Electric Vehicles: Charging Ahead

Electric Vehicles: Charging Ahead

Making charging technology simpler and more efficient—and educating builders about it—will help accelerate demand for electric vehicles.
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The new Bosch Power Max 2 will include a 40-amp variant, which will mean faster charging for the EVs that can accommodate 40 amps.

If current trends hold, builders who include electric vehicle charging stations in new homes will have an edge over builders who don’t include them.

Friday, September 25, 2015 - 6:00am

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CONTENT: Article

Electric car sales are on the rise. A recent study by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) revealed that an additional 320,000 new electric vehicles (EVs) were registered across the globe in 2014, taking the total number of EVs on the road up to 740,000. The organization estimates that if the market continues to grow at their projected 76 percent rate, EVs will soon be in the garages of one million people. Bosch Automotive Service Solutions is working to help simplify the lives of these future electric car owners by pushing for EV charging stations to become a standard feature in new consumer homes.

The division, which offers both products and services, has shifted its focus towards educating builders and contractors on EV trends and the future need for home-based charging stations. “Having a chance to work with builders is a great opportunity for both us as an infrastructure company and also for our consumers,” says Meghan Chamberlain, account manager of EV Solutions, who has been implementing Bosch’s recent builder teaching initiatives at places like the annual BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Expo. “Making builders and contractors aware of the need for charging stations really helps the consumer once they get into the home.”

Pay Now, Charge Later

According to the EV team at Bosch, installing a 240-volt charging station in a new house may save electric vehicle owners a significant amount of time and money down the line. In dwellings where garages are located above ground, for instance, the panel may be located in the basement. To install a charging station in such a setup would require a contractor to cut through a basement wall and ceiling. “Once they start going through drywall—or in the case where you have a detached garage, after your landscaping is done—installing a charging station becomes a much larger project than if it were included in the original build,” says Chamberlain. “Getting it in earlier saves them a lot of time and benefits them greatly from a monetary perspective.” And in addition to the logistics of wiring an EV charger through existing construction, some homeowners without built-in stations may find themselves with maxed-out electrical panels, which would then require a full-service upgrade.

It’s Bosch’s hope that going forward, EV charging stations will become an increasingly popular home amenity, like solar panels, which builders are beginning to include in many new developments. “I think it’s somewhat a chicken-and-the-egg challenge right now. Depending on where they are based, builders don’t necessarily see a lot of these [electric] vehicles,” explains Chamberlain. “Someone in South Dakota might not see a lot of EVs, and so might be less inclined to include a charging station. We’re hoping that through this general education, and as more consumers start buying EVs and builders start seeing those vehicles, they really understand why this is an advantage for them. It truly can be competitive for those builders who incorporate charging stations into new homes.”