Electric-Car Charging Stations Upgrade The Home Garage
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Electric-Car Charging Stations Upgrade The Home Garage

Homeowners are outfitting their garages with heavy-duty outlets, solar panels and battery walls.

By E.B. SOLOMONT
Thu, Aug 26, 2021 1:38pmGrey Clock 4 min

When Peter Van Deerlin got his first electric vehicle in 2012, the now 57-year-old doctor wanted to be able to charge his car quickly enough to get to the hospital for middle-of-the-night emergencies.

He chose a Tesla Model S with a dual charger inside the car (a feature that the car maker later dropped) and installed a 100-amp electrical line in his garage in Moorestown, N.J.

In the end, Dr. Van Deerlin’s nervousness was unwarranted, said his wife, Vivianna Van Deerlin, 57, also a doctor. But having the 100-amp line—the standard household outlet is 15 or 20 amps—served the couple well as they expanded their fleet of electric vehicles, which now includes a Tesla Model 3, Model S and Roadster.

Around 2016, the Van Deerlins added a second Tesla wall connector and a NEMA 1450 outlet, which can be used to charge any electric vehicle. They also amped up the decor in their garage so that it would be “suitably nice” for the cars, said Dr. Van Deerlin. She said they spent around $13,000 for Tesla-colored paint, a wall-mounted metal logo and decorative floor tiles.

Dr. Van Deerlin, who is president of a local club for Tesla owners, said she was an early adopter of driving electric for environmental reasons but fell in love with the car. “I love that driving electric doesn’t need to be a compromise,” she said.

As more luxury car makers roll out electric vehicles, homeowners are building or retrofitting garages to equip them with powerful charging stations. Options range from installing a simple, 220- or 240-volt outlet to devising elaborate systems that incorporate solar panels and battery walls.

Entrepreneur and investor Rich Levandov, 67, and his wife, Robin Levandov, 65, a painter, are opting for the latter at their home in Sausalito, Calif. The couple, who split their time between Belmont, Mass., and Sausalito, have a simple 220-volt outlet and charger in Massachusetts. In California, they are installing Tesla roof tiles and a Tesla Powerwall, a series of roughly 2-foot by 4-foot batteries. The roof tiles will power the home and charge Mr. Levandov’s Tesla Model Y and four e-bikes, he said.

Electric vehicles make up roughly 3% of U.S. car sales, according to Pew Research. In August, President Biden signed an executive order calling for 50% of car and truck sales to be electric, hydrogen fuel cell or plug-in hybrids by 2030, The Wall Street Journal reported. Some of the pushback by consumers against e-vehicles is their price and the availability of charging infrastructure.

In North America, all-electric cars can be charged using a standard J1772 plug, sometimes called a “J” plug, said Tom Moloughney, an electric-vehicle industry consultant. Teslas can be charged using a J plug but they need an adapter, which comes free with the vehicle. The amount of power a car gets during charging, measured in kilowatts, is a product of the outlet’s amperage, or the volume of electrons present, multiplied by voltage, which is the pressure of the electrical current, Mr. Moloughney explained. Standard household outlets are 120 volts with 15 or 20 amps, which is known as Level 1 charging, according to Mr. Moloughney. That translates to 3 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging, he said.

Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt circuit and cars can be charged at amperages ranging from 16 to 80, depending on the car. “Every electric vehicle can accept different levels of power,” Mr. Moloughney said. “So you match the charger to what your car can accept.” A car that charges at 80 amps on a 240-volt circuit can take 19.2 kilowatts an hour, he said. That translates to 50 to 60 miles of range per hour, roughly 10 to 20 times as fast as a Level 1 charging setup.

While it is common for homeowners to upgrade to 240-volt outlets, wall-mounted charging stations deliver a more powerful and faster charge. The cost of upgrading is typically several thousand dollars, including labour and a few hundred dollars for the charging station itself.

In addition to brand-specific charging stations, dozens of companies sell brand-agnostic systems. One is ChargePoint, which sells charging stations that can work with all electric vehicles on the market, said Colleen Jansen, the company’s chief marketing officer. “Maybe you have a Tesla today and you want a Polestar tomorrow,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about getting locked into any one brand.”

Colin Morales, a 58-year-old executive at a medical device company, has three ChargePoint stations, two at his primary residence in Carson City, Nev., and another at a home in San Jose, Calif. He has ordered a fourth for another home in Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Mr. Morales said he ordered the ChargePoint stations shortly after his partner, Stephanie Macauley, 56, who is retired, traded in her Porsche for a hybrid Range Rover. The thrill of greater fuel efficiency, and of helping the environment, was short-lived as the couple found themselves running all over town searching for a charging station.

Mr. Morales, who drives a Porsche Taycan and has a Ford F-150 truck, said he has plugged the cars into a 15-amp socket at night, only to wake up and find the vehicle 10% charged. “It would literally take three days if you’re on empty,” he said.

