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The importance of managed electric vehicle charging explained

October 18, 2023 Aaron Orlowski, EWEB Communications

EWEB supports the electrification of the transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially since transportation is the largest source of emissions in Eugene. EWEB calculates that by 2040, EV adoption could cut Eugene's total carbon emissions by almost 40%. And, EWEB offers incentives that support the installation of charging infrastructure that enables managed charging.

EWEB’s electricity is about 90% carbon-free, but the exact percentage varies hour to hour, day to day and year to year, depending on multiple factors. One crucial factor is the level of demand for electricity. High overall demand can mean higher emissions and that EWEB has to get electricity from the relatively dirty wholesale electricity market.

EWEB has much to handle related to EV charging infrastructure. To ensure that the switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles reduces the most emissions possible at the lowest cost possible, we need to implement managed EV charging. Most of the time, this will mean charging your EV overnight between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. so it can charge when demand for electricity is lowest.

At the same time, a robust public charging network will be necessary to allow people without home charging to still charge their vehicles. To support this mix of charging options, EWEB has a variety of rebates for homes and businesses, including apartment complex owners, and public locations. The funding for these rebates is made possible through the Oregon Clean Fuels Program.

  • A $500 rebate for a Level 2 home charging station.
  • A $1,500 per-port rebate for public Level 2 fast charging at businesses, workplaces, fleet yards and multifamily housing complexes.
  • A $2,000 per-port rebate for multifamily affordable housing sites
  • A $10,000 per-station rebate for public single-port direct current fast charging stations.
  • A $15,000 per-station rebate for new multi-port direct current fast charger stations.

Level 1, Level 2 and DCFC? What do they mean?

EV chargers fall into several categories that differ based on the rate that they consume energy to charge your vehicle. Level 1 has the lowest electrical output. A direct current fast charger (DCFC) has the highest.

Level 1: These can plug into a standard 120V electrical outlet. No special setup is required, but it can take up to 24 hours to fully charge the battery.

Level 2: These use 240V electric outlets, so they can charge your EV much quicker. These also usually come with software that can enable the EV user to mange the charging by, for instance, setting a timer to delay charging until overnight.

Direct current fast charger (DCFC): Also called Level 3, are currently mostly used for light-duty corridor charging and secondly for metro charging. These stations, however, will play an important role with the increase of medium and heavy-duty EVs.

How fast you charge and when you charge has an effect on the grid.

For instance, quickly charging in the peak morning and evening hours when cooking and hot water usage is highest is both dirtier and more expensive than more moderately paced level 1 or level 2 charging during the nighttime hours. Also, fast charging with high instantaneous demand puts additional pressure on electric grid infrastructure, depending on the capacity of the specific location.

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