A standard wall outlet may now allow the average citizen to save a few hundred dollars a year.
With the wave of electric cars soon to be hitting the market ‘en-masse’, people are preparing their homes to power these automobiles. The question begs, do you have the right equipment in your house? Depending on the make of vehicle you purchase, the wiring setup in your house may not be adequate. This is something that should not be scoffed at either.
So let’s dive into what to look for shall we?
As you are probably well aware, electric cars have batteries in them that can be charged simply by plugging them into a regular wall socket outside of your home. The issue of tripping a circuit in your home may come up more often than you think though, and this would require people having to purchase a charging station for nearly $2,000.
Another factor to consider is the electric panel in your home. If you need a new electric panel to handle the load of a charger, you are looking at $3,000 in expenses just to get started. It would be wise to start charging your vehicle without the extra additions, especially if it does not trip any power in your home. After all, this charging station is nothing more than a larger plug, much like the one a standard dryer uses in your home.
Companies also want to make sure your home is suited to charge the vehicle. If there are a bunch of people charging their cars in a single location, it may be enough to trip power to the entire area. This is especially true if a lot of people purchase the Nissan Leaf, which is entirely run on battery power, unlike it’s cousin – the Chevy Volt, which uses a hybrid mix of battery and gas.
Another factor to consider is how you drive. Are you a local driver with short commute times or are you going to be cruising the town all day, every day? The estimates on charging time come in at roughly 8 hours via the standard home outlet. Yes, eight hours on the plug will recharge your car’s battery. As for myself and others, that is easily done by simply plugging in your car when you come home at night. The hardest part will be training myself to actually plug in the car, since this is something we are not used to doing.
As a bonus, a great advantage for those of us who plan on picking up an electric vehicle is the cheaper cost of auto insurance (even more-so if you are a local commuter). Your monthly premium will be unique to your situation, but in the general outlook, companies should be charging less for electric cars. They know that people are not going to be street racing, trying to do burn-outs, or flying down the highway at 100mph in these kinds of vehicles. In fact, if you want to get really technical – the Nissan Leaf may even cost you less on insurance than the Chevy Volt, due to the fact that it is 100% electric.
Eco-friendly cars have an audience that is generally respectful/careful with products and because of this, their care of a vehicle will show itself out on the road. If you have a good driving record, you should be expecting a discount on your insurance (hopefully) or perhaps even a drastic rate reduction.
Too bad that only a select few cities have plug-in outlets at the time of writing this article. With time though, it is my feeling that the trend will catch on and become mainstream by the year 2018. So if you are still on the fence about getting an electric vehicle, you can always save some money each year and pick up a later model in a few years. By then, insurance companies will have their policies figured out quite well as to how they should charge electric car owners.
For now, let us ride the wave together and see where it takes us.