Types of Electric Vehicles (EV) Chargers
Solar panel installations and electric vehicle ownership often go hand-in-hand. If you are interested in making the switch to an electric vehicle, you will need to consider which type of charger will work best for your lifestyle and personal needs. When installing and using an electric charger, you may also benefit from local incentives to make your project more affordable. Electric vehicles (EVs) use electricity, which is stored in a battery, to power their motors. The electricity is generated with a charger and then stored in the battery for future use. Currently, there are three “levels” of EV chargers which vary by power capability and overall charging rate along with the electric requirements for installing and operating the charger. The three levels of EV chargers are described further below:
- Utilizes a standard, 120-volt electric outlet
- Provides about 4-6 miles of charge per hour
- Lends better to overnight charging between uses
- Comes with the car upon purchase
- Requires a 240-volt electric outlet (identical to that of a household clothing dryer) installed by a professional electrician
- Provides about 12-25 miles of charge per hour in general
- Allows for installation in garages, sides of buildings, and parking lots
- Charges 3-6 times faster than a Level 1 EV charger
- Tends to be the most commonly-used EV charger
- Costs $500-$700 for the equipment in addition to installation costs between $500-$1,000
- Serves as a great solution for a longer-than-average commute, a large EV battery, or a faster at-home battery charge
Level 3 (DC fast chargers):
- Delivers 80+ miles per hour of charge
- Requires costly electrical infrastructure for installation and operation
- Lends better to public charging stations
- Tends to be the least commonly-used chargers in homes or at businesses
Almost all Level 2 chargers include a J 1772 (“universal”) charging port in order to accommodate all major EV makes. Tesla vehicles, however, use a unique charging port. They also offer a relatively inexpensive adapter in order to connect to the standard universal ports. To explore the various types of EV chargers, reference the Solar United Neighbors’ EV Charging Guide here.
Incentives to Install an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger
While there are not currently any federal incentives for electric vehicle installations, D.C. has several incentives in place to promote the purchase of an EV along with a charger. More specifically, the purchase of a standard vehicle typically dictates a 6% excise tax. EVs are currently exempt from this tax. Additionally, the city provides a tax credit for 50% of the cost of residential Level 2 charger installations (up to $1,000) and up to $10,000 for publicly accessible stations.
According to Pepco’s website, its “Electric Vehicle Program” also offers discounts for equipment and installation costs for Level 2 smart charging stations at their home. Up to 50 residential customers can receive a 50 percent discount for these stations. Customers in disadvantaged communities have the possibility to receive the 50 percent discount on the equipment in addition to 100 percent coverage of installation through Pepco. Commercial customers who provide dedicated EV parking/charging could receive the same incentives. For more information on this program, click here.
Through the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate Program (2.0), the Maryland Energy Administration works with Maryland residents to expand upon the growing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The program gives residents and businesses the potential to receive state rebates for purchasing and installing an EV charging station. It is open to fund assistance in acquiring or installing electric vehicle supply equipment until June 30, 2020. However, the program is operating on a waitlist system until funding again becomes available. Applications must be submitted within 6 months of the date that the equipment or installation expenses were incurred and any projects taken on prior to July 1, 2017 are ineligible for the program. If you would like to apply and add your name to the waitlist, then click here.
Unfortunately, only 30% of D.C. residents have dedicated parking within the city. Most 25-35 year-old residents make up a large part of the D.C. community and often lease cars. While transportation is one of America’s greatest contributors to pollution, these statistics create difficulties in transitioning to electric vehicles on a larger scale. According to DC Solar United Neighbors, 2-3 kW of solar energy are required to power an electric vehicle throughout an average year. While suburban roofs can easily accommodate solar panels to provide this amount of energy, D.C. roofs tend to be significantly smaller, making the energy pull less feasible.
Investing in electric vehicles and chargers provides significant benefits for the local community. By eliminating tailpipe emissions, D.C. communities will likely see less asthma, respiratory disorders and diseases which are caused by vehicle emissions throughout the city. Aside from the physical health benefits made possible by electric vehicles, options for consumers are rapidly expanding. Tesla has become a leader in the industry, there are roughly 50 plug-in options available, and most major automakers offer some sort of EV model.
Overall, the relationship between solar energy, electric vehicles, and their chargers is positive. These investments work together to defray later costs and provide a higher level of sustainability to anyone’s lifestyle. By making use of available incentives for solar energy and EV technology, consumers will be able to protect their local communities from disease, limit their impact on the environment, and save some money in the long run. Contact Ipsun Solar today if you’d like to support your EV with a solar panel installation!