OK, so you have decided to take the plunge and buy an electric vehicle. If you buy a plug-in hybrid car, then odds are you will be able to charge the batteries using a regular AC adapter charging cable and any 110-power outlet in your garage or carport. If, however, you opted for an all-electric vehicle, like a Tesla, or you want to take advantage of rapid charging capabilities available on some of the other luxury electric vehicles — then you will need a charging station for your home. This is commonly called a EV charging station.
The first thing to know is that you already have the “charger” for your car; they gave it to you when they handed you the keys. The actual charger is built into the car itself, deep in the guts of the engine. But like an older desktop computer, you need a special type of power cord to plug into the power input port on the side of the car to connect that charger to AC power, thus recharging your battery. The cord that you need has a special plug on one end and, depending on the type of vehicle you buy, either a regular 110 three prong plug on the other (hybrids), or is hardwired into a large wall mounted charging station that connects to your AC power network in your home.
So, if the big white and green/blue box on the wall that connects to your car isn’t the charger then what the heck is it? Well, the simple answer is that it is a power converter.
Batteries need DC power and that’s what the charging system in your car is expecting to come through the pipe. But houses, office buildings, and just about everything else in the world that takes power directly from the municipal power grid runs on AC in various voltages. Most things run on 110. Larger appliances, like dryers and hot water heaters run on 220, and really high draw power items need 240. The thing on your wall to power your electric vehicle actually called an Electric Vehicle Service Equipment or EVSE. To put it even more simple: Th box has a lot of fancy circuitry in it and other things that take 240v AC power and convert it into usable DC power that you can safely connect to your car.
In some cases, an upgrade to the electrical system in your home or businesses may be needed. To determine if this is necessary, we can help you identify the vehicle charging requirements from the manufacturer or local supplier. If a system upgrade is necessary, our team can help you obtain any required permits if they are needed.
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