Nissan LEAF at garage with charger

EV charging isn't as simple as it seems - why your LEAF needs EVSE

Most observers of the electric vehicle phenomenon are under the general impression that you can just "plug in" your electric car into any power outlet and things are good. Well, to coin a phrase, it ain't that simple, Jack.

Somewhere in the area of 100,000 people bought a plug-in electric car last year. Many of those buyers were quickly introduced to the often confusing world of home charging stations, a mixed bag of standards and compliance, and probably more than a little red tape and hoop jumping. These are the growing pains of the EV industry that fall mainly onto the consumers who are adopting these vehicles.

I noticed in the forums that one new LEAF owner had a question about his EVSE installation and whether it had been done right, since the electrician involved had apparently not bothered to ask for permits from the city/county. A discussion ensued in which I realized that to someone on the outside looking in, a lot of this terminology might be confusing.

For example, what is "EVSE?" And why did this LEAF owner need an electrician or permits; don't charging stations just plug into the wall? Wait, someone said the Tesla charger is different? 30A has to be upgraded; huh?

Ya, it's a bit confusing to the uninitiated. For most drivers, just the imagined adjustment to remembering to plug into the outlet after parking at home is a big deal. Now you're telling them it's not even that easy. These are people used to just pulling up to a pump, grabbing the spigot that isn't green, choosing between 85 and 91, and pumping. It's an adjustment. So what do all these terms mean for the prospective EV owner who doesn't want to buy the cart and realize the horse doesn't exactly match the harness?


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Excellent Article and longgggggg over due........we are an EVSE safety company located in Louisville, Kentucky. We were recently at a Chevy dealership and overhead a sales person tell a customer who purchased 3 Chevy Volts to use an extension cord while charging his vehicle. It was very frustrating and we offered the dealership free safety training for their sales team. They declined and said that until Chevy tells them, they cannot accept any outside training. Education is key and if we could get the industry to put the $$$ to the side and put safety and training first then this will be a successful program. Keep up the great work with your articles....> Greenstar Concepts LLC EVSE Safety