The homes of most electric-vehicle buyers have the electrical foundation to support advanced charging, but they often require a custom solution installed by an expert to take advantage of this option, according to data collected by Warren-based SPX Service Solutions.
SPX Service Solutions, a leader in automotive diagnostics, has gathered data about potential owners of electric vehicles and their garages since November 2010, when it became the exclusive provider of turnkey home-charging installation services to owners of the new Chevrolet Volt.
SPX Service Solutions works with electric vehicle owners and interested buyers to prepare their garages for 240-volt charge stations, which can charge the vehicles in half the time required with a 120-volt charge station. To date, the company has surveyed about 2,000 potential owners in five U.S. markets where electric vehicles are currently rolling out: California, Michigan, Texas, and the New York and Washington, D.C. metro areas.
“After seven months of working with people acquiring electric vehicles, SPX has collected an extensive amount of valuable data on their needs,” said Tanvir Arfi, president of SPX Service Solutions. “One key finding is that, for the most part, their homes are conducive to home-charging. Most respondents own their own homes, live in single-family dwellings, and have electrical systems that can support 240-volt charging. In addition, the types of garages and foundations in their homes vary considerably, indicating the need for highly flexible, custom charge station installations.”
Arfi is presenting findings from SPX’s electric vehicle home-charging survey during the Automotive News Green Car Conference, which took place Tuesday in Novi. Some key findings from the survey include:
* 98 percent of survey participants own their own home.
* 63 percent live in single-family dwellings.
* 99 percent of these homes have electrical systems equipped with circuit breakers, an important piece of infrastructure needed to support a 240-volt charge station.
* 71 percent have space on their electrical service panel for additional breakers, allowing space to have a line for a charge station to be added.
* 78 percent of respondents lack a 240-volt outlet or line near their parking location, which is essential for faster home charging.
Building foundations, garage types, and the location of electrical service panels create different charge station installation requirements. The survey indicates that 32 percent of participants have basements, 29 percent have crawl spaces and 36 percent slab foundations. Garage types also vary, with 47 percent of garages attached to the home, 7 percent detached, 13 percent carport or driveway, and 33 percent other types. The location of the main electrical service panel is also variable, with 32 percent in a basement, 29 percent in a garage, and 31 percent outside the home.
In addition to these findings, participants indicated that they usually want the charge station installed in a garage, but also want the flexibility of charging their vehicle in their driveway.
SPX conducts the detailed online survey to better prepare its network of 2,000 certified electricians for the specific type of electric vehicle home-charging installation required, and to simplify the process for EV owners and prospective buyers. SPX Service Solutions also offers its own SPX Power Xpress charge station for electric vehicles, a compact wall-mount unit that can be unplugged, moved, and installed in outdoor locations.
For more information about SPX’s electric vehicle home charging service offerings, please visit http://www.homecharging.spx.com.
SPX Service Solutions is a unit of Charlotte, N.C.-based SPX Corp.