If you buy an electric vehicle, an EVSE will be the most important purchase you make to keep your new car running efficiently. If you haven’t heard of an EVSE before, here is some helpful information to guide you to know what they are, how they keep you safe, where you will find them, and more.
What is an EVSE?
What is an EVSE?
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), commonly referred to as an Electric Vehicle (EV) charger or EV charging station, is one of the most important devices to own when you purchase an EV. EVSEs were created to be the intermediary between a power source and vehicle to safely provide your electric vehicle with the power needed to operate efficiently on a daily basis. The safety component comes from a device called a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or more commonly known as a GFCI or GFI. The GFCI inside the EVSE makes sure that there isn’t enough leakage of electricity in the transfer from the power source to the car to harm you and/or the vehicle in the charging process. EVSEs, especially in the United States, have to follow National Electric Code (NEC) standards to make sure that the user and all of the appliances involved in the charging process are safe and enjoy the most efficient charging process possible.
What is the NEC?
The National Electric Code has been the standards body for safe electrical wiring in the US since 1897, and it has been the go-to source for creating safety regulations in any industry involving electricity in the United States, updating their Code book every 3 years since its inception. For The EV industry, the NEC created a section, known as NEC Article 625, that dictates what are the best safe practices for everything involved (enclosure/cord requirements, electrical rating, GFCI protection, etc.) in the EV charging process. For more information about the NEC visit our FAQ Page and for more info about NEC Article 625, visit this Page
Are there public EVSEs?
Yes, currently in the United States there are over 130,000 EV charging stations and that number is growing by the day. This number will be aided by both EV charging companies trying to increase their footprint and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Grant Program created by the US government to help increase electric mobility infrastructure throughout the country, with an major emphasis on long distance travel. Just as you refuel a gas-powered car at a gas station, gas stations are now installing EVSEs, and you can also find them at places where your car will sit idle for extended periods of time, such as grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, and more.
Why have an EVSE at Home?
While you could theoretically get by charging your EV at public charging stations, it would cost you more to refuel this way and would be a major inconvenience (as the EV charging process takes considerably longer than filling up a car with gas). Having an EVSE at home will allow you to have your car charged for daily commuting purposes and charging during non-peak electrical demand hours (the times vary by utility distributors, but the normal timeframe is from 11pm to 7am) can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run when owning an EV. The one major step you need to take is figuring out how your home will handle the electrical pull of your new EV charging equipment.
How do I Install an EVSE at Home?
Involving a certified electrician would be the best way to ensure an EVSE is installed correctly and safely into your garage or outdoor carport. An EVSE will be one of the largest electric appliances in your home, and it will need a different outlet than your standard home wall outlet (known as a NEMA 5-15 outlet). You first need to research what type of plug comes with the EVSE you purchase (most come standard with a NEMA 6-50 or NEMA 14-50 plug, which match with the same named accompanying outlet), or ask your electrician if they are certified to hardwire an EVSE to your breaker (but for your safety, it is recommended that you purchase a plug-in EVSE). It is also recommended that the electrician installing your new electric equipment install a breaker that is rated at 120% the capacity of the EVSE so there is no nuisance tripping or safety hazards involved in the charging process (so if you purchase a 32-Amp EVSE you would need at least a dedicated 40-Amp breaker for the circuit) and also leave leeway for other appliances. Lastly, for efficiency and cost savings purposes, check what the full driving range of your EV is to see what amperage charger can supply 60% (a 20% to 80% charging session to ensure battery safety and longevity) of that range in an 8-hour charging session. For example, an extended range Ford F-150 Lighting has a driving range of 320 miles, so from 20%-80% charging that would require 192 miles, which would be satisfied by a 32-Amp EVSE.
Is there Anything Else Involved?
There are numerous circumstances that can change your situation regarding which EVSE is the best option for you. If you have any more questions about the topic, you can reach out by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (440) 205-9188 and we will be happy to answer any questions regarding your future EVSE purchase!