How to Apply for an Electric Car Charging Station


Everyone who owns an electric car will need to keep them charged to function. But how do you go about the process of applying for an electric car charging station? It may seem daunting because it’s such a big thing, but it could be the difference whether you can drive your beautiful car or not.

This article will provide you what you need to know about applying for an electric car charging station to save you time. Keep reading. This information will be crucial in your quest to keep your car charged and ready for you when you need it.

Pick the Right Type of Charger for Your Needs

Picking the right way to charge your car is vital so that you have peace of mind in knowing that your car has enough charge to last you the whole day. If it runs out while you’re out and about, then you may not be able to get home without assistance.

The good news is that most electric cars come standard with a 120-volt charging cable so that you can charge your car from home. These Level 1 chargers are plugs that go into the same outlet as your household appliances, but they take significantly longer to charge your car than charging stations do.

This 120-volt cable could be beneficial if you know you won’t be using your car for a solid 12 hours to allow it to fully charge overnight, but if you tend to travel for work and can’t leave the car charging for very long, it could prove to be an issue down the line.

Stepping Up to a Level 2 Charging Port

A Level 2 charging port can charge up to ten times as fast as a Level 1 charger. This is all thanks to the 240-volt output. Level 2 outputs are way more common because of the speed at which they charge, delivering an excellent experience for you and your car.

This type of installation at home will be recommended if you need to use your car constantly, maybe if you use your car to work as:

  • A delivery driver
  • A rideshare app driver
  • Or if you make a lot of sales calls

These are also great for public charging ports because of the speed at which they charge so that the next driver can use them.

Going for the Gusto – The Level 3 Charging Port

Level 3s are not as popular because of the cost of installing them, but these override the onboard charger to give the power directly to the battery.  This means you can charge up to 80% of the car in 20 to 30 minutes. Although owning this charger is less likely, and you may only find them in car dealerships, they’re still an option.

Paying for Charging Your Car

On top of the type of charger you want, you need to consider the payment plan you want to have for the privilege to charge your car while you’re out and about. The plans include:

  • Pay as you go. This is pretty self-explanatory, but whether it is worth it would come down to how often you use your car. Multiple pay as you go charges in one week, for example, could equate to the cost of charging with a monthly subscription.
  • Monthly subscription. There are so many different options out there for charging, but if you choose a monthly subscription, you typically get a discount, depending on how often you use the charger.
  • Free charging: Yes, you read that right, but this one is only for the Tesla crowd. Tesla no longer offers this with new purchases, but you get access to Tesla Supercharging for existing Model S and X cars.

It’s important to remember that you need to consider how to charge your car when you’re away from home.

Does Fast Charging Ruin Your Battery?

 

Recent studies have emerged that suggest fast-charging a car battery can actually be detrimental to the battery’s lifespan. This is due to the power bypassing the car charger, which regulates the speed, and the energy is put straight into the battery.

This method of charging reportedly puts more stress on the battery, so it might be worth considering opting for the 120 volt, at-home charging option that typically comes with all cars.

For example, many companies, like Tesla, continue to promote fast charging, suggesting that the damage with fast charging may not be as significant as it was first reported.

The cars use lithium-ion batteries, which are built to last, so always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to charge your electric vehicle. This may also be a good thing to ask when you consider purchasing a car.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

This one is trickier because it comes down to how much you pay for electricity, as well as the efficiency of your electric car. But there is a rule of thumb to help you calculate it. Below is how you would be able to figure out the cost:

  • The cost of electricity wherever you are charging is needed in kilowatt-hours.
  • How much electricity the vehicle uses per 100 miles has to be known.

The U.S. Department of Energy has a calculator that allows you to pick your make and model of car. It gives information on the energy usage of the vehicles in its database, so that would be a great way to calculate exactly how much your vehicle will use.

It would also be advantageous to compare that with how much your local electric car charging stations charge because it all comes down to your area. What works for you might not work for others, but there will be variances dependent on how much you pay for electricity.

This will also fluctuate across the U.S. as prices vary from state to state for things, but the good news is that it’s easy enough to calculate yourself so you can stay in control of how much energy you’re using and how much it is costing.

Rebates and Benefits

Choosing clean, renewable energy is a popular way to cut down on carbon emissions, and in turn, many states offer benefits and rebates for switching to such a vehicle. These vary from state to state, but it means you could be in line to get something for switching to an electric vehicle.

San Jose was one of the first areas to introduce these rebates, and there are various available. These give money for switching to renewable energy and help with costs associated with keeping your vehicle charged.

The rebates in San Jose range from $800-$7,500, depending on the type of car and plan you choose, but there are plenty of options there that will allow you to choose the right one for your individual needs.

Taking a Deeper Look at the Benefits

Let’s take a look at them more in-depth below.

The California Clean Fuel Reward:

  • It is a point of sale incentive, so you can’t add this down the line. It has to be chosen at the point of purchase.
  • It is unavailable on used vehicles but works for leases of new vehicles.
  • This one is also open to any CA resident, but the actual reward varies from $800-$1,500 depending on the capacity of the battery you purchase.

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project:

  • This one can be picked up post-purchase.
  • It cannot be used for pre-loved electric vehicles.
  • It is available for leases.
  • A waitlist is now in effect because of the takeup of the offer.
  • The rebate is between $1,000-$4,500.

Federal Tax Credit:

  • This one is actually a credit and can be picked up post-purchase.
  • It is only available on new cars.
  • It is not available for leases, so this one is for cars bought in cash.
  • The credit is $2,500-$7,500, but the actual figure you receive depends on the car you choose and battery capacity.

