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Discussion in 'North America' started by Doug_G, Jun 16, 2011.
More silly FUD:
Most electric car buyers need new outlets: survey
I'm not sure I'd think of it as FUD, just pointing out that most houses aren't wired for 240 in the garage. It does say 99% of people could though and that the type of outlet is commonly put into houses already. Most buyers aren't going to realize they need a new outlet and scheduling the time and money to get one installed is just something they won't expect. In fact, I'd rather articles raise this awareness because it's generally better to have that knowledge than being surprised about it later, especially if that "later" is during the high stress moment of negotiating a car purchase.
I think it's FUD because installing a 240V plug is a trivial cost in comparison to buying any car. The headline and last paragraph talk about problems, whereas what really matters is that 99% of houses can support an electric car charger.
Well, FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. I don't really see anything in the article inspiring fear. It says 99% of houses can handle the socket and it's a well known type, so that doesn't seem to inspire uncertainty. I suppose doubt could apply given it says this highlights an "obstacle to wider adoption". On a scale of fear mongering vs. pro-EV, it seems to stand pretty well in the middle ground.
Quick poll - how many EV owners do you know did NOT have to install a new 240V circuit for their EVSE?
Yeah - I know of very few houses equipped w/a spare 240V outlet in a location suitable for installing an EVSE. Some garages may have an unused 30A dryer outlet if they have a gas dryer - but it's typically not in a location well suited to plug in an EVSE.
That said, typically it should not cost much ($400-800) to hire an electrician to install the 240V circuit if your main service panel has the capacity. The biggest issue will be if your main service panel lacks the capacity and you have to upgrade your service to the house - that's when you're looking at a minimum $1000 up to $6000 especially if you have trenching that needs to be done.
For a car like the Tesla where charging at up to 70A is desirable, you're very likely to need a main service upgrade. For a Volt/LEAF which can only charge at 240V-16A, you're much less likely to need one.
Even at 70A, that's quite likely not a problem. Most houses are wired for 200 these days, homes in the last 20 years are at least 100. Only really older homes are 60 amp. If you're charging at night, most all of your other amp drawing items are off so even a 100 amp house could probably handle a 70 amp charger if the owner was thoughtful about when it was used.
I would dispute that. You don't need 70A for charging the Tesla. 40A from NEMA 14-50 is more than sufficient for overnight charging.
To my great surprise, our 7 year old house did not have 200A service. Doh! We missed that because it wasn't listed in the builder's specs, and we didn't think to ask. If I had realized it we would have paid for the upgrade when they built it. Fortunately the service to the meter was good for 200A.
I had the panel upgraded when the 70A HPC was installed. The thing is, I'm almost always using the HPC at 40A anyway. If I was going to do it over again, I would have just put in a NEMA 14-50 and not bothered to upgrade the panel.
My house was built 100 years ago and I would have had to upgrade the electricity and get the 240V outlet (we have a gas drier) so I still use the 110V a year into getting my Tesla. I drive it every day and have never even come close to running out of battery. In fact I don't even plug it in every night. So depending on your commute 110V can be reasonable. I do think this is a potential problem however because if I bought a $20k EV and found out I needed to spend 10% more to upgrade my electricity, I would be POed. Another unspoken issue are the costs of the cables themselves. I've had 2 mobile cables go bad on me at $600 a pop (luckily under warranty) which would add up quickly. Honestly the cable prices and the cables going bad is probably my greatest fear for EV adoption.
My garage had a NEMA 6-30 outlet that was put there for an air compressor (at least that's what the breakers were labelled) by the landlord or previous tenant. So I just purchased the right plug for my UMC and I as off and running. Of course I'm only charging at 24A (40A breaker, 30A plug, 24A charge rate) but it's fine for overnight charging.
Even when you're not driving it you're supposed to keep it plugged in from what I understand (when you have it in your garage).
I used to work in Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC), doing everything from bending sheet metal to helping install wiring. Missouri, evidently, let anyone outside of the city do wiring, and A/C was 220. The wiring was done by one of the boys that worked with us, evidently having worked for an electrician, and since all were about the same, it looked pretty easy. I'm expecting a lot of flaming here about fires, insurance, etc., but must say that after that, I have done pretty much all my own electrical work, over the last 40 years, now in Calif. I would cringe at being charged around $1000 for just putting in a run to a 14-50, often withing a few feet from the electrical panel. Some of you know what I mean.
I'm hoping less. I've got gobs of capacity at the main panel and the most likely outlet location in the garage is a bit under five feet away. Labor and materials at $400 for FIVE FEET of wiring, one common outlet, one breaker, and an hour's work? That would be overcharging, surely?
Of course, probably most people have to run longer wires, I guess.