Published on December 5th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Still Pondering A Home EV Charging Station? (Or Electric Motorcycle?) If So, Hurry!

December 5th, 2013 by  

You may be pondering whether or not it is worth it for you to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) charging station — it could be a significant investment, especially if it is a fast charger. However, if you are still ruminating, you need to think fast, because the tax credit for these devices ends on December 31.

A Chevrolet Spark EV recharges at the DC Fast Charger at Fashion Valley Mall Saturday, September 28, 2013 in San Diego, California. The SAE International DC “Combo” Fast Charge station is the first public installation of an industry-coordinated standard in the US for fast charging of plug-in electric vehicles. Image Credit: Stan Liu for Chevrolet

Image Credit: Stan Liu/Chevrolet

If you already have a 240 volt outlet that can recharge your vehicle within 7 hours overnight, and you only use it to go to work and back during the week, then maybe you can hold off on the charging station purchase.

However, if you do make trips more often than that, the charging station could certainly be worth it.

According to Green Car Reports, the tax credit covers 30% of the charger’s cost, but with a maximum credit of $1,000.

(You’ll want to use Form 8911 when you file your taxes early next year.)

The tax credit was renewed for this year only as part of a package of legislation that ended the fiscal-cliff debacle on January 1 this year.

A credit for 10 percent of the purchase price of an electric motorcycle or three-wheeled vehicle was also renewed, and also expires again on December 31.

(That one’s Form 8834.)

More info on plug-in car and related tax incentives is available over on Plug-In America.

With the US Congress not exactly functional at the moment, not much is expected to get done by the end of the year, and these tax credits are almost certainly going to expire. So, think fast…

For more stories like this, visit our electric vehicle channel.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

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  • anderlan

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Screw home charging stations. The car manufacturer gives you a cord that plugs into a 120V outlet at your house. They should also give a cord that plugs into a standard 240V outlet at your house (like you have your oven or dryer plugged into right now and like everything plugs into in Europe). Tesla gives you such a cord. Why doesn’t Nissan or Chevy? No good reason.

    You can get your 120V LEAF or Volt cord swapped out for a 240V cord, and buy a slew of adapters for every AC-charging situation over at (for less money than buying a stupid idiotic non-portable “‘home charging station'”).

    • Kyle Field

      The 240v cords are $300 each (for the leaf) whereas a home charger is just $560 (amazon for a GE unit) with this 30% rebate coming off the top…it’s almost the same. I’m sure there are benefits to the home charger vs just the cord but it’s not like you can just buy a few cords and throw them in the trunk at this price. The one benefit I can think of for a home charger vs just these cords is programming in a charging start time. In california, we get ultra off peak pricing (their wording, not mine) on power for EV charging from midnight to 6am so that alone would be enough for me to invest an extra $100 in a home charger. I agree that it would be nice for the providers to ship them with 240v cords but it probably doesnt make sense as most buyers invest in the home charging units.

      • Programming to start charging at a certain time should be a feature of the car, not the charging station.

        • Bob_Wallace

          And EVs should be designed right now to allow them to communicate with the grid.

          As the grid gets smarter it should know how much each EV needs and by when. And the grid should have the ability to fill the order in the way that is best for the grid.

        • anderlan

          This is a great point. There’s no point to have a separate piece of hardware between the car and the grid. It’s a gatekeeper, a way the utility can maintain control.

    • Messing about with electrical stuff that was never designed for the purpose you’re trying to use it for is never a good idea. Most wall sockets were not designed for delivering the maximum current over many hours and can overheat. People have posted pictures of molten wall sockets on the Tesla forums.

      And when plugging into an unknown socket, you never know what is behind it, how good or bad the cabling to said wall socket is.

      An additional convenience that the charging station can offer is throttling. If connected with a smart meter, it can adjust the charging speed to other consumption on the premises so there is no risk of blowing the main fuse.

      We will look upon charging from a standard outlet a bit like Bertha Benz buying all gasoline from the local pharmacy to continue her journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim.

      • anderlan

        Either a circuit is provisioned for a certain amount of power for a certain amount of time or it isn’t. Do they have these things in Europe, or do you just get a 220V EVSE-cord-thing standard like you’d expect? That’s how it should be over here. As has been mentioned by others, any intelligence and scheduling should be built into the car.

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