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Lowes is selling the GE Level II charger for Electric Vehicles @ $999

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:21 AM
Original message
Lowes is selling the GE Level II charger for Electric Vehicles @ $999
Edited on Thu Oct-13-11 08:32 AM by txlibdem
A licensed electrician to hook it up to your house wiring is extra (but shouldn't be more than $100 to $200).

Level II (Level 2) charging is 240 volt so it takes as little as 1/4th the time compared to Level I which is standard 110 volts.

"The GE WattStation Wall Mount offers Level II charging, capable of reducing charge time from 12-18 hours to 4-8 hours, with service needs of 208-240VAC"
... http://www.lowes.com/pd_107343-76863-EVWSWBC-CP01_42947... |0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&storeId=10151&rpp=24&searchQueryType=1

---------------------------

Why is this important? It speaks to the universal access to charging electric cars (or trucks) and the demand from consumers for a cost effective solution.

What are the downsides to this model? No smart grid communication. So your electric utility cannot tell your electric car to temporarily pause its charging if there is a spike in demand. But a lot of people don't mind that because they will not be charging their EV during peak hours anyway.

The "official" charger from Nissan was $2000 incl. installation when last I checked. So this is about half the cost! Saving money is what driving an electric car is all about, the excellent GE charger at half the cost is a win, win.

/edit to correct the price (had it as $995) :-)
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. The installation may be a lot more than you suspect.
In many homes, adding a 240v service to power this charger could be a lot more expensive than that. It depends on the existing electrical service the house has, where the breaker box is located, and whether there is the additional capacity available to serve the charger. In many homes, the number of circuits is already at the allowed capacity. That can create some genuine issues that could be costly.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Most homes already have 240 volt service as standard
If you have an electric oven, electric clothes dryer, or electric water heater then you're using 240 volt already.

Each home comes with the 240 volt service. A licensed electrician just needs to add one wire inside the electrical panel.

Your worry about the cost is understandable. Electric cars are "something new" and many people are uncomfortable with change. But I will almost guarantee you that you will have made up the cost of the installation probably within the first 2 or 3 months. Get multiple quotes from licensed electricians so you don't accidentally end up with a ripoff artist (also, if they are super busy they'll give you a high quote to get you to go elsewhere - told to me by a licensed electrician and several independent contractors). Get the quotes! Very important.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Yes, that's true. However, if you do not have the circuit capacity
for this new circuit, it will not matter. The codes don't allow you to piggyback circuits if they are already in use by other things. For example, you can't use your existing electric clothes dryer or range circuit to power your charger. The problem is obvious. If your charger is on and you fire up your dryer, you'll have overloaded the circuit and the breaker will trip. In many houses, however, there is no such appliance and the capacity is available to add the charger circuit.

It's important to have this checked out before adding these chargers, so you won't be surprised.

If, for example, your wiring requires a higher service level, there will be increased cost. Much increased.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Agreed. Here in No. VA, an electrician charges $160 just to come to your house.
I'd guess wiring in that starter would be a 3 hour job, costing $300-400.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. For me, it was about $300
I had a 40 amp circuit installed for an electric car I used to own. They had to run about 60 feet of conduit to get it from the box to the garage. My house was built before WWII and I had plenty of capacity. If for some reason, you're above capacity, then it may be more expensive.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. I guess that was my bias at work
Conjunction fallacy or anchoring effect, you decide.

I've lived in Texas (now), Illinois, Wisconsin, Mississippi, and a couple other states briefly and I've never had a maxed out electrical box as far as I can recall.

I must have been projecting my past experience on the rest of you... my bad.
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Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. We get our local power from coal
So one cancels out the other.
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. You need to personally get with the program.
I just saw a bunch of pv panels for sale for $1.35/watt on craigslist.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Coal is sill more efficient than gasoline.
There have been many studies that show coal-generated power running an electric car is more efficient than running the same car on gas.

Coal generators run hotter and at a constant speed, so they're more efficient. Since they're stationary, they can fitted with additional scrubbers to reduce emissions. They often are located outside population centers, so the pollution they do emit goes into fewer human lungs.

Even then, you can get your car off of coal power simply by putting solar on your roof (or building a solar plant to replace the coal plant.)
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. That's a really common misconception
So don't take it personally. When you see the coal plant smokestack churning out all smoke, it's natural to think it'd HAVE to be worse than gasoline. But post #7 is correct: the coal plant is putting out enough energy for 41,666.667 electric cars like the Volt, Leaf, the soon to be available Ford Focus EV, and the Mitsubishi "i" electric vehicle... but I based the calculation on the Leaf's 24 kilowatt battery pack and assumed it would be 100% depleted. So my figures are very conservative.

One thing that poster did not mention is that when you drive an electric car and a new wind farm starts up or a solar farm begins energy production... your electric car will get cleaner and cleaner (for the environment that is) as time goes by. Unlike gas or diesel cars that get worse mileage the older they get (our 2003 Highlander used to get 26 now it gets 22). So your gas car is going to always be getting worse while an EV will be getting better.

PS, I know the Volt is not technically an electric car but for the purposes of my example it is because the average daily driving distance is less than 40 miles and the Volt will run on battery power anywhere from 30 to 50 miles (depending on hills, air conditioning use, headwinds, etc).
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. No, it doesn't. Even an EV powered by coal is cleaner than gas.
At least as far as CO2 emissions. To be as low-carbon as an EV running on coal power, you'd have to have a car which gets at least 40 miles to the gallon.
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
8. The options for chargers are limited and expensive.
While I don't particularly care for GE, this is a welcome addition to the market. My back-up russco charger will finish a 12 hr charge on my car to replace 11kWh used on my commute in about 10 more minutes. My regular charger does the job in about 7 hours at 110v but is in the shop.

Thanks for the find.

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. That's one of the reasons why I cancelled my Nissan Leaf reservation
They wanted over $2000 to install the charger (the official super-deluxe one from AeroVironment I think). The main reason, however, is that I'm still disabled and have no income. I tried to get my wife to trade in her Highlander but she loves it and IT'S PAID OFF so she didn't want to get another car payment just yet.

So I was very glad to see the GE charger available for under a grand. If they charge you $400 for installation then you're still coming out ahead.

Note: the home charger units are just glorified electrical outlets with surge protection anyway: the charge controller inside the vehicle handles all the details of Level 1 and Level 2 charging (Level 1 being 110 volt and Level 2 being 240 volt). The "fast" chargers are different: THEY handle the Level 3 charging and control the whole shebang... but those are not home chargers.
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Bill7 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Free Level 2 Charger and Installation
The EV Project (www.theevproject.com ) has a federal grant to supply and install Level 2 EV chargers in a few states for free. See if you qualify for a free charger. In Los Angeles, DWP is offering $2,000 towards purchase and installation of a Level 2 charger in your home.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Thanks for the link
I recommend everyone to sign up for a free EV charger, especially in cities that are not yet served by the project (it may cause them to expand their coverage areas).
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-14-11 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. Shameless self-bump
Gawd I'm an awful person ;-)
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