chargingstation1Oak Electric has been certified by SPX Services as a sales and installation specialist for Chevrolet Volt charging stations in a number of Michigan zip codes.  If you have a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) and are considering a home charging station, here are some basic facts about electrical requirements for home charging stations.

PEVs are powered by rechargeable onboard battery packs, which use stored electricity to propel the vehicle. The battery packs can be charged from two types of outlets: 120 volts (Level 1) and 240 volts (Level 2).

The difference in voltage does not affect the amount of energy stored in the battery, but the rate at which the battery is charged.

A 120-volt outlet is the standard outlet most commonly found in a household. It supplies alternating current (AC), which is used to power everything from alarm clocks to desktop computers. A PEV plugged into a 120-volt outlet can take from 8 to 15 hours to fully charge, depending on battery size and how low the battery charge is to begin with.  Level 1 charging requires a dedicated 15 or 20 Amp outlet in the garage or other location where the vehicle will be charged.

Level 2 charging is done using a 240-volt circuit, much like that used for an electric dryer, electric stove, or a central air conditioning system. Most garages don’t have a 240 volt circuit, so one would need to be installed to facilitate faster charging. Level 2 charging can take from 3 to 8 hours, about half the time of Level 1.

The vehicle manufacturer may specify what Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) should be used with their vehicle which will determine the exact equipment you should install.  If the vehicle is kept outdoors, special, weather-proof, equipment may be needed.

Depending on the battery size and how far the vehicle was driven, Level 2 charging takes between 3 and 8 hours to fully charge a battery, or half the time of Level 1 charging.

Detroit Edison recommends that customers installing Level 2 charging equipment install a separately metered to serve this load.  This will allow you to save even more on your vehicle’s fuel cost by charging your vehicle at lower off-peak prices using Detroit Edison’s optional electric vehicle rate.

For safety reasons, a licensed electrician should be called to perform the installation of the EVSE. Oak Electric Service is one of southeast Michigan’s leading electrical and renewable energy contractors. If you are contemplating making energy improvements to your home or business, give us a call at (800) 964-7070. We invite you to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com to learn more about us.