Manage episode 302568238 series 1248803
It wasn’t too long ago that housing experts were predicting the demise of the garage, because of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and a desire to live “car free.” Many people have also turned their garages into additional living space. But now, with electric vehicles becoming more popular, EV owners want a place to safely charge their cars overnight and that’s making the garage, once again, a more indispensable part of our homes.
Hi I’m Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors.
Having an electric car is still an expensive purchase for many people, but for those who can afford one right now, it’s important to have a convenient and secure way to charge it up. That’s not going to be a charging station blocks or miles away. Most people will want a charging station at home, so the car can power-up while they are sleeping. The Wall Street Journal acknowledged this new trend in an article called “Electric-Car Charging Stations Give the Home Garage a Powerful Upgrade.” (1)
Powerful At-Home Charging Stations
But it isn’t just the importance of “having” a garage. Charging an electric vehicle quickly also requires high-powered outlets and outlets that can charge different kinds of electric vehicles. The Journal reports that EV-owners are installing charging stations that range from “simple, 200- or 240-volt outlets to... elaborate systems that incorporate solar panels and battery walls.”
In one example, the Journal cited a bi-coastal family with a 220-volt outlet and charger in Massachusetts, and a Tesla roof tile solar system in California with a Tesla powerwall and 2-foot by 4-foot batteries in California. That’s not typical, of course. People who own an all-electric vehicle are also in the minority.
Pew Research shows that only about 3% of vehicles in the U.S. are EVs, but we could see a big increase in green-energy vehicles in just the next eight years. An executive order signed by President Biden would increase the use of electric, hydrogen, and plug-in hybrids to 50% by 2030.
Nation Need Charging Station Network
The biggest obstacles to hitting that goal include the cost of e-vehicles and the lack of charging stations. Having a charging station in the garage is great for local trips, but the nation needs a more robust network of charging stations along public roads and highways.
As reported by Axios, the U.S. currently has 104,000 public charging “plugs” for electric vehicles. (2) But only 18% of those plugs will charge your vehicle in an hour or less. Those fast charging plugs are called “Level 3” or “DC Fast Chargers.”
Axios cited an analysis by Mobilyze.ai which found that only about 10% of U.S. households have easy access to the plugs that are currently available. An easy access plug would be within a quarter mile from your home. The study counted 18.5 electric vehicles for every available plug. It suggests that one charger is needed for every 10 to 15 vehicles. The distribution of plugs is also uneven, with more plugs in wealthier areas.
As more people buy electric vehicles, more plugs will be needed across all communities. Biden’s call for the use of electric vehicles also comes with a call for at least a half a million more plugs.
Minimum At-Home Charging Requirement
MyEV.com says that a garage isn’t necessary for at-home charging, so long as you have a dedicated area to park, and an external electric outlet. (3) The outlet might be mounted to an outside wall of the building, or a pole. According to MyEv.com, installation could cost between 500 and $1,200. If it’s a 240-volt plug, you’ll get a Level 2 charge. Depending on the battery, that could give you a full charge in 8 to 24 hours. Some batteries might only take 4 hours, according to this source. A Level 1 charge would use your typical 100-volt house current, and of course, take much longer to charge.
The optimal system would be a Level 3 charge. MyEV.com says a Level 3 charger can bring an EV battery up to 80% of its capacity in just 30 minutes. While a Level 2 charge is still free in many places, a fast charge might cost you about 30-cents a minute. Joining a network could get you a discount. EVgo offers a 10% discount for members with a rate of 31-cents a minute. If you don’t want to join a network, check out PlugShare.com for a map of charging stations.
Tesla also provides a global network of fast charging stations. (4) With more than 25,000 Superchargers, it claims to operate the largest global, fast charging network in the world.
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Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.