Frequently Asked Questions
- I live in an apartment. How will I charge my car?
Have your apartment complex manager or owner contact Metro Plug-In to see about installing an EV charging station where you live.
Alternatively, you can fill out the “Request a Station” form here. You will also be able to use public infrastructure as it becomes available.
- How will I be able to find public charging stations?
The Department of Energy (DOE) maintains a database on their website with all known charging stations. The major automakers are updating their own databases from the DOE website. Each EV has a map display which shows charging station locations.
- Is the home charging station safe?
Yes. The charging station is designed so that no electricity flows through the cord or coupler until after it is connected to the vehicle. As a further safety feature, once connected, your EV will not allow you to move while the charging station is plugged in.
- Will the charging station work with any electric vehicle (EV)?
Yes, the home charging station’s coupler is standardized (SAE J1772) and compatible with 99% of the EV models from large automakers.
- What is the cost of a Level 2 charging station for the home?
We sell the ClipperCreek LCS-25 residential charging station for less than $500. In most cases, home installation (using one of our affiliates) will cost less than $600 – for a total cost under $1,100. We also sell the Eaton residential charging station for under $600, for a total installed cost under $1,200!
- Will my house require additional wiring?
Yes. A Level 2 charging station requires a dedicated 240 volt circuit.
- Can the homeowner install a Level 2 charging station?
We highly recommend you have a licensed electrician, following all electrical codes and permit requirements, install your Level 2 / 240 Volt charging station. WARNING: You risk serious injury from electrocution if you attempt to install a Level 2 charger yourself.
- What is the difference in charging time between a Level 1 EVSE and a Level 2 EVSE?
A Level 2 charging station can reduce the charge time for a Nissan Leaf from 25 hours down to 7.3 hours. Charge time for a Chevrolet Volt can go from 11 hours to 3.2 hours (see table below).
Charging Level 2013 Chevy Volt 2013 Nissan Leaf 6.6kw Level 1 charging time 120 V/8 A = 11 hours1 120 V/8 A = 20-25 hours1 120 V/12 A = 7.3 hours2 120 V/12 A = 12-16.6 hours2 Level 2 charging time 240 V/20 A = 3.2 hours!3 240 V/32 A = 3.3-3.5 hours!3
1 Electricians recommend charging at no more than 8 amps unless on a dedicated circuit.
2 The National Electrical Code (NEC) limits continuous charging to a maximum of 12 amps on a 15 amp circuit.
3 Charging time is based on the maximum capability of the on-board charger of the vehicle.
All charging times differ based on external temperature and battery temperature management.
Range – The Chevy Volt has a 40 mile battery-only range. The Nissan Leaf has a 100 mile range.
- Why purchase a Level 2 EVSE if a Level 1 EVSE is included with the PEV?
Reduced charging time (up to 60% in most cases) and increased safety – no dangerous plugs for prying little fingers.
- What is a Level 2 charging station?
A charging station using a 220 volt/15-110 amp electrical circuit. Usually hard-wired, it requires a dedicated electrical circuit.
- What is a Level 1 charging station?
A Level 1 charging station (also called an EVSE – see Glossary here) uses a 120 volt / 15 amp circuit. The EVSE plugs directly into a standard home outlet. Most PEVs from major car manufactures will have a Level 1 EVSE included with the car. These are considered to be “trickle” chargers by manufacturers of battery-only Electric Vehicles.
- What is an EVSE?
EVSE stands for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. This is the industry name for an Electric Vehicle charging station. The terms “EVSE”, “EV Charging Station”, and “Charging Station” all mean the same thing and are interchangeable.
- What will I need to operate a plug-in electric car?
You will need a way to charge the vehicle in your home or at another charging facility. Although some vehicles will be provided with a Level 1charging system that can be used from a standard household outlet, it is recommended that prior to purchasing an all-electric vehicle a potential owner investigates the purchase and installation of a Level 2 charging station for home use.
- How much will all-electric passenger vehicles cost to operate?
Using the national average electric rate of $.12 per kWh, the 100-mile Nissan Leaf would cost about $2.88 to fully charge, that’s less than $0.03 cents per mile. By comparison, that same distance in a gasoline car that gets 25 miles per gallon (the 2008 national average MPG) would cost $15.40 or $0.154 per mile. Compare the costs to operate your traditional fuel car against the costs to charge an electric vehicle here.
Electric vehicle owners also may be able eligible for additional savings on electricity costs associated with their car. Georgia Power, for example, offers a rate specifically for Plug-in electric vehicle owners. Owners should ask their utility company to find out more information.
- What is the climate impact of the electricity that will power the electric automobiles?
Both all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of the major greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide (CO2). When emissions from electric power generation are considered, an all-electric vehicle reduces CO2 by over 30% compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle. See the DOE website for further information and for comparisons in your area.
- How many miles can plug-in electric vehicles travel before needing to plug-in?
Vehicle range can vary depending on battery capacity, ambient temperature, and driver habits. The Nissan Leaf, for example, is advertised to have a range of 100 miles. Nissan has conducted extensive research and determined actual mileage will vary between 62 and 138 miles depending on temperature, speed, and the use of heat or air conditioning.
The Wheego EV is estimated at about the same range as the Nissan Leaf; 100 miles.
The Chevrolet Volt will have an anticipated range of 40 miles in all-electric mode. The Volt will have an additional 330 miles of range when the gas engine kicks in.
- What is a plug-in electric vehicle?
There are three types of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs); plug-in hybrids, extended-range electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles.
Plug-in hybrids, such as a converted Toyota Prius, are powered through a combination of gasoline and electricity.
The Chevy Volt is an example of a plug-in extended-range electric vehicle and was introduced in the fall of 2010. The Volt uses an electric motor to power its drive-train. Once the Volt’s battery pack is fully discharged, a separate gasoline engine starts up and powers a generator which then supplies the electricity to the electric motor drive-train.
Battery electric vehicles have no gasoline engine and run exclusively on the energy stored in the on-board batteries. The Tesla Roadster, Nissan LEAF and Wheego LiFe are examples of highway-capable, battery electric cars.