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EV Charging Guide

Electric Vehicle Charging Basics

For most drivers, charging an electric car is as simple as charging a cell phone. In fact, it usually takes only around 5 seconds of your time to “refuel” your electric car. Why? Because most charging (over 85%, according to EV driver polling) happens at home, overnight, while the driver sleeps. You just plug in your car when you get home and it’s typically re-charged back to full before you even wake up the next morning. It’s the car that “refuels” while you sleep! There are three levels of charging rate to choose from, depending upon your needs and lifestyle.

Level 1 Charging

REGULAR SPEED
EX: Overnight Charging at Home

  • Uses a standard outlet (the same type of outlet you charge your phone with!)
  • No “charging station” needed! Take a few seconds to plug your car in each night. By the next morning you’re ready to go!
  • Works best for plug-in hybrid electrics (PHEVs) with small batteries, and/or people who do not drive much each day.
  • Adds a range of between 3 and 6 miles per hour of charging, or up to around 50 miles overnight.

Level 2 Charging

PLUS SPEED
EX: Home, Workplace, Destination Charging

  • Uses a round outlet called a NEMA 14-50 (like the outlet you’d plug an electric stove or clothes dryer into).
  • Wired to an electrical panel or hard-wired to a wall-mounted EV charging station.
  • Most common type of charging (private and public) and adds up to 70 miles of range per hour. Get a full charge overnight!
  • Level 2 charging equipment can be purchased for as little as $200. The installation may only require minor work by an electrician or may require some upgrades to your panel or wiring.

Level 3 Charging

PREMIUM SPEED
EX: Highway Rest Stop, Community Hub Charging

  • Also known as public DC Fast Charging, Quick charging, and Supercharging.
  • Level 3 adds hundreds of miles of range per hour of charging. Charge in around 30 minutes (or less with upcoming Level 3 stations!), or while you grab some lunch on a fun road-trip!
  • Many new fast charging sites are being added every year.

Public Charging Equipment & Networks

Charging in public can be a positive experience with a little bit of research and preparation in advance. There are many brands and models of public charging units, as well many different charging networks both nationally and regionally. There are basically two types of stations:

Smart charging stations, also known as networked charging stations or connected stations. This typically require either membership, a card, or an app to access. They may or may not have a fee. The two most common EV charging network providers are Chargepoint and EVgo.

Non-networked charging stations do not require any membership to activate, and usually are free and just connect when you plug in, or may require an access code.

Finding out in advance (for example by using PlugShare or another online resource or app) can help you explore what public charging is near you and get any advance set up out of the way from the comfort of home.

Charging Equipment

Every EV comes with a charging adapter that connects to a standard home outlet (also known as Level 1 charging). This is typically used overnight while you sleep and adds up to 50 miles of range in 12 hours, more than most people drive on a typical day. For some drivers, this may be adequate, especially if the vehicle is not driven much daily or is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Though not required, in order to get the most out of any plug-in car’s electric mileage benefits, it is typically recommended to purchase a Level 2 home charging station. This will recharge your EV two to six times faster than Level 1, and allow even ones with large batteries to always fully charge overnight.

The best time to get a Level 2 is just before receiving taking delivery of your vehicle, so the equipment can be already installed and ready for charging the moment you receive your electric car. ENE recommends choosing ENERGY STAR Certified Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). To find and compare products, visit the ENERGY STAR website.

Shop for Charging Stations

Find a Charging Station Installer

Charging Equipment Installation

How do I go about having a charger installed at my home?

If you don’t already have one, an electrician will need to wire a 240 volt circuit, including a 50-amp circuit breaker, from your house panel to a 240 volt NEMA 14-50 outlet or a hard-wired wall-mounted charging station in a location that is convenient for charging your car and the required length of cord. If the station needs to be hard-wired, the electrician will wire it in when they are wiring the 240 volt circuit from your house panel. Be sure to check with your local municipality about getting any required permit for installation.

The station will come with a cord and charger head that plugs into your EV, and since the unit by default is in a low power standby mode when not in use, so it is fine leave it always plugged in and connected to power (“on”).

We recommend using QMerit, a free service that will help you find certified installers near you that are experienced, licensed electricians and have been vetted and thoroughly background-checked to ensure you receive a great home installation experience.

Do I want it hard wired or to plug in to a new or existing 240-volt receptacle? What length of cord will I need to charge reach my car(s) from the install location?

The units can be ordered with different cord lengths to suit your needs.

Massachusetts also requires that you get a permit. You may need to go to the town’s building division at town hall, fill out a form, etc. Contact us to find out more information about the completing the process where you live.

Other things to think about when choosing and installing your home charging station:

  • Do I want it hard wired or to plug in to a new or existing 240-volt receptacle?
  • What length of cord will I need to charge reach my car(s) from the install location? The units can be ordered with different cord lengths to suit your needs.
  • Massachusetts also requires that you get a permit. You may need to go to the town’s building division at town hall, fill out a form, etc. Contact us to find out more information about the completing the process where you live.

Find a Certified Charging Equipment Installer with QMerit.

Things to consider when having an upgraded, Level 2 EV charger installed at my home?

Be sure to hire a licensed and experienced electrician to upgrade your home charging.  They will need to wire a 240-volt circuit, including a 50-amp circuit breaker,
from your house panel to a 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet or a hard-wired wall-mounted charging station.  This should be in a location that is convenient for charging your vehicle.  You should also consider the appropriate length of charging cord necessary to
easily reach this parking spot.

