What you need to know about electric vehicles

We hear about electric vehicles (EV) in the news every week and see more on the roads every year. In this blog, we address some key concerns that may help you understand the EV world.

Posted by Nathan Karels on April 16, 2018

We hear about electric vehicles (EV) in the news every week and see more on the roads every year. Technology is making it possible for EVs to drive over 200 miles per battery charge. An increasing number of charging stations are popping up each day. Still, it can be overwhelming to consider the idea of buying an EV and confusing trying to decide if one is right for you. Below we address some key concerns that may help you understand the EV world.

Battery range of EVs

Depending on the model of car, you can travel over 200 miles on one charge. The charge tends to decrease a few kilowatt hours (kWh) per mile during Minnesota’s cold winter months and increase during the warmer summer months.

Remember to plug the car in when you park in your driveway or garage. This ensures you are driving with a full charge each morning, just like having a full tank of gas. 

Charging levels

There are three choices in charging levels with an EV: Level 1, 2 or DC fast charger. 

A Level 1 charger is a slow trickle charge, typically a 120-volt standard outlet. This will give you two to five miles of range per hour of charging. 

A Level 2 charger is a 240-volt charge and will give you 10 to 60 miles of range per hour of charge. 

A DC fast charger typically will be at a charging station and not in your home. This fast charge will completely charge your EV with 60 to 100 miles of range in about 20 minutes.

When buying an EV, we recommend installing or upgrading to a Level 2 charger at your home. This means your EV will charge at a faster rate. Wright-Hennepin (WH) also has a rebate (link) of up to $700 available for the installation of a Level 2 charging station. The EV must have a minimum of 4.5 kW charger rating to be eligible for this rebate. Call (763) 477-3000 to talk with our product team about qualifying for the rebate.

WH’s discounted charging program

WH has a program that gives you a discounted electric rate for all the EV’s charging electric use. On the EV Storage Charge Program, WH will control the charging of the EV during daytime hours. At night (generally from 11 p.m. – 7 a.m.) the EV charger will activate and be able to charge the vehicle. Allowing WH to do this saves energy during our peak daytime hours. In turn, we pass some of those savings back to you.

To be on this program, an electrician will need to wire the metering equipment and charging station.  Your electrician may need to add additional relays to make this function properly. Our Energy Use Consultants are available for troubleshooting questions. Make sure to have the wiring inspected by an electrical inspector to insure it has been done properly.

We hope this helped you develop an understanding of the EV world. Feel free to call us with any questions at (763) 477-3000.


Nathan Karels

Nathan Karels

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