Once electric vehicles started to become available in the early 2010s, their popularity has only increased over time. The technology has improved, making them more and more affordable for average Americans, and as we all become more energy-conscious (and aware of the potential instability of gas prices), electric vehicles begin to look very attractive.
For those who are considering buying an electric vehicle in the near future, you may have concerns about being able to charge it regularly. New charging stations are constantly being built across the country, but they’re nowhere near as common as gas stations yet. To have confidence in driving your electric vehicle, installing a home charging station in your San Diego home is paramount. You’ll still need to plan long trips carefully, but at least you’ll be worry-free in your trips around town, knowing that your vehicle has been fully charged overnight.
No matter how simple a project may seem, most electrical work is best left to the professionals. Installing a vehicle charging station in your home is no exception. Ms. Sparky, a local San Diego electrician that is certified to install vehicle charging stations points out that not all standard electrical panels are equipped to support the additional load of a charging station. Before installing a charging station in a customer’s home, she completes a site assessment and load calculation first.
If the results of the assessment indicate that the existing panel cannot support a new charging station, the panel needs to be upgraded, and that is definitely a job for an experienced San Diego electrician. Incorrectly installed or overloaded electrical panels can result in all sorts of electrical problems throughout your home—at best, you may find your breakers regularly tripping, but at worst, you could be setting yourself up for a fire hazard.
Tesla Charging Stations
If your new electric vehicle is a Tesla, there are some specific requirements when it comes to installing a home charging station. Tesla places a high priority on quality and customer satisfaction, so they strictly regulate the type of charging stations used to charge their vehicles, and the electricians who install them.
On its website, Tesla has a list of independent electricians they work with, called Tesla Certified Installers. There are several San Diego electricians on their list, including Ms. Sparky. These independent electricians have gone through a thorough application process and submit to certain inspection and permitting requirements from Tesla. You can have confidence that any of the independent electricians listed on Tesla’s website will get the job done right.
Long-Term Energy Savings
Installing an electric vehicle charging station certainly comes with an upfront cost. There is the cost for the installation alone, plus the cost of any upgrades that may have to be done to your existing electrical panel. Depending on the city you live in, you may also have to apply for a permit, which will undoubtedly come with a fee.
That said, it’s not all bad news. Not by a long shot. Chances are, if you’re buying an electrical vehicle, you’ve already done a cost-benefit analysis compared to a gas-powered vehicle. While upfront costs of an electric vehicle may be more, you certainly will save money over time when you’re not paying for gas.
But what about the additional energy usage in your home due to the charging station? Will it significantly increase your energy bills? You will see an increase, but most energy companies offer incentives for electric vehicle usage. Some companies offer credits simply for the act of driving an electric vehicle, while others may offer special rates on your home vehicle charger alone. The important thing is that you contact your utility company right away when you purchase an electric vehicle so you know your options and so you don’t miss out on any incentives they offer.
Worth the Investment
When buying an electric vehicle, having a home vehicle charger installed in your San Diego home is basically a no-brainer. You’ll feel much more secure knowing that your vehicle is always fully charged first thing in the morning, and you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits and fuel savings without the stress of planning your entire day around charging stations.
But take the advice of San Diego electrician Ms. Sparky and make sure you have it done right. You want a charging station that will be functional, energy efficient, and safe for your home.