Above are just some of the rebates on offer, but there are ones for income-assessed families. Like everything else, these will vary from state to state, but there will be information about them on the government website related to your state.

 

Obtain a Permit for Electric Car Charging Point

It’s important that you know that when you apply for an electric car charging station, you will experience many hurdles. But one of the first things you need to consider will be the permits you need to install your charging station.

You may need more than one permit, so keep that in mind when it comes to decision time. To get an electric car charging port built at your home, you will have to obtain an electrical permit that allows you to go ahead.

When applying for the electrical permit, you need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Installation Address
  • Contact Person
  • Owner Name
  • General Description of equipment to be installed
  • Property details

A building permit may be required depending on the type of installation you opt for, and this is due to the different installations having different codes of conduct.

Plans and calculations are typically not required for a:

  • Single-family residence
  • Duplex
  • Townhouse residential garages

These situations get around the calculation requirement because they are to be used by one group living in the same dwelling.

Why Might Two Copies of Plans Be Required?

Two copies of plans are required for all other applications. Other types of applications could include apartments or terraced housing. The reason for this is that more of the land is shared, and there could be issues if you build on what is deemed to be shared land or someone else’s property.

As a result, the site plan and the floor plans need to include what the building is like before the work and what it will be like after. This allows the governing body to approve plans that they deem to be beneficial to the property and the environment.

To do this, you need to include the following:

  • The dimensions of what will be installed
  • The elevation of the charging unit to demonstrate compliance
  • All disconnect sizes to make sure it will be adequately used

 

There are a few more steps you will need to take. Keep reading as we provide them for you.

 

What Do You Need To Include for Electrical Plans?

When it comes to electrical planning, there needs to be some detailed information about not only the property but the power supply. This is to make sure the building would actually be able to handle the high-voltage charging.

These are all in place for the health and safety of yourself and everyone else in the area. The last thing you want is the power shorting out and cutting off power for the entire neighborhood.

You need to consider the following in the application:

  • Single-line diagrams to show the point of connection to the power supply and the charging unit.
  • Amperage supplied to charge the outlet.
  • This can only be carried out by a registered electrician who can give the most accurate information.

On top of the above, the cost of the permits comes into play. They are between $50-150 depending on whether they are discounted due to rebates or dependent on which part of the U.S. you reside in. It’s already been said, California is far and away the most popular electric car area than any other state.

As a result, the process of obtaining a permit and installing a charger in California is more streamlined than it is in other parts of the U.S.

 

Pick a Company to Install Electric Car Charger

There are companies out there to help with the process, and many of these companies can help with the permit applications, too. They can also arrange for their qualified engineers to fit the device when it has been approved by the appropriate governing bodies.

Even if you narrow it down to the level of voltage you want for the product, there are other things to consider, including the brand of the character. As you probably expected, there are a bunch of different companies.

As many states are trying more than ever to get renewable energy on their roads, the demand for electric cars, and in turn, electric car chargers is rising exponentially.

These brands of car chargers are highly reputable:

  • Aerovironment
  • Blink
  • Bosch
  • ChargePoint
  • Clipper Creek
  • Enel X
  • Schneider
  • Grizzl-E Level

The above companies have well-reviewed products that are used by people looking to charge their cars at home. 

How Long Will You Have To Wait?

Now, you may be wondering how quickly this process can be completed, and it really depends on the area. California, known for having the most electric cars, started implementing some big changes in 2020 because of the rise of renewable energy vehicles.

It really depends on your area, but California is looking to allow any application to be completed automatically five days if no issues are found and after 15 business days if regulators find no adverse issues with the application.

As a result, across the U.S., the time for these being approved is malleable, so it truly depends on how busy your area is.

What we do know is that a Level 2 charging station can be installed in as little as two hours, but you need to have the permit approved first. Always remember to have your permit because you will be breaking the law if you don’t have it.

What Costs Are Involved?

 

Finding the right charger is tough, but knowing how much they cost is crucial to making the right call on which one to pick.

  • Level 1 chargers typically come free with your vehicle, but if you do need a replacement, they are around $300
  • Level 2 chargers costs vary dramatically depending on the features you want on them. Like this Grizzl-E Level 2 charger, which starts at $449, but there’s also the ChargePoint HomeFlex Level 2 device that retails for $1251.
  • Level 3 chargers vary, but they begin in the thousands and are solely for commercial premises, so you wouldn’t be able to get one at your home.

You Need an Approved Electrician

This one may sound self-explanatory, but dealing with such a high amount of energy, as well as the changes to the building structure, only authorized personnel should be installing electric car charging stations.

This is not a simple job, but you could use the 120-volt plug in the meantime, especially if you are waiting a long time for the approval of a level 2 device.

As you can tell from all the required information, this is a tough job and could cause danger to life if not installed correctly.

 

Pick the Right Plan for You

As we’ve already covered, not all roads to getting the permits and, in turn, an electric car charger are the same. There are so many variables at play that you need to assess which method would be best for your individual needs.

With no road being the same, you need to assess your options wisely. At least you can charge through the wall outlet in the interim, or if that’s not possible based on your living situation, you can use the various outlets that you can pay to use dotted around the U.S.

PlugShare is a great tool to use because it allows you to plan a journey, and it will tell you where and when to stop, charge up, and be good to go again.

Ultimately, it all comes down to you, the driver. What road will you travel to get your electric car charger?

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