In Carson City, where Mr. Morales owns a custom, 5,500-square-foot house, he said he had his contractor install the two charging stations in an oversize, three-bay garage. Both stations are hard-wired into 220-volt outlets, but one is a 50-amp station and one is a 60-amp station. “It charges just a little bit faster,” he said. He estimated the Range Rover takes about 2½ hours to fully charge, and the Taycan takes between 6 and 7 hours if the car is on empty. The Taycan has around 220 miles of range, and the Range Rover has 50 miles of range using electricity plus another 400 miles using gas.

Mr. Morales said the installation was more complicated at his home in San Jose, where his electrician ran wires under the house, between the breaker box and the garage. “I didn’t want the wire to show,” said Mr. Morales, who preferred to charge inside the garage. “I didn’t want this bulky charging thing outside my house,” he said.

Mr. Morales said he spent around $2,000 to install each charging station, including the electrical work. He estimated he is saving hundreds of dollars a month in gas. In San Jose, for example, Mr. Morales said his monthly electric bill has gone up roughly $50 per month since he installed the charging station. By comparison, he said he easily spent $200 a month on gas before switching to electric.



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We reveal the No. 1 areas for price growth in each capital city

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Jul 18, 2024 3 min

Home values across Australia rose by a median 8 percent in FY24, delivering the equivalent of $59,000 in new capital growth to the two-thirds of the population that owns a home, according to CoreLogic data. Investors received total returns of 12.2 percent over the year, including capital gains and gross rental income.

Very tight supply and demand in most capital cities except Melbourne and Hobart was a significant driver of the capital growth, with the smaller and more affordable capital cities of Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide experiencing the most price appreciation over the year. A lack of properties for sale trumped the usual dampening effect of higher interest rates.

As usual, some areas outperformed their city’s median growth benchmark. Here are the top SA3 areas for capital growth in each capital city of Australia in FY24. SA3 areas are large suburbs, or districts incorporating clusters of suburbs, with more than 20,000 residents.

 

Sydney

Home values across Sydney rose by a median 6.3 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Mount Druitt. Its median value rose by 13.96 percent to $859,939. Mount Druitt is located 33km west of the CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Mount Druitt, Ropes Crossing, Whalan and Minchinbury. The Mount Druitt community is very multicultural with almost one in two residents born overseas. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the NSW median of 39.

 

Melbourne

Home values across Melbourne rose by a median 1.3 percent in FY24. The top area for capital growth was Moreland-North with 4.71 percent growth. This took the district’s median home value to $746,488. Moreland-North includes the suburbs of Hadfield, Pascoe Vale and Glenroy. It’s a multicultural community with a particularly large contingent of residents with Italian ancestry. One or both parents of 66 percent of residents were born overseas, according to the 2021 Census.

 

Brisbane

Home values across Brisbane rose by a median 15.8 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Springwood-Kingston in Logan City. Its median value swelled by 25.55 percent to $710,569. Springwood-Kingston is approximately 22km south of Brisbane CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Springwood, Kingston, Rochedale South and Slacks Creek. It is a multicultural community with one or both parents of 55 percent of the residents born overseas, according to the 2021 Census. More than 15 percent of residents have Irish or Scottish ancestry.

 

Adelaide

Home values across Adelaide rose by a median 15.4 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Playford in Playford City. Its median value soared by 19.94 percent to $530,991. Playford is approximately 40km north of Adelaide. It incorporates the suburbs of Elizabeth Downs, Elizabeth Grove, Angle Vale and Virginia. It is home to many young people under the age of 40. The median age of residents is 33 compared to the state median of 41.

 

Perth 

Home values across Perth rose by a median 23.6 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Kwinana in Kwinana City. Its median value skyrocketed by 33.19 percent to $618,925. Kwinana is approximately 37km south of Perth CBD. It includes the suburbs of Leda, Medina, Casuarina and Mandogalup. Henderson Naval Base is located here and there is a significant community of servicemen and ex-servicemen living in the area. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the state median of 38.

 

Canberra

Home values across the nation’s capital rose by a median 2.2 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Weston Creek. Its median value rose by 5.24 percent to $937,740. Weston Creek is approximately 13km south-west of the CBD. It includes the suburbs of Weston Creek, Holder, Duffy, Fisher and Chapman. Approximately 43 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree, which is on par with the ACT median but much higher than the national median of 26 percent. Household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median. Almost one in five residents work in government administration jobs.

 

Hobart

Home values across Hobart fell 0.1 percent in FY24. The top performing area for capital gains was Sorell-Dodges Ferry with 2.78 percent growth. This took the area’s median home value to $615,973. Sorell-Dodges Ferry is approximately 25km north-west of Hobart. It incorporates the suburbs of Richmond, Sorell, Dodges Ferry, Carlton and Primrose Sands. The area has a large community of baby boomers and retirees, with the median age of residents being 43 compared to the Australian median of 38.

 

Darwin

Home values across Darwin rose by a median 2.4 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Litchfield. Its median value moved 3.21 higher to $672,003. Litchfield is about 37km south-east of Darwin and includes the suburbs of Humpty Doo, Acacia Hills and Southport.  It has a high proportion of middle-aged residents, with the median age being 39 compared to the territory median of 33. About 12 percent of residents are Indigenous Australians. The biggest industries are government administration and defence. Median household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median.

 

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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