Connections for Electric Vehicles - Woodbridge Electrician

Connections for Electric Vehicles

Connections for Electric Vehicles

Before Contacting Root Electric About Your New Electric Vehicle:

  1. Know the available methods of charging for your specific make and model.  Every vehicle is engineered differently and has different installation requirements.
  2. If you would like to use a power connector, purchase the power connector and have it on hand before your estimating appointment.
  3. Know who your electric service provider is and if they offer special programs for electric vehicle charging.
  4. Know all of your neighborhood covenants regarding installation of outlets and charging stations on the exterior of your home (if you intend to install the power connector or power plug on the exterior of the home).
  5. Know where the car will be parked and in what position.  (i.e. do you back in to your garage or pull straight-in?)
  6. Do you plan to purchase additional electric vehicles in the future?  How will this impact the way you schedule charging for your vehicles?

Brands and Models

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model X
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Toyota Prius Plug-In

Types of Connections:  (Some may not be available, depending on the brand of the vehicle.)

  1. Basic 120 volt wall outlet:  20 Amp dedicated circuit with GFCI protection recommended for reliable operation.  Lowest cost for installation, but results in longer charging times.
  2. Heavy duty 240 volt wall outlet:  Up to 40 Amps, dedicated circuit for shorter charging times.  This option eliminates the need to purchase a power connector (depending on the make and model)  and can charge your vehicle between four and six times faster than a 120 volt wall outlet.  In many cases, this method of installation will require replacement of the main electrical panel or upgrade of the existing electrical service.  Most homes built in the 1980’s or later may not require an electrical panel replacement or service upgrade.
  3. Manufacturer-Supplied Power Connector:  These units can provide between 15 Amps and 80 Amps of charging capacity and will yield the fastest charging times depending on the brand and configuration of your electric vehicle.  Some power connectors are proprietary to the brand of vehicle, and some are manufactured by main line equipment manufacturers such as GE, Siemens, or Bosch.  Because of the extremely high charging capacity of a power connector, installation will require upgrade of the home’s electrical service and replacement of the main electrical panel in most cases.  To maximize the benefit of a power connector, a dedicated power company meter can be installed, allowing the owner to take advantage of special electricity rates, depending on the power company.

Dedicated Electric Vehicle Meter

  1. Not every power company offers the option of having a dedicated meter for your electric vehicle.  Check with your power company for availability.
  2. You must have a minimum of 200 Amps at your meter.  If your existing service and electrical panel are rated below 200 amps, the service and electrical panel will need to be upgraded.
  3. Installation methods differ depending on the size of service you have.  Installation for a 200 amp service is different from that of a 300/400 amp service, and installation for services rated at 600 amps and above are also different.  Root Electric has the experience to determine the best installation method for your service.

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About the Author

During my tenure at Root Electric, I lead the transition of Root Electric from a primarily sub-contracting based business model to a prime-contracting based business model. Accomplishments have been made by developing a team based approach to researching and implementing a service-specific client management system.My goals for the next five years are to fine tune Root Electric's brand strategy and to diversify its scope of services, while remaining true to the discipline of electrical work.