Electric Vehicles have been gaining popularity consistently over the last few years. It seems everyone has at least engaged in conversation about what they think of this new vehicle class. As a Real Estate agent and an Electric Car owner on his second electric car, I am hear to answer the questions, and educate what to look for in a new home.
First off, there are different types of electric vehicles and different types of chargers for vehicles. I will not get into all of the different types of chargers available but will say that for the purpose of this topic, there are usually two different levels for at home charging. A level one charger is one that plugs into a three pronged regular house outlet. Most home exteriors or garages will already have this type of outlet if they have electric service to the garage. The level one charger is able to add roughly 4 miles of range for every hour that it is plugged in. The next option for at home charging is a level two charger. These typically can add roughly 25 miles of range for every hour that they are plugged in charging the car. These do also consume more electricity than a level 1 per hour as well obviously. A level two charger can either be hard wired into a circuit in your electric panel or it can be the type that plugs into an electric dryer type of outlet. This will need its own dedicated circuit in your electric panel as well and both should require installation by a qualified electrician. Your garage may already have an outlet for a dryer, a welder, or a generator that may be similar to what this would use.
When looking for a new home, some things to look for to see how compatible the home is with an at home charging station are as follows:
How updated is the electric panel? You will want to consult your car manufacturers recommendations and an electrician for exactly what your vehicle will require, but having a 200 amp panel is best, 100 amp panel may cover the usage, and less than that would probably require an electric panel upgrade which can increase your costs obviously.
Does the location where you will be charging (garage) have electric already? If the garage has no electricity, running wiring and a potential subpanel in the garage could be costly.
Is there already an outlet or circuit that fits your charging needs (Dryer style outlet) and can it send the correct energy to the charger? Do you need to install an outlet, add a circuit to the panel, or create space in the panel for this outlet?
Homes can be modified and updated to support the electrical needs of an Electric Vehicle. You just want to know what you are getting yourself into when purchasing before hand so that you can budget accordingly if this is an important feature to the home for you.
I hope this was helpful. Feel free to read more of our content such as my article on how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle and let us know if you have questions.
Written by Korey Rowlson