The True Cost of EV Charging at Multifamily Housing

Joseph Nagle
October 3, 2023

The shift towards electric vehicles is happening, by most estimated roughly half new vehicle sales will be electric by 2030. With many individuals opting to charge their EVs at home for convenience and cost-effectiveness. While it's often touted as a cheaper alternative to gasoline, understanding the true cost of EV charging at home involves examining several factors beyond the initial price of electricity.

While charging at a single-family home is relativley starightforward, multifamily properties like apartments and condos are a different beast altogether and thats where Orange comes in.

Electricity Rates

Electricity rates vary significantly depending on where you live and your provider. The cost of charging an EV directly correlates with these rates. It's essential to consider not just the average rate but also time-of-use plans, which can be cheaper during off-peak hours. Monitoring your energy consumption and adjusting your charging schedule accordingly can lead to substantial savings over time.

OrangeOS helps out here tremendously as applying these rate changes and letting the apartment community know about it can be a real pain. It allows property owners to pull real-time energy rate changes (where applicable) and informs residents before they charge. This serves a dual purpose as it ensures that residents aren't blindsided by peak hour pricing and saves the buildiog from falling into high rate tiers by allowing residents to defer charging until rates fall again.

Charger Installation

One significant upfront cost is the installation of the charging stations to begine with. Installation expenses can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on factors like electrical capacity, wiring requirements, and the charger's complexity. While some EV manufacturers offer incentives or rebates for  charger installations, it's crucial to budget for this expense which in multifamily housing can be crippling if ignored.

Orange was designed from day one with these costs in mind and as such we were able to create a product that keeps costs to a minimum. Today, we boast the most afforadble EV charging solution for apartments period, often saving 70% on total costs compared to our major competitors.

Energy Efficiency

EV charging efficiency plays a crucial role in cost calculations. Not all electricity drawn from the grid is converted into usable energy for your vehicle due to losses during charging. Modern EVs and chargers are designed for higher efficiency, but it's essential to be aware that a portion of the electricity consumed may not translate directly into miles driven. This is espeically true when looking at wireless EV charging, where power loss can be as great as 50%.

While all electronic devices suffer from this problem to some degree (usually to an unnoticable degree), Orange Outlets are lower power stations and use energy more efficently by simply handling less at any given moment.

Maintenance Costs

Another aspect of the true cost of EV charging is maintenance, something thats been popping up in the media lately. Full EV chargers, especially publically facing ones, are often abused fairly heavly and most will require some form of maintenance within 3-5 years. Consider factoring in these costs over time when budgeting for your EV charging setup.

Orange Outlets on the other hand almost never have maintenace issues because they've been built to last (tested to 10,000 cycles) and as outlets remove the main failure point, the charging cable. As it turns out, most EVs sold today come with their own mobile charging adpater and people are far more likley to take better care of their personal property.

Tax Incentives and Rebates

Government incentives and rebates can significantly impact the overall cost of EV ownership. Many regions offer tax credits, rebates, or reduced electricity rates for charging infrastructure installation. Research and take advantage of these incentives to make EV ownership more affordable (hint: start here).

Orange Outlets are still relatively new to the EV charging world and as such many incentive programs have yet to include this technology. Luckily Orange designed these our system to be affordable even if no incentives are available. We are so affordable in fact that we often still win on cost even when our competitors get incentive money and we do not.

While EV charging at home is generally more cost-effective than relying on public networks, the true cost involves several factors. Monitoring electricity rates, understanding charger installation expenses, considering energy efficiency, accounting for maintenance, and factoring in your time and convenience all contribute to the actual cost of home EV charging. Additionally, taking advantage of government incentives can further reduce the financial burden of transitioning to electric mobility. As the EV market continues to grow, being well-informed about the complete cost picture will help you make informed decisions about your home charging setup and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable and budget-friendly transportation choice.

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