The recent surge in gas prices has fueled the demand for electric vehicles. As you might know, the President has set a goal for half of all new car sales to be electric, fuel cell, or hybrid electric vehicles by 2030, so the EV revolution is going to happen sooner rather than later.
If you’ve already purchased an EV or are about to, congratulations on saying goodbye to the gas pump. Here are a few tips for 2022 to help you get used to your new charging life.
You’ve just splashed out for an EV in a market where new cars are in short supply and buyers are getting overcharged on the sticker price. The good news is that you’ve heard that the government is offering rebates of up to $7,500 for EV purchases and you want to get some of your money back. Not so fast! It’s not an instant rebate. If you haven’t filed the credit this tax season, you’ll have to wait for the next one. Oh, and if you make more than $135,000 (or $200,000 filing jointly) you don’t qualify. However, if you live in California, dealers can apply for a $750 credit at checkout and there is a Clean Vehicle Rebate Project which offers rebates of $2000 and, according to a recent article in the NY Times, is fully funded without a waitlist.
If you have an EV, you’ll need to charge it. It can get confusing searching through the scores of home chargers on the market and wondering which one to choose. There are currently two types of residential chargers to pick from — Level 1 & Level 2.
Level 1 chargers deliver a charge at 110 or 120 volts. This requires no additional wiring if you plan to use it at home — just plug and play (or charge). It’s slow though and can take more than a day to charge your car — so don’t plan any emergency Starbucks or ice cream runs.
A Level 2 charger is faster and delivers 220 to 240 volts of charge. You’ll need an electrician to help with the hook-up. All the new chargers cost between $500 and $800 and many are smart chargers compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. They can be pre-programmed and can often be both plug-in or hardwired. For a full breakdown of some of the leading EV Chargers on the market, see this round-up from Forbes.
Public Charging Stations
You might not see many public EV charging stations now, but that’s about to change. In fact, 2022 should be a breakthrough for EV visibility throughout the US — for both cars and access to public charging. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is providing $7.5 billion to supply 500,000 publicly accessible charging stations by 2030. However, as EV car models evolve so are charging stations that supply them. Newer models like the Tesla Model S can go as many as 405 miles on a full battery. Mercedes, recently unveiled their all-electric Vision EQXX that can go an impressive 648 miles per charge.
However, given the expected explosion in EV car usage, research firm Jerry says that the US will need to install 478 charging ports per day to meet the demand of 35 million EVs on the road by 2030. For apartment/condo dwellers and drivers on long trips who cannot charge at home, the rapid construction of a charging infrastructure that we are currently seeing is essential.
Hotels too are ramping up their EV capabilities. Choice Hotels International which owns the EconoLodge and Quality Inn brands plans to install EOS Level 2 charge stations in select hotels starting in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Nashville. Expect other hotels to follow suit.
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is planning to install 500 super fast DCFC charging ports by the end of 2022.
Apps such as PlugShare, Charge Hub as well as Google Maps will allow drivers to conduct a quick search of “EV charging stations near me,” to see their options.
See here for a full list of America’s current public charging infrastructure including local College Station EV Charging facilities.
The Cost and Time To Charge
While charging is considerably cheaper than gas, it’s not free. With the current cars and charging capabilities, it costs 18 cents per kilowatt-hour or $11.50 to charge an EV’s 64k Wh battery. Unlike filling your tank with gasoline, the charging isn’t instant. Charging times can differ dramatically depending on your car and charging source. Using a Level 1 Charger can take days. A Level 2 Chargers can take 6-12 hours and a DC Level 3 Charger, which will make up all public chargers, will offer comparative lightning-fast charging in as little as 30-45 minutes. Tesla says its Model S Plaid can add 200 miles of range in only 15 minutes using one of the company’s powerful Superchargers. To know more, contact us if you live locally for your College Station Tesla Service.
If you’re charging on a DC charger using a public facility expect to see lounges at charging stations where you can grab a bite or a beverage while your vehicle gets juiced up.
Paying for Your Charge
Unlike paying for your gas, your home EV charger is connected to your utility bill so you pay for it as you normally pay for electricity. For public chargers, many of them now have smart charging features which allow them to communicate with your EV and allow seamless, wireless paying, directly from your bank account as you charge.
EV Trucks will Take the World by Storm
If the thought of an EV truck alarms you, the Ford F-150 Electric Lightning, The Rivian Automotive RT1, and the Tesla Cybertruck aim to change your minds. In addition, Hummer and Chevy have also scheduled EV trucks for 2023. So, if you already have an EV in the family and want to add a truck to your fleet, the wait is almost over.
If you have a fleet of electric company vehicles, it will be best to install your own charging facilities rather than rely on alternatives. DC Superfast Chargers will be the way to go if you rely on quick turnaround times. You’ll have to ensure your site can handle the uptick in amperage and charge during the least expensive times. Utility companies usually charge a premium to businesses during working hours (9-5), so charging vehicles and night and using a battery storage system could be the way to go.
As gas prices continue to rise and war in Ukraine forces the world to ween itself off fossil fuels faster than anticipated, expect to see more EVs and charging stations. If you've got questions and live in the College Station area, pop in and pick our brains. The world is about to change and we'd love to help you be a part of it.