Saturday, October 15, 2016

Europe Ahead of US in Requiring Electric Car Recharging Stations in New Homes

Car companies are welcoming a plan by the European Union that would require every new or refurbished home in all EU countries to be equipped with an EV charging point beginning in 2019.

Additionally, the draft directive (to be published later this year) would require that all new buildings with parking facilities, including apartment buildings, would need to provide 10 percent of their parking spaces with charging facilities.

Plug-in car sales are up in Europe, both battery electrics and plug-in hybrids, and the measure is intended to create a stable infrastructure throughout the EU zone that supports and promotes EV ownership.

Backing the regulations is Guillaume Berthier, sales and marketing director for electric vehicles at Renault.

“This kind of market stimulus is not just positive, it is mandatory if we want to see a massive rollout of electric vehicles in the near future,” he said. “The question of how you recharge your car when you live in an apartment within a city is a very important one.”

The cost of installing an electric car charger during construction of a house or building is far less than paying an electrician to do the job after they are already constructed.

The cost to have one installed in a new home in the US ranges from $400 to $700 but there could be additional regulatory fees applied, the cost of a different service panel and the possibility it will have to be installed by a licensed and bonded technician just like a sprinkle system. Several areas of the country do offer tax credits and rebates which help offset the costs.
Installing so many new EV chargers could put an additional strain on the electric grid, so some European automakers are making moves now to help avoid such occurrences.

Renault is working with energy companies to develop new power plants that make use of used EV batteries.

While too weak to power a vehicle, they can be grouped together and charged from onsite solar and wind generators.

The electricity is then sold back to the grid during peak times, contributing clean, renewable energy, while providing a second life to discarded EV batteries.

BMW, in a partnership with auto parts supplier Bosh, has already opened a similar small power station near Hamburg, Germany.

Composed of 2,600 used EV batteries, it has an output of 2-mega watt-hours.

Europe is pushing ahead quickly in preparation for an escalation of EV sales.

Requiring charging points in new construction is one more example.

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