For some, the greatest appeal of owning a plug-in electric vehicle is that it can mean never having to stop at a gasoline station again. The majority of drivers will charge at home, typically overnight—enabling them to wake up in the morning to a full charge. This routine will be sufficient for most daily driving, although some drivers may wish to use additional workplace and public charging facilities when practical.
Plug-in electric vehicles can be charged using standard outlets found in your home (with a special adaptor that can be purchased at the same time as the vehicle), and also available at charging stations located in public places. Most drivers will find that home charging meets the vast majority of their needs. The outlets you are accustomed to using in your house are 110V and can charge an electric vehicle completely in 8 to 17 hours, depending on the size of the battery in your vehicle. Charging at 110V is known as “Level 1” charging.
If plugged into a 240V plug (known as “Level 2” charging), most commercially-available plug-in electric vehicles can fully charge 4 to 8 hours. High energy consuming appliances, such as clothes dryers, use outlets with this voltage. If Level 2 charging at home is desired, you can have a 240V plug installed to power the charging station. You should always have an electrician upgrade your wiring. The cost to do so generally ranges from $200 to 1500, depending on whether you need to upgrade your electrical panel. Information on getting this work permitted and inspected can be found on the city websites for both Fort Collins and Loveland.
Finally, in order to make charging while away from home quick and convenient, even faster charging stations are being installed in some public locations: Level 3 (or DC Fast Charge) devices, such as the one that was installed at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery on February 25 during the launch of Drive Electric Northern Colorado. DC Fast Chargers can charge a fully depleted battery to 80 percent capacity in 15 to 30 minutes.
To find your nearest public charging station, use our Charging Station Locator.
Platte River Power Authority is seeking EV owners to participate in a distributed charging study to evaluate vehicle electric energy consumption patterns and test smart charging technology, and is offering a rebate to the study participants.
Of the light-duty vehicles registered in Platte River’s service territory, 0.4 percent are EVs, nearly twice the Colorado state average, according to the 2018 City of Fort Collins’ EV Readiness Roadmap. Ultimately, EV energy usage could reach 60 GWh per year by 2026, and peak demand for EV charging may be as much as 99 MW (assuming all vehicles are charged simultaneously).
To better understand the effect of clustered EV adoption on the distribution system, Platte River is conducting an EV distributed charging study to evaluate vehicle energy consumption patterns and test smart charging technology. The study will be the first large-scale residential smart EV charging initiative in Colorado, serving Platte River’s owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland. Data collection and analysis from up to 300 charging load monitoring and control devices will focus on:
The study will be conducted in collaboration with eMotorWerks, developer of the JuiceNet platform-enabled charging stations that allow participants to proactively manage their charging while providing valuable data to Platte River. A report summarizing results as well as next steps is expected to publish during the last quarter of 2019.
Platte River is offering a $200 rebate on smart Level 2 chargers through the Efficiency Works store. The first 100 people to purchase a JuiceBox Pro 40 plug-in charging station will receive an additional $154 instant manufacturer’s rebate, discounting the smart device by more than 60 percent.
In addition to rapid charging capacity, the smart chargers enable participants to monitor their energy usage, schedule charging during non-peak times, and manage charging schedules through their smartphone app or an Amazon Alexa-enabled device.
EV owners interested in participating in the study must meet the following requirements:
To receive the rebate(s) for one of the following charging devices, customers must visit the Efficiency Works store and provide their address and/or utility account number for location validation. Once customers agree to the terms and conditions and sign up as a study participant, a charging station will be delivered and customers can schedule and manage their EV charging as desired.
 Based upon the four communities’ household percentage of the Colorado high growth EV forecast: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/energyoffice/atom/14086
Read more about how to join by clicking here.