Electric vehicles (EVs) are set to be the standard of the future. Governments are keen on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and EVs are one of the best ways of keeping them off the road. Getting an EV is definitely a smart decision — but a few changes to your home can make it a better one.
A Rapid Charger
While most electric cars come with a standard charger, opting for a rapid charger can be a better choice. EVs typically require eight hours of charging in a regular port. However, using a rapid charger can give a car enough juice to run for 25 miles in less than an hour. While it’s normal to charge a car overnight, a quicker charge enables you to make emergency runs to the grocery or pick up the kids at school after a late night of practice.
Tesla has some of the best chargers, with costs of around $500. However, it will require an electrician to set up. You will also need to get your charger setup approved by your local building code departments and set an inspection time once it is done. Ask your electrician to install a residual current device (RCD) to protect your charging system. An RCD can minimize the risks of fires and electrocution in your garage and keep it and your car safe.
Most families that can opt for an EV will probably have more than two cars in their garages. Expanding your garage can be costly, so it’s better to make full use of the space you have. 2-post automotive car lifts can double the space in your garage (provided it has enough ceiling space). Most lifts will cost around $2,000 to $3,000, and installation should cost $500, making them a fairly inexpensive option. A car lift will allow you to keep all of your cars in the garage and make it easier to charge multiple EVs (successively, not simultaneously).
Keeping your electric vehicles inside your garage also prevents its batteries from overheating during the summer, limiting its range as it diverts parts of its energy stores to thermal management. It will also prevent your vehicles from getting iced during winter, although you’ll need additional measures for your driveway.
A Proper Garage Security System
While EVs may not be at the top of the lists of car thieves, the number of stolen EVs is constantly growing. The skillsets of car thieves are ever-changing, and tech hackers have been known to steal even the security-rich Teslas from their garages. Keeping your cars in the garage is one thing, but keeping thieves out is another.
A proper garage door should make it physically impossible (or at least very difficult) to access your cars. Sturdy doors will require additional time or specialized equipment to break through, making your garage less appealing as a target. A couple of CCTV cameras should also dissuade potential thieves from even coming close to your house without some disguise or facial cover. Motion-detecting floodlights should alert you (or your neighbors) of any intrusions near your garage and also keep you and your cars safe when accessing it at night.
Your car isn’t really electric if you use fossil fuel to charge it. 80 percent of energy in the US comes from fossil fuels, meaning your car isn’t exactly environmentally-friendly. Solar power will cut your home’s reliance on the grid, reducing its energy consumption to the point of a net-zero or net-negative consumption. Solar technology has been improving by leaps and bounds over the past years, and the prices of solar panels have also significantly dropped. A 3 to 4-bedroom home can be completely powered by a 12-kW solar power system during the daytime, with enough excess production to make up for its nighttime consumption.
Once your house is net-zero in electrical consumption, your electric vehicle becomes truly green. Of course, a solar power system can require significant investment. However, the technology pays for itself in 10 to 12 years. Solar panels are usually guaranteed for 25 years (although most will last for 35 to 45 years), so you’ll still have at least 13 to 15 years of free electricity. President Biden’s energy plan will undoubtedly involve more rebates on solar programs, so expect costs to further drop in the coming months.
Electric cars are a great option, and you can make your garage a better and more manageable area for your new vehicle. You should opt for upgrades that will make your car more efficient, ensure its safety, or make it as green as possible. This way, not only can you help the environment, but you can also save up on expenses in the long run.