for an overnight charge or in the case of an emergency. Using this method to recharge a full-size electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf would take about 16 to 20 hours.
LEVEL 2 CHARGING
Level 2 charging stations recharge faster than level 1 charging stations because they use a 240-volt circuit at 16 to 70 amps, similar to that used to power an electric stove or dryer. This charging station would typically be used at home and public electric vehicle charging locations. Level 2 chargers can recharge a full-size electric vehicle in 3 to 8 hours.
LEVEL 3 CHARGING
Level 3 charging stations, sometimes referred to as DC fast charge, or DC quick charge operate at 480 voltsDC and 125 amps. This is the fastest method available to date and will charge a full-size electric vehicle to 80% in 28 minutes, with a full charge taking slightly longer. Public level 3 charging stations are rare, in part because of their huge cost; a level 3 charger can cost over $100,000 compared to a $3000.00 level 2 charger. Level 3 chargers will recharge the battery of a vehicle quickly. However, repeated use will degrade the batteries, and so it is not intended to replace overnight charging at home. It should be used to supplement level 2 charging for longer trips.
At Imperial Solar, we have made the purchasing and installing of EV charging stations affordable and the process super easy. Our customers can speed charge their vehicles in the convenience of their own homes without going to a charging station or using a slow wall outlet, which can take days to charge. In almost all cases, our solar systems feed the energy needed to charge EVs without using the grid to fuel the charge, providing savings on top of savings and thereby making energizing a vehicle even more affordable and efficient.
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