Electric Vehicles Charging

How do I charge an electric vehicle?

Electric vehicles can be charged with a conventional household outlet, which can work nicely for people with a roundtrip commute of less than 50 miles per day. A faster charge can be obtained by upgrading to a 240-volt Level-2 charging station. Electric vehicle car dealers can provide details about the charging needs for specific vehicles. A qualified electrician should be consulted about costs to upgrade a garage space to accommodate Level-2 charging equipment.

Types of Charging

Level 1 charging is accomplished by simply plugging the 120-volt cord-set directly into the outlet in a garage. To avoid tripping a circuit breaker, the electric vehicle’s charging system should not be plugged in the same outlet or circuit as a refrigerator or another major appliance. The Level 1 charge rate is approximately 5 miles of range per hour of charge – or roughly 60 miles of recharge each night. No separate charging station is required, which avoids the expense of a dedicated 240-volt circuit and more expensive equipment.

Level 2 charging requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit and a Level 2 electric vehicle energy supply system. Charging at Level 2 can add roughly 12 to 25 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle. While the faster recharge time may be more desirable, in some instances, a panel upgrade and service upgrade from NV Energy may be required. A licensed electrician should be consulted to determine if the home’s existing panel can accommodate Level 2 charging, as well as the related costs to install a 240-volt outlet in the garage.

Electric Vehicle Rates and Home Charging

Home Charging – What is right for you?

In order to make the right decision regarding Level 1 or Level 2 home charging, customers should consider:

  1. The distance of the routine daily commute; and
  2. The typical time available to recharge an electric vehicle.

If one’s average round trip commute each day is less than 50 miles and the electric vehicle is parked for roughly 12 hours each night, the Level 1 charging option may be best. If the round trip commute is greater than 50 miles, Level 2 may be the best fit. This evaluation will change, as both battery and electric vehicle technology improve.

Does NV Energy offer an electric vehicle rate?

Yes, NV Energy offers a special Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate for its northern and southern Nevada customers who have electric vehicles and who select this optional rate. The rate allows customers to charge their vehicle during the utility's off-peak hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at a discounted rate. As an added benefit, the entire house gets the discount, not just the car.

Electric Vehicle Rates and Home Charging

The off peak EV rate provides discounted energy prices from 10 p.m. – 6a.m. If an average round trip commute is less than 50 miles per day, Level 1 charging beginning at 10 p.m. should have the vehicle totally charged by 6 a.m. If the round-trip commute is significantly higher than 50 miles, Level 2 charging will help ensure the vehicle is fully charged during the lowest cost period (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.)

Why is charging at night important?

Charging during the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (off-peak) timeframe is a relatively simple supply and demand example. Electricity rates are the highest during the day and early evening hours when the demand is high. During the night, demand for electricity drops off and the lowest-cost generating resources are available to help charge electric vehicles.

How much will charging an electric vehicle increase an electric bill?

A rule of thumb is that an electric vehicle can travel about three miles per kilowatt-hour used. Considering an average commute of 1,000 miles per month and using the NV Energy Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate during off-peak hours, that would add about $24 a month to a typical bill in northern Nevada, and about $16 in southern Nevada. By comparison, a conventional vehicle that averages 30 miles per gallon with gasoline prices at $2.50 per gallon, the 1,000-mile monthly commute would cost $83 per month.

Installing a Charging Station

Electric vehicle dealers and manufacturers can provide additional information about charging station information and costs. They also can recommend charging equipment installers. To take advantage of the Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate, vehicles and equipment can be programmed to only charge during the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. off-peak hours.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
Recharge Vendors and Manufacturers

Charging Station Locations

National Charging Station Map
Nevada Charging Station Map