EV Charger Installation in San Francisco, CA: Best Companies, Incentives, Cost and Installation
Electric Vehicle Charger Installation in San Francisco, CA
If you recently purchased an electric vehicle (EV), you will want to install an EV charger at your home for convenience. Ohmhome has put together this guide for EV charger installation in San Francisco, CA, including the types and cost of EV chargers, rebates and utility rates for EV charger installations in San Francisco, CA, and installation tips and contractor recommendations.
The question that many 1st time drivers ask immediately after their EV purchase is, "What charger should I buy?" Before finding a charger that fits your needs, it is important to understand a few basic concepts about EV chargers.
EVs come with a 120-volt or Level one cord that can be plugged into any wall outlet. But the charging times are between 3-5 miles per hour, so if your commute is longer than 30 miles a day (4 x 8 hours = 32) this might not be a good fit for you. You will likely need a Level 2 charger, which charges 10-20 miles per hour and is the route most EV users choose.
Key Electric Vehicle Charger Terms
Electric car batteries use DC power, so the AC power that comes from a home needs to be converted to DC before it can be used by the car. The conversion device for Level One and Level Two chargers (see discussion below) comes factory-installed in an EV ("on-board") where as a DC Fast Charging station has an device within the station.
EVSE stands for Electric Vehicle Service Equipment and is a fancy term for the charging equipment that will be installed in your home. The main purpose is to ensure that the AC power from your home is channeled safely into your EV.
Chargers are categorized in levels based on their charging rates, as discussed below. Note that DC Fast Charging (Level Three) is not currently available for home installations.
Read this overview on EV charger levels to determine the best fit for your driving needs. Not all homeowners need to purchase an EVSE.
EV Charger Levels
Level One (120 Volts - 3-5 Miles Per Hour of Charging)
Level 1 charging uses a 120-volt current, which is the standard for household outlets and only requires a power cord that comes with your EV. Many residents can charge in their garage without any electrical upgrades. Advantages: No equipment purchases or installation costs required Disadvantages: The charge time is slow at only 3-5 miles per hour of charging. Depending on your daily driving needs, this may be adequate with an overnight charge Low impact on peak demand charges.
Level 1 charging uses a 120-volt current, which is the standard for household outlets and only requires a power cord that comes with your EV. Many residents can charge in their garage without any electrical upgrades.
No equipment purchases or installation costs required
The charge time is slow at only 3-5 miles per hour of charging. Depending on your daily driving needs, this may be adequate with an overnight charge
Low impact on peak demand charges
Level Two (240 Volts - 10-20 Miles Per Hour of Charging)
Level 2 charging uses 240 volt power to enable faster regeneration of an EV’s battery system. Providing this type of
charging requires installation of an EVSE unit and electrical wiring capable of handling higher voltage power (similar outlet as a dryer unit). Homeowners interested in Level 2 chargers should find a qualified electrician to install the charging equipment.
Fast and convenient charging at home even for higher daily mileage users
Equipment ($700) and installation ($300+) can cost approximately $1,000 and needs to be done by a qualified electrician
Level Three (DC Fast Charging)
DC fast charging provides compatible vehicles with an 80 percent charge in 20-30 minutes by converting high
voltage AC power to DC power for direct storage in EV batteries. Automakers currently have two competing specifications for DC fast charging plugs, the CHAdeMO (Nissan, Tesla, Kia) and SAE Combo standards (BMW, Chevy).
EV Charger Incentives in San Francisco, CA
Electricity Rates for EVs in San Francisco, CA
Many utilities offer EV time-of-use rates to promote the charging of EVs during times with the lowest demand and cost of electricity (usually midnight to 5:00 AM). In the summer when air conditioning demand is high during the day, off peak rates can be more than 50% cheaper than on peak rates and can offer significant savings.
PG&E offers two residential EV rates - one that combines the EV electricity costs with those of the residence, and one that keeps the EV electricity costs separate. The lowest rates are offered between 11pm and 7am.
SCE offers an EV rate plan with off-peak pricing between 9pm and 12pm that is charged separately from the residential electricity and a Time of Use rate plan with off-peak pricing between 10pm and 8am.
The LADWP Charge Up L.A.! Program offers rebates for Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at residential locations. LADWP residential customers are eligible to receive up to $500 toward their out-of-pocket expenses for an EV charging station. The rebate does not cover the cost of installation. Applications must be submitted within six months of EV charger purchase and postmarked no later than June 30, 2018.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
The SMUD Drive Electric Incentive offers SMUD residential customers a $599 rebate or a free Level 2 (220 volt) plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charger. This program is available with the purchase or lease of a new PEV. Applications must be postmarked within 180 days of the date of purchase or lease of PEV, additional Terms and Conditions apply.
South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)
Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District
The NSCAPCD offers a rebate program for the purchase and installation of a home charger. The total rebate for a home charger is $1,000. The District territory includes the northern and coastal regions of Sonoma County, including Healdsburg, Cloverdale, and Guerneville. Download the application and submit via email, mail or fax.
Burbank Water and Power (BWP)
The BWP Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebate offers rebates of $500 for Level 2 EV chargers. Rebates are limited to one per BWP residential account. Charger must be new and have a purchase and installation date of July 1, 2015 or later. Application must be submitted no later than four months from the date of purchase and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until rebate funds are exhausted.
Glendale Water & Power
The Glendale Water & Power EV Rebate Program offers a $500 rebate to single family residents who install a Level 2 charging station. Rebate applications will be accepted subject to availability of funds.
Pasadena Water and Power (PWP)
The PWP PEV Charger Rebate Program provides a rebate of up to $400 to PWP residential customers who notify PWP about the purchase or lease of a qualifying EV and install a qualifying Level 2 charger at the address shown on the PWP electric account. Applications for this first-come, first serve rebate opportunity will be accepted until rebate funds have been exhausted.
Anaheim Public Utilities
The Anaheim Public Utilities PEV Charger Rebate Program offers a rebate of up to $500 to customers that install Level 2 chargers at their residence. In addition to the rebate, the City’s permit fees related to the installation of the EV charger will be waived. Rebate applications will be accepted subject to availability of funds.
EV Charger Installation in San Francisco, CA
EV charger installations are fairly straightforward, but should be done by a qualified electrician. The general view is that an EV charger installation can be done by any qualified electrician, so homeowners do not need to pay a premium for a specialized EV charger installer. The cost of an EV charger installation in San Francisco, CA will vary from $200 to over $1,000 depending on the amount of wiring required. If the EV charger is installed far away from the home's breaker box (service panel) or the installation requires a service panel upgrade, the cost could be closer to $1,000.