Level 1 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) uses 120 volts AC. Most plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) come with a portable Level 1 charging cord so they can plug into a standard 120 volt outlet found nearly everywhere in the country. Level 1 charging replenishes an EV battery at a rate of approximately 5 miles per hour of charging. Level 2 (240 volts AC) and Level 3 (408 volts DC) can charge faster than Level 1, but the cost of a commercial charger increases significantly as the level of charging increases. Commercial Level 1 chargers are usually under $1,700 per unit, Level 2 chargers run up to $6,000 per unit, and Level 3 chargers can cost as much as $30,000 per unit.
Colorado currently lacks the public EVSE infrastructure (i.e., charging stations) necessary to further the adoption of EVs or meet the growing demand of EV users. With sales of EVs estimated to be as high as 22% of vehicle sales in the coming decade, there could be an estimated 470,000 EVs on Colorado roads by 2025 and it is estimated that as many as 141,400 workplace and public attraction EV charging stations will be needed. Building EVSE infrastructure is the critical first step to providing the range and fueling options needed for Colorado residents and businesses to commit to purchasing EVs.
Further, while the State of Colorado offers one of the most generous tax credits for EVs and plug-in hybrids, there are limited financial incentives to promote EVSE infrastructure development. Federal incentives for EVSE expired at the end of 2013. And although the State of Colorado has an active grant program run by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), the grant program does not include Level 1 equipment. No other rebates or tax incentives are available from the State of Colorado. States such as California and Illinois already have incentive programs setup for EVSE rebates and grants, which include Level 1.
The State of Colorado has an opportunity to further expand its leading role as a national proponent of EVs by inducing investment in commercial EVSE. This can be accomplished by offering an incentive and/or rebate for EVSE infrastructure that includes Level 1 as well as including Level 1 in the CEO/RAQC grant program. Both methods will produce the most cost effective means for rapid EVSE infrastructure development in Colorado.
1. Cars/EVs sit or dwell for 22 hours per day on average, with the majority of that time being at home or at work. Level 1 charging is more than adequate to charge or top off an EV when parked for a sufficient period of time.
a. Based on the average commute of 20 miles each way to work.
b. Majority of EV drivers - 80% - charge at home, leaving home fully charged.
c. Vehicles utilizing Level 1 charging for 4+ hours will easily get 20 or more miles of EV range back.
2. Level 1 is the “right” level of equipment for longer duration (4+ hours) parking.
a. Level 1 charging at the workplace, airports, train stations, hotels, and major shopping centers will provide Colorado EV drivers with an adequate re-charge at the lowest cost per charge.
b. Topping off the average 20 mile one way daily commute will take approximately 4 hours with Level 1. Level 2 charging will replenish the same 20 miles of range in approximately 1 hour, leaving the Level 2 station idle and underutilized for potentially long periods of time.
3. Level 1 EVSE benefits Colorado businesses and institutions in numerous ways.
a. Provides excellent advertising and branding opportunity.
b. Positions the business as a community and industry leader.
c. Contributes toward LEED certification.
d. Attracts a specific audience interested in sustainable property development.
e. Furthers sustainability plans and achieves emissions reduction goals.
f. Commercial Level 1 is lower in cost.
i. Level 1 EVSE unit cost is less expensive (see Background section).
ii. Installation of Level 1 EVSE is easier and less expensive (installation estimated to be $200-450 for Level 1 versus $2,000-8,000 for Level 2 or $55,000 for Level 3).
iii. Lower operating costs (e.g., maintenance and electricity).
g. Will result in more EVSE units installed for a given budget, relative to other EVSE options.
i. Projects may be sized up-front for future demand as more units can be installed immediately.
ii. Cost per installed unit will be lower as installation can be done one time, vs. coming back and adding more units when demand increases.
4. Commercial Level 1 will partially solve the problem of EV etiquette (i.e., EV’s that remain plugged in after they are fully charged, and thus blocking another EV that needs to charge).
a. Higher utilization of Level 1 means the EV is truly using the Level 1 EVSE more efficiently, or charging for a longer period of time.
b. Lower costs of Commercial Level 1 allow for more units to be installed that meet the demand immediately, not having to wait for an EV to finish charging to open up another charging opportunity.
5. Commercial Level 1 will withstand the test of time as EV technology improves.
a. EV batteries will advance in terms of higher energy density and lower costs.
b. As the energy density improves, EV range will increase and EVs will require less charging opportunities away from home. “Topping-off” will be a more common need vs. a need to fully charge; Level 1 is adequate for this scenario.
c. As battery costs decrease, the electrification to assist the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car to get better mileage (U.S. DOT CAFÉ standards) will accelerate. These smaller and less expensive batteries will find increased demand (e.g., Ford Fusion Energi PHEV) and will not require much plug-in time or energy to be fully charged. Criteria Criteria that must be met for any Commercial Level 1 to be considered for qualification of any State of Colorado EVSE incentive or rebate program.
1. Commercial Level 1 must be UL rated and approved.
2. Commercial Level 1 must be equipped with the SAE J1772 standard connector(s).
3. Commercial Level 1 must be designed for permanent, hardwired installation.
a. Permanent surface or wall mounted.
b. Level 1 EVSE must be designed for connecting to conduit or similar permanent electrical infrastructure per local code.
c. Installation per local electrical codes.
d. Cannot be plugged into an outlet.
4. Portable charger units designed to plug-in to standard 110/120V wall outlets that come with EV/PHEVs do not qualify for this program.
Below is sample wording from the Illinois EVSE rebate program that Colorado could use as a guide for drafting future legislation.
“Stations that were purchased and installed and meet all technical requirements will be eligible to receive a rebate. Stations must be Level 2 (208-240AC) or hardwired Level 1 (120V AC) models with SAE J1772 cord connectors. Rebates cover 50% of equipment and installation (materials and labor) costs up to the following caps: 1) $3,750 per networked single station (stations that have a cellular or internet connection); 2) $3,000 per non-networked single station; 3) $7,500 per networked dual station; or 4) $6,000 per non-networked dual station. The maximum possible total rebate award is $49,000 or 50% of the total project cost for up to 15 stations, whichever is less. Eligible applicants for this rebate program include units of government, businesses, educational institutions, non-profits, and individual residents.”
The State of Colorado would take on a prominent leadership role in the promotion and adoption of EVs through the use of EVSE incentives to induce EVSE infrastructure development.
1. A thriving and competitive EV marketplace will contribute to the economic, social, and environmental well-being of Colorado.
2. Colorado could be one of the first states in the nation to recognize Commercial Level 1 as an effective, logical and economical Commercial EVSE solution.
3. Colorado will get far more “bang-for-its-buck” with Level 1 EVSE infrastructure due to its lower up-front capital investment costs and lower operating cost.
4. Will help add more EVSE, leading to a quicker adoption of EVs in Colorado and the nation.
5. Will help alleviate range anxiety as more EVSE stations become visible and ubiquitous. 6. May attract more companies to set up their EVSE or EV businesses in the State of Colorado.
The Telefonix L1 PowerPost is one of the first commercially oriented Level 1 EVSE and the only one to feature retractable cord reel technology that enhances EVSE safety, ease of use, and cleanliness. L1 PowerPost charging can replenish as much as 40 miles of EV range in an 8-hour work day. This means that L1 PowerPost is optimal for use at any location where you park your car for more than 4 hours such as business parking lots, park ‘n rides, hotels, and airports. The L1 PowerPost is already in operation at the Denver International Airport (DIA) with 5 stations each in the east and west covered parking garages. Learn more at www.l1powerpost.com.