Over the past couple of years, residential EVSE prices have fallen. There are
more available cable choices, features
and options, and charging equipment
can be either cord-connected or hardwired. According to Manoj Karwa,
senior director of EVSE and surge programs for Leviton Manufacturing Co.
Inc., Melville, N. Y., the market is crowded
with major manufacturers, traditional
residential-wiring companies and many
“There is already some consolidation in the marketplace with fewer new
entrants and an expected 300,000 PEVs
expected to hit the road in 2015,” he said.
That large number is in addition to
the 272,000 PEVs sold in the United
States between 2012 and 2014.
With the existing public, free PEV
charging infrastructure unable to keep
up with the rate of PEVs being deployed,
home charging options have become
“PEV drivers are looking for
increased vehicle utilization and faster
charging speeds, leading to more installation of Level II chargers in residential
applications,” said Jeff Kuykendall, product manager for Eaton Corp., Cleveland.
Level II chargers have a capacity of
240 volts alternating current and up to
30 amperes (A) of power, enabling owners to fully charge a vehicle in about six
hours. Level IIs are available from most
electrical distributors and can be wall
mounted or placed on a pole/pedestal.
“Most all-battery electrical vehicles
are able to get the most benefit with
Level II charging,” Karwa said.
Level I chargers typically come with
the vehicle and can plug into any standard 120V outlet. They provide up to
1. 4 kilowatts of power at 120V and are
known as “trickle chargers” due to their
slow charge rate of about 12 hours.
“Upgrading to a Level II charging
station implies an additional cost to the
homeowner; however, with increasing support and engagement from local
governments and utilities, some of this
cost may be covered through rebate
programs,” said Adriane Breiner, director, electric vehicle solutions, Schneider
Electric, Palatine, Ill.
The owner can keep the Level I charger in the trunk for charging away from
home, if necessary.
Choosing and implementing
The EC can help the homeowner choose
and implement a residential PEV charging solution by first understanding the
duty cycle, which is dependent on the
maximum current setting of the EVSE,
and then by asking the right questions
about the type of car, the owner’s lifestyle, where the car is parked, etc.
“Other factors that go into determining the extent of the installation and the
type of charging station and other supplies needed for it include panel size,
how far the panel is from the charging
station, whether trenching is required,
when charging will occur, and whether
there are any utility or municipal incentives,” Karwa said.
In addition, the contractor and
homeowner need to consider the home
infrastructure when installing a PEV
charger and give thought to the electrical service and mounting location.
“Before a charger is installed, the contactor should assess the homeowner’s
load-center capacity and determine if the
40A load needed for a Level II charger
can reasonably be added to the existing
system,” Kuykendall said.
The homeowner should also consider
how many access points are needed now
and in the future, because needs might
In the near future, homeowners need
to factor in the charging stations’ advanced
capabilities, according to Breiner.
“These may include integration
of the charging station to an existing
smart-home energy-management system, remote start/stop of charging from
a mobile app, or other features that give
homeowners additional convenience and
more overall control,” she said.
Learning about charging equipment
and supplies is the key to market success,
“A contractor’s ability to educate consumers on the functional and operational
differences of products is very important
to both helping homeowners understand
their options and to moving the industry
forward,” he said.
As the PEV market grows and environmental concerns mount, charging
stations will become standard equipment in new high-end market homes and
zero-emission vehicle states, according
“With the integration of home charging stations and renewable-energy
solutions, electrical contractors will
have the opportunity to offer a full suite
of green installations,” he said.
Plug in, Plug out and Go
Residential PEV charging
THE GLOBAL PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE (PEV) charging market is closely
tied to the state of PEV sales and is entering a phase where electrical vehicle supply
equipment (EVSE) is becoming a commodity, according to Navigant Research. However, Navigant expects the global revenue from that commodity market to grow from
$81.1 million in 2014 to $2.9 billion by 2023. Because the installations of EVSE must
comply with local, state and national codes and regulations, and may also require
appropriate permits from local building, fire, environmental and electrical inspecting and permitting authorities, the electrical contractor is in an excellent position to
pounce on this market.
BREMER, a freelance writer based in Solomons, Md., contributes frequently to ELECTRICAL
CONTRACTOR. She can be reached at 410.610.7164 and email@example.com.
TECHNOLOGY BY DARLENE BREMER