Electric vehicles (EVs) will soon be the norm for surface transportation, and homeowners will need to know some of the intricacies required to keep them charged. Likewise, electricians, builders, and developers will need to understand how these units impact their services and products to homeowners.
Moorhead Public Service General Manager Travis Schmidt has been evaluating how electric vehicles will significantly impact home construction and formulated ideas to ease the transition for contractors involved with homebuilding.
In the changing landscape of the transportation industry away from gas to electric engines, EVs continue gaining traction as more and more automotive companies expand their EV fleets.
Builders and electricians need to consider whether to provide the option of pre-installing the necessary electric lines within the construction of a new home to prepare for the future of the EV industry. This option will help reduce the need for a future installation of electric lines in a finished home, mitigating unnecessary costs with some prior planning.
From a utility perspective, there is an opportunity for beneficial electrification, but the increased energy demands on the electric system need to be evaluated. Like home builders, utilities must plan ahead by making sure that what is installed today can meet the needs of the unknown in the future and make sure that we are cost-effective for our customers.
The increased utilization of EVs intensifies the potential to impact or burden the electric lines to the home if not correctly sized. Newer developments currently have more extensive electric services and can absorb the capacity needs of an EV.Utilities and home builders will need to work together to educate and inform their customers about the EV industry pertaining to their future everyday needs within their home and commute to work or the potential resale of a house.
Older neighborhoods are questionable. Existing homes may struggle as electric code requirements have changed from 50 years ago and may require upsizing services, transformers and updating electrical panels to meet the needs of an EV.
As a community-owned utility, Moorhead Public Service strives to provide innovative, efficient, reliable and high-quality municipal services and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 477-8000.
Homeowners planning to install an EV charger in a new home or an existing home should be aware of several things. Cass County Electric Cooperative Energy Services Supervisor Bob Miller offers three valuable suggestions that homeowners with EVs need to consider: power, charger performance and proximity.
Consult a licensed electrician to assess whether your electrical service has the capacity for a level two charger. If you are building or remodeling, consider making your home EV ready by installing a dedicated 240-volt, 50-amp circuit to serve a charger in the future. Even if you don’t have an EV now, it will be more cost-effective to account for it during construction. Installation costs will vary since each install may be different.
2. Charger performance
Homeowners should also think about how quickly they need to charge a vehicle. A level 1 charger could limit daily range needs. A level 2 charger should handle most conditions, and a level 3 charger is more for commercial markets. Both, level 1 and level 2 chargers could require additional in-home wiring changes. Aside from Tesla-model vehicles, EVs and plug-in vehicles in the U.S. use the SAE-standard J1772 plug, and range in price from $500 to more than $1,000. In most situations, installing a level 2 charger will allow your EV to charge overnight leaving you with a full battery in the morning.
Most charging stations are suspended on a wall in a garage near the parked EV. Consider the distance to the charging port on the car and the length of the cord you plan to use when determining the location.
Cass County Electric offers its members a $50/kW ($500 max) rebate towards the purchase of a level 2 charger when installed on its off-peak system: email email@example.com or call (701) 356-4400 for details.
Moorhead Public Service General Manager Travis Schmidt
Cass County Electric Cooperative Energy Services Supervisor Bob Miller
written by Krista Mund, HBA of F-M Executive Vice President