Several years ago, I decided to try an electric car, to see if it would fit in with my lifestyle. I wound up leasing a Kia Soul Because it is what I could fit into. (Tried the leaf, no luck.) I did a lease because I didn't want to commit to the vehicle for the rest of my life. So, I figured if I can't make up my mind in three years whether I like this or not then I've got a problem. 

Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle on charge on a London street
Miles Willis

The one problem I did have was how do I charge this thing? I was not set up to charge at home. Happily, there were two free chargers located not far from the place I work provided by the Chelan County PUD. 

I did some charging at home using the 110 Volt outlet in my home but that was not the optimum situation. If I needed to charge the battery up from let's say zero it would take almost 24 hours for me to get it to a full charge. (Not the best way to go.)  

I finally did get a charging station to install in my garage from Siemens, (220 volt) but it was another year before I decided to hire an electrician to install it. The problem was my house. I live in a manufactured home and the electrical service in my house could not handle an additional 60 amps. 

Electric Car Sales Are Bright Spot Amid Industry's Slump
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What I finally did was hire an electrician to come in, take an extra circuit off our meter base, and put an 80-amp service in the garage. (Yes, I probably should have gone bigger.) 

Now it appears there is a much easier way to do that. 

It looks like Siemens (and ConnectDER) have come through again. This time, with a little gizmo, (they call it a collar) that attaches to your meter base and gives you another 220 out to go to your charging station.

Unless you live in a house that was recently constructed, your electrical system is not set up to take an extra 60 amps plus to go to a 220-volt EV charging base. Here's something to remember, the draw that comes from your electric car is not like a 220 draw that comes out of your clothes dryer or your stove. When you plug in your car to charge, it's going to draw as much power as it possibly can constantly (for most vehicles up to 60 amps max) until the car is charged to the level you wanted. (this could take several hours) 

The state of Washington has pretty strict regulations for EV charging station installations. Most local electricians that I've talked to in our area are up to speed on what those regulations are and can take care of you but there are a few exceptions  

Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle Chargepoint
Miles Willis

My sister recently had a house built for her and the electricians that did the work for her did not have the proper plug for her electric car installation so rather than order the proper plug and put it in they just put in the wrong plug and said it'll be fine. (Not so much.)  

back to the ConnectDER, they have installed over 12,000 of these collars to use for solar power installations and the same basic connector technology will work just as well for EV charging stations. Siemens has designed and will sell you a proprietary plug that attaches to the collar and leads to your charger that makes it all seamless. 

According to,
up to 48 million single-family homes in the United States may need electric service panel upgrades before they can fully electrify – upgrades that could come with a big price tag. Further, we estimate that more than half of the new homes being built today have electric panels that will not allow for full home electrification.” 

New York International Auto Show Opens
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That was certainly the case in my home and probably any manufactured home in the country.

If you live in Chelan County or Douglas County, it's not unreasonable to consider an electric vehicle for your day-to-day driving. Before I went electric. I was spending approximately $82 a week buying gas. (this is from my daily commute) Now it costs me about a buck for electricity to do the same weekly mileage. 

Adding an EV Charger to Your Home Is About to Get Easier (
Addressing an Electrification Roadblock: R You watched me, Monogram. I will.esidential Electric Panel Capacity – Pecan Street Inc.
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