When Steven M. of Hartland, Wisconsin, saw a Thanksgiving promotion at a local auto dealership for hybrid vehicles, he saw an opportunity to save money, both on the initial purchase of the vehicle and on fueling it, and at the same time help the environment.
“Obviously, there’s concern for the environment, but where technology is moving, in 10 years, you will have to have one – gas prices are very high and having an EV (Electric Vehicle) mitigates having an SUV,” Steven said. “The cost to fuel it is approximately $1 per gallon versus $4 for gas.”
Steven chose a hybrid because he was concerned about the charging infrastructure and whether it was robust enough to ensure that he would be able to conveniently charge his vehicle.
“We went with a hybrid, because there’s not enough public EV chargers to go pure electric,” he said, noting that there isn’t much public charging infrastructure in his community. ” If I were to travel for business in an electric vehicle, there’s enough charging in the big cities, Minneapolis, Madison, Eau Claire, all have a good amount of charging.”
Steven started out charging his hybrid with a Level 1 Charger, which uses a typical 120-volt household outlet. For those who might not be as well-versed in what 120-volt outlets can power, they’re typically used to power things like TVs, lamps and small appliances. Level 1 Chargers typically supply three to five miles of range per hour of charging and can take up to 20 hours for a full charge. A Level 2 Charger needs a 240-volt outlet, the same as a large appliance like a dryer or oven, and charges eight times faster than a Level 1 Charger, taking between three to eight hours to charge.
Steven wanted to charge his hybrid faster than was afforded by a Level 1 Charger.
“It was always in the back of my mind,” he said.” I waited to see how long it took to charge, and it took 13 hours on a Level 1 Charger, and two hours on a Level 2 Charger. At night is really the only optimal time to charge, if I went multiple places during the day, I couldn’t get a charge.”
He started looking into installing a Level 2 Charger in his home, and he learned that We Energies is offering an EV charger program, in collaboration with HomeServe. The program allows homeowners to either purchase a charger or lease it through the utility, having the monthly charge added to their bill. If the leased charger needs to be replaced, it is done so at no additional cost.
Because Steven’s recently built home was already wired to accommodate an EV charger, all he had to do was enroll in We Energies’ program and HomeServe dispatched an insured and licensed local electrician, Best Electrical Service, Inc., to install his charger. Steven didn’t have to look for someone with the expertise to install his charger or shop around for a charger – it was all done for him.
“(The electrician) was very good at their craft,” he said.
HomeServe also offers homeowners participating in the program a free, 12-month inside electric wiring repair plan. The program also includes EV charger exclusive time-of-use rates for qualifying homeowners. Time-of-use rates offer a lower cost for energy usage during “off peak,” or in lower demand hours.
"It’s a pretty solid deal,"
Steven said. “I checked into We Energies and they pro-rate their energy bill and I could sync up (charging) through We Energies (app).”