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The Dirt on Car Chargers

Posted by John Hathorn on September 27, 2016
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Like many others in California and (especially) Santa Monica have done before me, I took the plunge and purchased a plug-in hybrid car two years ago. Little did I know that just as there are numerous hybrid and electric cars on the market today, there are also many different home charging systems to choose from. Although gas prices may be down at the moment, it has never been a better time to consider a hybrid or EV and a home charging system to go along with it.

So, without diving too much into the science behind plug-in cars, here are some things that I’ve learned about buying a home car charging system

-You’re not actually buying a charger: Better get used to the vocabulary now. The box mounted on the wall, and the cord that delivers volts of electricity to your car, is not technically a ‘charger.’ It’s all considered part of EVSE, or Electric Vehicle Service Equipment.

-Shop around: When plug-in cars were first introduced, your EVSE was mostly limited to whatever parts and services were offered by the dealership you got the car from. However, the market for EVSE and installation has grown over the years, and you should take some time to consider your options. Once you have settled on the car you want, you can narrow down your choices on the appropriate EVSE to match its voltage and amperage needs, but there will still be different competitors (and prices) to assess. Remember: the installation cost isn’t usually included in the cost of EVSEs. While dealers will still refer you to their own installers, and they might offer a good deal at times, it’s generally believed that any qualified electrician can handle the job. Call around and ask for estimates, as the price variations could surprise you. As tempting as it might be to try a DIY installation, especially if you bought an EVSE through Amazon or another retailer, it isn’t recommended unless you really, really know what you’re doing.

-Location: Do you park your car in the same spot every night? You will need to figure out the best place for your EVSE that is both practical and convenient for use every day when you get home. Most EVSE cables run about 15 to 25 feet, giving you some leeway, but depending on how much conduit/copper runs the electrician has to install, the cost can increase.

-Portability: You might want some flexibility and think about making your PVSE portable. It usually isn’t more expensive than getting it permanently installed and that way, if you move, you can bring your EVSE with you.

-Saving $$$: Once you find the right EVSE and installer, it’s time to explore all the available options for saving you money. Be sure to check out whether tax rebates and special home-charging rates on electricity are currently being offered.

In just four years, the price of home EVSE has gone down 50% making it an attractive option for anyone who’s been curious about plug-in cars and charging at home.

Here is your real-time 90402 MLS transaction data:

There are no new listings for this week’s reporting but 3 homes hit escrow.  

Recent Sales into escrow are:

455 21st Place – is a 6 bedrooms, 9 baths asking $6,495,000.  Almost 7,000 square feet,  Fountainhead custom home. 4 bedroom suites up and guest suite on main level.  Beautiful kitchen with Carrara marble countertops, top-of-the-line appliances.  Basement level with theater/media room, wine cellar, gym with sauna.  Last sold in November 2013 for $2,460,000 as a tear-down.

230 14th Street  3 bedrooms and 2 baths.  $3,299,000.  Single-story traditional with vaulted, beamed and skylight ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors, chef’s kitchen, and expansive deck. Last sold in August 1998 for $910,000.

443 Lincoln Boulevard3 bedrooms and 3 baths and for $3,349,000. Features hardwood floors, high-end appliances, a detached home office studio, tons of extra storage space. Nice size sunny backyard with huge deck.

Call me for a couple of upcoming attractions that are not yet listed in the MLS, priced from $1.9 million to $8 million.  And….here are a few that we have listed in the MLS:

421 23rd Street – 5 bedrooms and 6 baths $5,995,000

416 18th Street – 5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths $4,950,000

215 21st Place – 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths $4,695,000

1012 2nd Street Unit# 2 – 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths $3,488,000

1012 2nd Street Unit# 1 – 3 bedrooms and 2.75 baths $2,895,000

922 16th Street Unit# 3 – 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths $899,000

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