July 15, 2016

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The United States holds the largest amount of plug-in electric vehicles in the world. 

Electric Vehicles, shortened to EV, have become widely popular because of the money saved on fuel, the reduced environmental impact and the desire to possess the latest technology. The United States holds the largest amount of plug-in electric vehicles in the world, with about 410,000 highway legal plug-in electric cars sold in the country since 2008.

EVs use a battery to store the electric energy that powers the motor. EV batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. When considering purchasing a charger for an electric vehicle, follow these three steps below for the best result.

1. Decide what charging method will work for you.

There are two basic types of chargers available for residential use: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 charging uses a common: 3-prong/120V/electric outlet. This method does not require the purchase or installation of any additional equipment, but represents a slower charge time. Level 2 charging uses 240V, and requires the purchase and installation of additional equipment.

2. Consult a Licensed Electrician.

A Licensed Electrical Contractor will be able to evaluate the condition of your existing household wiring, and will recommend the alternative that will best fit your installation. As with any household project, ask for references and get estimates from more than one contractor.

3. Contact Electric Utility.

Electric Utilities usually provide pricing incentives to EV owners. These rate structures generally fall into two categories for residential customers. The first rate is a time of use rate and uses the customer’s existing electric service and only requires a meter change. This rate offers a tiered pricing schedule for household energy consumption based on the time of day that energy is being used. The second rate is available to customers who add a new service entrance and second meter to their residence to be used for EV charging only. The customer’s existing meter and account will remain the same, and the second meter for EV charging will be billed at the time of use per the EV pricing schedule. Both rates allow customers the ability to charge their EV’s during “Off-Peak” hours at a discounted rate.

This is just one of the ways electric utilities remain committed to providing exceptional value and service to their customers. For more information on electric vehicles contact your local electric utility, see the useful links below or give us a call at (813) 252-6987.

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