Electrical Vehicle Charging

If you’ve recently purchased a new Tesla or other make electric vehicle or you are thinking of purchasing one you’ll soon learn that there are many points to consider when it comes to charging your new vehicle.  For residential home charging stations you have a choice between a level 1 and a level 2 charger.  A level one charger runs off a standard 120v household receptacle and your garage likely has one available.  With a level 1 charger you can expect to charge your vehicle at a rate of 4 a 5 miles per hour.  A level 2 charger will charge your vehicle at a rate of 12 - 60 miles per hour.

Of course a level 2 charger is the ideal solution for most electric vehicle owners but there are some factors that need to be considered when installing one.  Most of these considerations come down to one thing, electrical current, or amperage. While voltage can be looked at as the pressure of electricity, amperage is the volume of electricity.  In your home you likely have just two options for voltage which is either 120v or 240v.  The amperage available to you depends how many total amps are being supplied to your breaker panel and what size wire you are running to your charger location.  If you have a newer home and your electrical panel is located in your garage or on the outside wall of your garage as is most likely the case in Las Vegas then your electric vehicle charger installation may be quick and affordable.  If you have an older home that may only have a 100 amp service supplying your home or if you have some greater distances to cover then you should think through what the best choice for you is.  Upgrading to a 200 amp panel if needed for a level 2 charger will provide much faster charging times but at would come at the cost of a panel upgrade.  It is possible to run large enough wiring to support a higher amperage level 2 charger while installing the level 1 charger that comes with most vehicles, for some customers who have short commutes or who have charging available to them at their place of work a level 1 charger may be sufficient but by running wiring that can support a larger charger would enable to upgrade to a larger panel separately if there is a desire to upgrade in the future.

Homeowners who have an electric dryer located in their garage often already have a 240 volt 30 amp outlet which could be shared with your electric vehicle charger although both could not be used at the same time.  There is also a device called a Dryer Buddy that costs about $350 that works as a transfer switch which cuts power to your charger when the dryer is in use and then restarts power to the charger when the dryer turns off.  The battery size of your vehicle can also play a role in your decision as smaller batteries have more of a need to be able to fully charge over night while a larger battery is rarely depleted in a days use. Twilight Designs can help you make the right decision and design a system that fits your needs and budget.

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