Green Interiors: Getting Ready for an Electric Vehicle
In the not too distant future, electric vehicles (EV) will become the norm and garages outfitted with charging equipment will become standard. Embracing new technology is exciting but it is also full of unknowns. Fortunately, we’ve reached the stage where electric cars are not only for the “first adapters” and a lot of the unknowns have become standardized. Here are a few tips, facts, and figures to get you ready for the future!
You might think going to fill-up a car with gas is easier than installing a charging station at your home but, in reality, making the one-time investment and having it installed by a professional could be a real time- and cost-saver. Tesla estimates skipping the pump over a 5 year period could give you $4,400 – $6,600 in savings.
To estimate the cost to charge an electric car, determine the battery size of the model you are interested in and multiply that by $0.12 (the national average cost per kilowatt hour). To compare the savings to the car you drive now, determine the tank size and multiply it by $2.36 (national averageforgallon of gasoline).
EVs integrate the charging mechanism into the mechanics of the car. When you dock an EV, you are really just connecting it to a 240-volt source of power—same as an electric stove or dryer. At home “charging stations” are technically known as Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE). Typically a charging station might cost from $600-700; units of higher quality or with desirable add-on features may cost more. Installation costs vary locally.
When choosing an EVSE, go for a model that has a high amperage capacity. Some of the current EVs won’t benefit from higher amperage but future models certainly will. Amperage correlates to how quickly an EV will charge.
When installing your EVSE, make sure the electrician doesn’t hardwire the device. Have the electrician install the proper outlet and plug in your device—again the way you would an electric stove or dryer. This way, you can easily move your EVSE.
The average cost of an EVSE is $400-$700, plus the cost of installing. Installation cost will depend on where you need to locate the EVSE and how far it is from other 240-volt electric outlets, etc. Always use a trusted electrician.
Most EVs will get a full charge within 4-9 hours and it is safe to leave an EV plugged in overnight. Just check your manufacturer’s specifications.
While neither owning an EV and installing an EVSE are rocket science, electricity is an important component and must be handled properly. With more and more models becoming available, it is vital to work with your dealer and trusted professionals.
Hope you found these tips to be a helpful jumping off point to start your own query into the ins and outs of owning an EV. Can’t wait to see you on the road!
—By Kate Gray Fudim
Editor’s Note: Kate Gray Fudim is an interior designer with Beth Haley Design. Kate has a master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design with an emphasis in sustainable design. Beth Haley Design, an urban interior design firm, focuses on remodeling and revitalizing established homes, as well as creating stimulating, functional, sustainable spaces innewhomes.. E-mail your questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit