EV Charging Guide

Electric Vehicle Charging Basics

For most drivers, charging an electric car is as simple as charging a cell phone. In fact, it usually takes only around 5 seconds of your time to “refuel” your electric car. Why? Because most charging (over 85%, according to EV driver polling) happens at home, overnight, while the driver sleeps. You just plug in your car when you get home and it’s typically re-charged back to full before you even wake up the next morning. It’s the car that “refuels” while you sleep! There are three levels of charging rate to choose from, depending upon your needs and lifestyle.

Level 1 Charging

REGULAR SPEED
EX: Overnight Charging at Home

  • Uses a standard outlet (the same type of outlet you charge your phone with!)
  • No “charging station” needed! Take a few seconds to plug your car in each night. By the next morning you’re ready to go!
  • Works best for plug-in hybrid electrics (PHEVs) with small batteries, and/or people who do not drive much each day.
  • Adds a range of between 3 and 6 miles per hour of charging, or up to around 50 miles overnight.

Level 2 Charging

PLUS SPEED
EX: Home, Workplace, Destination Charging

  • Uses a round outlet called a NEMA 14-50 (like the outlet you’d plug an electric stove or clothes dryer into).
  • Wired to an electrical panel or hard-wired to a wall-mounted EV charging station.
  • Most common type of charging (private and public) and adds up to 70 miles of range per hour. Get a full charge overnight!
  • Level 2 charging equipment can be purchased for as little as $200. The installation may only require minor work by an electrician or may require some upgrades to your panel or wiring.

Level 3 Charging

PREMIUM SPEED
EX: Highway Rest Stop, Community Hub Charging

  • Also known as public DC Fast Charging, Quick charging, and Supercharging.
  • Level 3 adds hundreds of miles of range per hour of charging. Charge in around 30 minutes (or less with upcoming Level 3 stations!), or while you grab some lunch on a fun road-trip!
  • Many new fast charging sites are being added every year.

Public Charging Equipment & Networks

Charging in public can be a positive experience with a little bit of research and preparation in advance. There are many brands and models of public charging units, as well many different charging networks both nationally and regionally. There are basically two types of stations:

Smart charging stations, also known as networked charging stations or connected stations. This typically require either membership, a card, or an app to access. They may or may not have a fee. The two most common EV charging network providers are Chargepoint and EVgo.

Non-networked charging stations do not require any membership to activate, and usually are free and just connect when you plug in, or may require an access code.

Finding out in advance (for example by using PlugShare or another online resource or app) can help you explore what public charging is near you and get any advance set up out of the way from the comfort of home.

Charging Equipment

Every EV comes with a charging adapter that connects to a standard home outlet (also known as Level 1 charging). This is typically used overnight while you sleep and adds up to 50 miles of range in 12 hours, more than most people drive on a typical day. For some drivers, this may be adequate, especially if the vehicle is not driven much daily or is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Though not required, in order to get the most out of any plug-in car’s electric mileage benefits, it is typically recommended to purchase a Level 2 home charging station. This will recharge your EV two to six times faster than Level 1, and allow even ones with large batteries to always fully charge overnight.

The best time to get a Level 2 is just before receiving taking delivery of your vehicle, so the equipment can be already installed and ready for charging the moment you receive your electric car. ENE recommends choosing ENERGY STAR Certified Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). To find and compare products, visit the ENERGY STAR website.

Shop for Charging Stations

Find a Charging Station Installer

Charging Equipment Installation

How do I go about having a charger installed at my home?

If you don’t already have one, an electrician will need to wire a 240 volt circuit, including a 50-amp circuit breaker, from your house panel to a 240 volt NEMA 14-50 outlet or a hard-wired wall-mounted charging station in a location that is convenient for charging your car and the required length of cord. If the station needs to be hard-wired, the electrician will wire it in when they are wiring the 240 volt circuit from your house panel. Be sure to check with your local municipality about getting any required permit for installation.

 

 

 The installation can range from only a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the location of the house panel and the location of the charging outlet.

The station will come with a cord and charger head that plugs into your EV, and since the unit by default is in a low power standby mode when not in use, so it is fine leave it always plugged in and connected to power (“on”).

Other things to think about when choosing and installing your home charging station:

  • Do I want it hard wired or to plug in to a new or existing 240-volt receptacle?
  • What length of cord will I need to charge reach my car(s) from the install location? The units can be ordered with different cord lengths to suit your needs.
  • Massachusetts also requires that you get a permit. You may need to go to the town’s building division at town hall, fill out a form, etc. Contact us to find out more information about the completing the process where you live.

Find a Certified Charging Equipment Installer with QMerit.

Contact us to get free information and support on the purchase and installation process.

Commercial Charging

MassEVIP: Workplace and Fleet (WPF) Charging Program

Program Description
Grants available for employers and fleet operators to acquire electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 60% of EV charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

MassEVIP: Multi-Unit Dwelling & Educational Campus Charging Incentives

Program Description
Grants available for the owners of multi-unit dwellings and educational campuses to acquire electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 60% of EV charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

MassEVIP: Fleets Program

Program Description
Electric vehicle grants available for municipal governments, public colleges/universities, and state agencies to acquire electric vehicles for their fleets.
Incentive Amount:
Various grants available, including up to $7,500 for BEVs and up to $5,000 for PHEVs.

MassEVIP: Public Access Charging Program

Program Description
Grants available for property owners and managers with publicly accessible parking for electric vehicle charging stations.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 80-100% of EV charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

MassEVIP: Direct Current Fast Charging Program (Currently out of funds)

Note: This program is currently out of funds with no publicly available timeline for new funding. Please view the MassEVIP website directly for any and all updates.

Program Description
Grants available for DC fast charging stations for public use at non-residential private, public, or non-profit sites and educational campuses.
Incentive Amount:
Up to 60-100% of charging station equipment and installation to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

Norwood Drives Electric Program

Program Description
Funding may be available to assist with electric vehicle infrastructure costs including service upgrades, equipment costs and installation costs.
Incentive Amount:
For more information, contact an EV Charging Infrastructure Specialist:
(833) 443-8363
NorwoodEV@norwoodlight.com

Planning a Project?

Norwood Drives Electric can provide assistance with engineering and recommendations for specific projects.

Contact an EV Charging Infrastructure Specialist:
Call (833) 443-8363

or

EV Charging 101

Learn about the different types of chargers, levels of charging, and how EV charging works.

EV Charging Rebates & Incentives

Get Free EV miles with the Bring Your Own Charger® Program

NMLD and Sagewell Inc. are partnering to bring you this valuable EV rewards program open to Norwood residents. Get free EV miles* by agreeing to charge your EV only overnight and on weekends. Simply set your car to charge between 10pm and 12 pm on weekdays and complete the enrollment process to start earning free EV miles. If you already have an EV, you can still enroll in the program.

You are eligible to participate if you:

  • Own or lease an EV, either a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that runs exclusively on electricity, or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that runs on electricity but can also switch to gas/electric hybrid mode
  • Have a Norwood residential electric account that you use to charge your EV
  • Residents charging at either Level 1 or Level 2 may participate in the program.

Enroll Now!

Maximum enrollment is limited to 2 EVs per household.

*Free EV miles by way of an $8 monthly credit on your NMLD residential electric account.

Get up to $1,000 back with the Level 2 Charging Rebate Program

Norwood Electric is offering EV owners a rebate of up to $1,000 to help offset the cost of installing some or all components of a Level 2 system for higher speed charging of an electric vehicle at home. Customers must first enroll in Norwood Drives Electric’s EV off-peak charging rewards program described above. A Level 2 charging system consists of a 240 volt wiring circuit from your house electrical panel to a NEMA 14-50 outlet or to a home EV charging station.

The rebate may be used to pay for a licensed electrician’s services and electrical charging equipment, in order to install one or more of the following charging system components: (1) a 240 volt wiring circuit with a 50 amp circuit breaker, (2) a NEMA 14-50 240V outlet, (3) a Level 2 home charging station (unit must be UL listed and Energy Star certified). The rebate provided will be up to $1,000 or the amount of documented, eligible charging system expenditures, whichever is less.

To claim your rebate, contact us after you enroll in the EV rewards program and have purchased and installed your Level 2 charging equipment.