Along with the purchase of an electric vehicle, also known as an EV, comes the need of electric vehicle service equipment, or EVSE. So where do you begin? The electricians at Fusion Electric break down the basics for you.
What Is an EVSE?
EVSE is an acronym given for the box, cord, and plug that will allow you to charge your EV at home, though it is not the charger itself. The EVSE is a two-way communication that ensures the current passed to the vehicle is both below the limits of the wall charger and below the limits of what the car can receive.
The EVSE has the ability to cut power in the event of an electrical malfunction, such as a power short, power surge, or a charging software meltdown. Essentially, your EVSE reduces the likelihood of an overheated charging cord, which could lead to a car or garage fire.
What Are the Different Types of EVSE?
There are two types of EVSE to consider: Level 1 and Level 2.
Level 1 charging equipment delivers a current of 110 or 120 volts. A pro to using a Level 1 is that it can be plugged into any standard home outlet. The con; it’s basically a trickle charge, which means that you gain 2-3 miles of driving for every hour of charge.
Level 2 charging equipment uses 220-240 volts; the equivalent to an electric oven or clothes dryer. Where a Level 1 EVSE would take 24 hours to charge an EV, a Level 2 EVSE can do the same in as little as four hours.
How Do I Install an EVSE?
The most important part in the selection process is making sure that you hire a qualified electrician to install the equipment. This shouldn’t be something you try to do on your own. There may be permits and inspections depending on where you live, and especially given the potential dangers of a malfunction, you want to make sure you do it right.
Your electrician will install the proper sized circuit breaker and run wiring inside conduit from the box to the EVSE’s location. Prices will vary for electrical work, by the amount of work that needs to be done and the cost of any necessary permits.
Throughout the installation process, keep your receipts. In some locations, the cost of an EVSE and installation qualifies for state or local incentives.
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