Charging plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and all-electric vehicles requires plugging into electric vehicle supply equipment. Hybrid electric vehicles are charged using regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine and are not plugged into charging equipment.
Charging equipment for plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles is classified by the maximum amount of power in kilowatts (kW) provided to the battery. Charging times vary based on how empty the battery is, how much energy it holds, and the type of battery. The charging time can range from 30 minutes to 20 hours or more, depending on the type of charging equipment used.
Before you bring home a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PEV), you need to make sure you understand the equipment, permits and installation required to charge it at home.
Here are the basic steps you need to follow:
1) Determine the requirements for your vehicle:
Your dealer can provide you with the type and model of home charging dock the PEV manufacturer provides or specifies, and the equipment's electrical requirements. Some manufacturers include the home charging dock in the vehicle's price.
2) Hire a trained, licensed installation contractor to check the electrical capacity of your home.
You may need to add a new electrical service panel to handle the 240-volt, 40-amp Level 2 charging circuit.
3) Decide where to locate the charging equipment.
Besides having an electric connection, you will need to ensure a safe, enclosed charging environment. Or, if you choose an outdoor location, you will need to proof the equipment against vandalism and theft. Make sure that the location meets the PEV manufacturer's specifications for safe and correct charging operation.
4) Have your contractor draw up plans for the 240-volt Level 2 branch circuit and the charging dock installation.
5) Have the plans inspected by your local building inspection department to ensure that they comply with the local building code.
Also ask at this time how to obtain the permit and pass the building inspection.
6) Obtain the permit and begin installation.
7) Arrange for an inspection with the local building inspector when the installation is complete.
Make any required changes and get final sign-off.
8) Bring your new PEV home and plug it in!
For more information on charging your electric vehicle at home, talk to your automotive dealer and visit http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/electric_charging_equipment.html