How To: Prep Your Home For An Electric Car

How To: Prep Your Home For An Electric Car

Anthony Nguyen
Dec 4, 2008

With recent announcements of San Francisco's massive billion dollar car charging grid gradually becoming a reality, this could be the very push needed to encourage car manufacturers to go completely hybrid or electric and abandon those extra-large SUVs. We've looked into it and found a couple of ways to prepare for such a transition...

Seeing as new electronic grids in Denmark, Israel, and Australia are starting to pop up as well, we believe there's no better time than now to upgrade to an electric vehicle. Sure, it may be still considered "ahead of its time" for the next few years, but the Bay Area's plan to bring more than 250,000 charging posts and 200 battery swap stations to the populous is just the first step - we imagine an entire industry coming together and bringing the future to our homes. Technology, home, and travel will be able to go hand in hand and we'll be slowly pushing towards that greener, cleaner world.

Ready? Let's get started.

First, you may want to consider going even greener by installing some solar panels. IKEA sells them now and is a great investment allowing you to greatly lower your electricity bill each month. By installing a solar system atop your garage, you can take a breath of fresh air and know that you're driving a completely clean car, deflecting any possible comment about your car being merely a "coal-burning" car.

Now, the important part. If you haven't played with electricity before, we highly suggest you stay away form doing it now. You need to make sure you have an extra standard 110 or 220 outlet (like the ones for dryers) available because that's the type of plug the electric car uses. Most fully-electric cars require the 220V and we'd highly recommend grabbing one unless you're looking into a hybrid, whereas a 110V should be more than sufficient for a charge overnight.

There's still quite some time for completely electric gars to go mainstream - that's why we suggest checking the current hybrid market. These vehicles use gasoline only when you're driving over 40mph and require a charge about once a month.

Fully electric vehicles have an average range of about 150 miles per one charge, depending if it is an SUV or a normal roadster, this value will be higher or lower. It charges about 20% per hour. The total time to charge from empty to 100% is 5 1/2 hours for the average car. It costs less than $1 to charge a plug-in hybrid; $2-4 for an all-electric car for an entire charge.

And remember, this idea isn't completely new. Nestled in a new book called "Historic Photos of Cincinnati" is a 1912 shot of a woman plugging in her electric car. It worked then, and it works today.

[image via Auto Blog Green]

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