It is recommended to hardwire the charging station as this removes one potential point of failure.  If you choose not to do that be sure to use the proper commercial
grade wiring and upgraded outlet to safely carry a continuous 240-volts of power for 6-8 hours.  Your electrician can install either configuration during this project.  Be sure to check with your local municipality about getting any permits that might be required.

The station will come with a cord and charger head that plugs into your EV.  Since the unit is in a low power standby mode by default when not in use, it is fine
to leave it plugged into your EV and connected to power.  Be sure that the hanging charging cord is not a tripping hazard.

The cost of Level 2 home charger installation can range from only a few hundred to several thousand dollars.  This depends on the electrician, the equipment, the
proximity of the home’s electrical panel to the location of the charging spot and what finished space it may or may not need to go through.

There are several turnkey services that will do a great job, but they are expensive.  A local electrician hired directly will probably be less costly, but don’t let
price be the only consideration.  Here are some links to EV charging installation companies:
Qmerit | Smart Charge America | Boston EVC 

Contact us to get free information and support on the purchase and installation process.

Commercial Charging

MassEVIP: Workplace and Fleet (WPF) Charging Program

Program Description
Grants available for employers and fleet operators to acquire electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 60% of EV charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

MassEVIP: Multi-Unit Dwelling & Educational Campus Charging Incentives

Program Description
Grants available for the owners of multi-unit dwellings and educational campuses to acquire electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 60% of EV charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

MassEVIP: Fleets Program

Program Description
Electric vehicle grants available for municipal governments, public colleges/universities, and state agencies to acquire electric vehicles for their fleets.
Incentive Amount:
Various grants available, including up to $7,500 for BEVs and up to $5,000 for PHEVs.

MassEVIP: Public Access Charging Program

Program Description
Grants available for property owners and managers with publicly accessible parking for electric vehicle charging stations.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 80-100% of EV charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

MassEVIP: Direct Current Fast Charging Program

Program Description
Grants available for DC fast charging stations for public use at non-residential private, public, or non-profit sites and educational campuses.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 60-100% of charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

TMLP Drives Electric Program

Program Description
Funding may be available to assist with electric vehicle infrastructure costs including service upgrades, equipment costs and installation costs.
Incentive Amount:
For more information, contact an EV Charging Infrastructure Specialist:
(833) 443-8363
EV@ENE.ORG

Planning a Project?

TMLP Drives Electric can provide assistance with engineering and recommendations for specific projects.

Contact an EV Charging Infrastructure Specialist:
Call (833) 443-8363

or

EV Charging 101

Learn about the different types of chargers, levels of charging, and how EV charging works.

EV Charging Rebates & Incentives

Join the 90 Cents a “Gallon” Club

Save money every month by joining the 90 Cents a “Gallon” Club (off-peak charging)

Earn an ongoing $10/month bill credit. TMLP Drives Electric is proud to offer this valuable rewards program. Sign up to charge your electric vehicle between 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays and any time on weekends, and you’ll pay the equivalent of 90 cents a “gallon” for your electric driving. (TMLP reserves the right to adjust the program hours for off-peak charging subject to the needs of the electric distribution infrastructure.)

Program Eligibility:

  1. Maximum enrollment of two EV’s per household.
  2. Your TMLP residential electric account must be at least 6 months old and have zero balance (no arrears).
  3. TMLP must be allowed conduct an engineering review and meter upgrade.
  4. You must own or lease the EV. An EV is defined as either a fully electric a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that runs exclusively on electricity, or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that runs on electricity but can switch to gas/electric hybrid mode. No hobby vehicles.
  5. You may use a Level 1 or Level 2 charger.

To enroll now or get more information, fill out our contact form: https://tmlp-ev.ene.org/contact/

*$0.90 a gallon of gasoline equivalent based on $10 a month bill credit and 1,000 miles of electric driving per month. Customer must sign an EV Off-Peak Charging Agreement. Rebate qualification pending engineering approval.

Get $300 back with TMLP’s Level 2 Charging Rebate

TMLP is offering EV owners a rebate of up to $300 to help offset the cost of installing some or all components of a Level 2 system** for higher speed charging of an electric vehicle at your home if they first enroll in our rewards program described above. 

The rebate may be used to pay for a licensed electrician’s services and/or electrical and charging equipment, in order to install one or more of the following charging system components: (1) a 240 volt wiring circuit with a 50 amp circuit breaker, (2) a NEMA 14-50 240V outlet, (3) a Level 2 home charging station equipment.*

*Shipping address for online orders must match the address linked with the TMLP account number. Vehicle registration address must match address associated with TMLP account listed on the rebate application. 

Program Eligibility:

  1. Customers must have an active residential electric account with the TMLP for at least 6 months and have a zero balance (with no arrears) for at least 6 months also.
  2. Offer limited to ONE Level 2 Charger rebate per household.
  3. Level 2 Charger must be installed at the account location.
  4. EV Car and Level 2 Charger must be purchased between January 1 and December 31 in calendar year of initiative. Applications received after January 31 of next calendar year will not be honored for prior year so please send in your application in a timely fashion.
  5. TMLP reserves the right to confirm the installation on your premises.
  6. This offer is for a limited time only, subject to availability of funds.
  7. Rebate will appear as a bill credit. Allow 8-10 weeks for processing.

To claim your rebate, contact us after you enroll in the EV rewards program and have purchased and installed your Level 2 charging equipment