• When planning to buy an electric vehicle, one important consideration is how you're going to charge it. Photo: Integrity Electric, Inc. (2015)

  • To determine if your home's electrical panel can supply the power needed to charge an electric car, have an electrician perform a load calculation. Photo: Integrity Electric, Inc. (2015)

Jerry Thompson is Owner of Integrity Electric, Inc.. To reach Jerry Thompson call (415) 347-6975.
A Crucial Consideration When Buying an Electric Car

SAN RAFAEL − An electric car offers several advantages, from eliminating fossil fuel usage to reducing maintenance needs. However, if you’re thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle, one factor you’ll need to consider is how you’re going to charge it.

Since residential power capacity varies from home to home, you’ll need to make sure yours is capable of handling the output required to charge an electric vehicle. Have an electrical professional come out and perform a load calculation, which will determine how much energy output your home can handle. In some cases, you’ll have to upgrade your electrical panel or utility electrical system to accommodate the power load needed to charge your vehicle.

Another related consideration is the amount of driving you do. Depending on the model, the range of an electric vehicle varies between 40 and 100 miles between charges. The frequency and distance you typically drive will determine how often your vehicle needs to be charged, which in turn will determine how much power you’ll need.

Jerry Thompson is a 30-year veteran of the electrical industry and president of Integrity Electric, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (415) 347-6975 or by email.

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